FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT
|In the Matter of a Complaint by||FINAL DECISION|
|against||Docket #FIC 2010-391|
Seth Mancini, State of Connecticut,
Department of Public Safety;
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Public Safety; and
State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety,
|Respondents||May 11, 2011|
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 10, 2011, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts, 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.). The complainant’s request for the issuance of subpoenas was denied by the hearing officer. The complainant’s March 10, 2011 motion to reopen the hearing was denied on April 7, 2011 by the Commission’s Executive Director.
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. By letter filed June 22, 2010, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents failed to respond to his May 2, 2010 request for public records.
3. It is found that the complainant, by letter dated May 2, 2010, requested the following records pertaining to the respondents’ investigation of the complainant:
… all COLORED PICTURES of the packet that your office sent that I paid for already. All of any documents, reports and pictures your agency has under case #9511687 …. I need the pictures (colored) of all the actual sneakers and images received and taken by your lab in report # ID 95-H-1721-X1
4. It is found that actual investigation of the complainant was performed by the North Haven Police Department, which had requested analysis of fingerprints and sneaker patterns by the State Police.
5. It is found that the respondents provided the complainant copies of fingerprint lifts that the complainant mistakenly believed should have been in color. The respondents also provided the complainant with copies of the laboratory report concerning the fingerprint lifts, and the laboratory report concerning the sneakers. The complainant paid for these copies.
6. It is found that the respondents did not provide copies of color photographs because the cost exceeded $10.00 and the complainant declined to pay for those copies in advance.
7. 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.
8. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that:
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 . . . or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
9. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a]ny person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”
10. Section 1-212(c), G.S., provides in relevant part that “[a] public agency may require the prepayment of any fee required or permitted under the Freedom of Information Act if such fee is estimated to be ten dollars or more.”
11. It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
12. It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the disclosure requirements of the FOI Act by requiring prepayment.
13. It is also concluded that the respondents did not violate the disclosure requirements of the FOI Act by providing black and white copies of records that were not originally, or ever, in color.
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 May 11, 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:
Jason Casiano #240833
Cheshire Correctional Institution
900 Highland Avenue
Cheshire, CT 06410
Seth Mancini, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety;
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety; and
State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety
c/o Terrence M. O’Neill, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT 06105
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission