FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Luis Salaman,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-254
Frank Limon, Chief, Police Department,
City of New Haven; Lt. Roger Young,
Police Department, City of New Haven;
and Police Department, City of New
Haven,
 
  Respondents April 13, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on February 14, 2011, at which time the complainant and 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 on March 29, 2010, the complainant requested:

 

a.       Transcripts of all 911 calls made by all witnesses on August 30, 2003 concerning case number 03-44764;

 

b.      Transcript of the victim’s statement to the respondents in case number 03-44764;

 

c.       All police radio codes of the respondents; and

 

d.      All photos taken of the victim’s car and of the car in which shell casings were found in case number 03-44764.   

 

3.      By letter of complaint filed April 19, 2010, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with copies of the records he requested.  The complainant requested the imposition of civil penalties.

 

4.      Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:

 

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, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.

 

5.      Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.

 

6.      Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:  “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”

 

7.      It is concluded that the records requested by the complainant are public records within the meaning of 1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.

 

8.      It is found that by letter dated April 16, 2010, the respondents sent via registered mail records responsive to the complainant’s request, described in paragraph 2.b (transcript of victim’s statement) and 2.d (photographs). 

 

9.      It is found that the respondents sent the records described in paragraph 8, above, to the complainant at the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution, where he is an inmate.  It is found that the correctional institution received such records on May 12, 2010.

 

10.   It is found that the Deputy Warden at the Carl Robinson Correctional Institution reviewed the records sent by the respondents and decided not to provide them to the complainant.  It is found that the Deputy Warden sent a letter to the complainant on May 12, 2010, informing him that she was returning the records to the respondents because she believed that disclosure of the records to the complainant could jeopardize security.

 

11.   It is found that on January 6, 2011 and on January 10, 2011, the respondents provided records responsive to his request described in paragraph 2.a, above (transcripts of 911 calls) to the Deputy Warden at the correctional institution where the complainant is an inmate. 

 

12.   It is found that the Deputy Warden attempted to provide such records to the complainant, but he refused them because he believed that if he accepted the records, he would be obligated to withdraw his complaint in this matter and he suspected that the respondents had failed to provide all of the records responsive to his request described in paragraph 2.a, above.

 

13.   It is found, however, that the respondents conducted a thorough and diligent search for records responsive to the complainant’s request.  It is found that the respondents transcribed all such 911 audio recordings as the complainant requested and attempted to provide such transcripts to the complainant.

 

14.   With respect to the complainant’s request for radio codes, described in paragraph 2.c, above, it is found that the complainant is no longer pursuing such request.

 

15.   It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.

 

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

 

1.      The complaint is dismissed.

 

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of April 13, 2011.

 

 

 

__________________________

Petrea A. Jones

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:

 

Luis Salaman, #262626

MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution

1153 East Street South

Suffield, CT 06080

 

Frank Limon, Chief, Police Department,

City of New Haven; Lt. Roger Young,

Police Department, City of New Haven; and

Police Department, City of New Haven

c/o Kathleen M. Foster, Esq.

Assistant Corporation Counsel

City of New Haven

165 Church Street

New Haven, CT 06510

 

 

 

____________________________

Petrea A. Jones

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-254/FD/paj/4/14/2011