FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Victor Velasco,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-226
David Machernis, Medical Records Specialist 1,
State of Connecticut, University of Connecticut
Health Center, Correctional Managed Health
Care, Northern Correctional Institution; and State
of Connecticut, University of Connecticut Health
Center, Correctional Managed Health Care,
 
  Respondents March 9, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 3 and February 10, 2011, at which times the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. The complainant, who is incarcerated, appeared via teleconference, pursuant to the January 2004 memorandum of understanding between the Commission and the Department of Correction.  See Docket No. CV 03-0826293, Anthony Sinchak v. FOIC et al, Superior Court, J.D. of Hartford at Hartford, Corrected Order dated January 27, 2004 (Sheldon, J.).

 

After consideration of the entire record, the following facts are found and conclusions of law are reached:

1.         The respondents are public agencies within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.         It is found that, by facsimile dated February 3, 2010, the complainant’s attorney requested a copy of the complainant’s medical file from August 2009 to the date of the request.

 

3.         It is found that, by facsimile dated March 10, 2010, the respondents transmitted seventeen pages of medical records and related forms to the complainant’s attorney.

 

4.         By undated letter filed with the Commission on April 7, 2010, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act (“FOIA”) by failing to furnish all of the requested records. The complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties.

 

5.          Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:

 

“Public records or files” means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method. 

 

6.          Sections 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., state, respectively, in relevant parts:

 

Except as otherwise provided by any federal law or state statute, all records maintained or kept on file by any public agency, whether or not such records are required by any law or by any rule or regulation, shall be public records and every person shall have the right to (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212. 

 

 

Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.

 

7.      It is found that about a week after the March 10, 2010 disclosure of medical records, the complainant informed respondent Machernis that the disclosure did not include a medical incident report dated August 27, 2009. The complainant completed additional paperwork for the missing incident report to be provided to his attorney.

 

8.      It is found that in May 2010 the complainant was transferred from Northern Correctional Institute to Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. When in November 2010 the complaint to the Commission came to the attention of Richard Furey, the supervisor of respondent Machernis at Northern Correctional Institute, Mr. Furey promptly telephoned his counterpart, the Director of Correctional Managed Health Care at Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center. On November 16, 2010, the complainant received the previously missing August 27, 2009 medical incident report.      

 

9.      It is also found that immediately following the January 3, 2011 hearing, the respondents received a new authorization from the complainant and transmitted by facsimile directly to the complainant’s attorney an additional copy of the one page August 27, 2009 medical incident report.

 

10.   At the hearings, the complainant argued that the respondents did not furnish all the requested records promptly. It is found that the period of eight months from mid March 2010 to November 16, 2010 to comply with the request to provide the missing August 27, 2009 medical incident report was not prompt.

 

11.   It is concluded that the respondents violated the promptness provisions of 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

12.  Based upon the facts and circumstances of this case, including the transfer of the complainant from one correctional facility to another, the Commission declines to consider the imposition of a civil penalty.

 

The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:

 

1.      Henceforth, the respondents shall comply with the promptness provisions of the FOIA.

           

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 9, 2011.

 

__________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 


 

 

PURSUANT TO SECTION 4-180(c), G.S., THE FOLLOWING ARE THE NAMES OF EACH PARTY AND THE MOST RECENT MAILING ADDRESS, PROVIDED TO THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION, OF THE PARTIES OR THEIR AUTHORIZED REPRESENTATIVE.

 

THE PARTIES TO THIS CONTESTED CASE ARE:

 

Victor Velasco # 213065

Northern Correctional Institution

287 Bilton Road

Somers, CT  06071

 

David Machernis, Medical Records Specialist 1, State of Connecticut,

University of Connecticut Health Center, Correctional Managed Health Care,

Northern Correctional Institution; and State of Connecticut, University

of Connecticut Health Center, Correctional Managed Health Care

c/o Donald R. Green, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

University of Connecticut Health Center

263 Farmington Avenue

Farmington, CT  06030

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-226/FD/cac/3/10/2011