FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Jon Kores and

Kathleen Kores,

 
  Complainants  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-418
Zoning Enforcement Officer,
Town of Suffield,
 
  Respondent May 11, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 1, 2010, at which time the complainants and respondent appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.

 

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

 

1.      The respondent is a public agency within the meaning of 1-200(1), G.S.

 

2.      It is found that, by letter dated May 13, 2010 (“May 13th letter), the complainants made a request to the respondent for copies of records, and answers to questions, pertaining to the complainants’ zoning appeal of a cease and desist order, issued by the Town of Suffield, against the use of their barn for housing horses.

 

3.      It is found that, by letter dated May 17, 2010 (“May 17th letter), the complainants requested that the respondent provide them with the opportunity to inspect, and, if necessary, receive copies of records pertaining to the zoning enforcement of residential and commercial barns, including, but not limited to, permits, variance requests, zoning appeals, enforcement determinations or opinions, and cease and desist orders.

 

4.      It is found that, by letter dated May 18, 2010, the respondent, in response to the complainants’ May 13th letter, described in paragraph 2, above, informed the complainants that certain records do not exist, and that their questions could be asked of the respondent at the June 15, 2010 board of appeals hearing.  It is also found that the respondent informed the complainants that the enforcement files, responsive to the complainants’ request, are available for their review at the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and that they may have full access to such files during normal business hours.

5.      It is found that, by a second letter dated May 18, 2010, the respondent, in response to the complainants’ May 17th letter, described in paragraph 3, above, informed the complainants that certain requested records do not exist, and that certain others are not maintained by the zoning enforcement officer.  It is also found that the respondent provided the complainants with some records responsive to their May 17th request, and informed them that they may have full access to any files maintained in the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer during normal business hours.

6.      It is found that, by letter dated May 20, 2010 (“May 20th letter”), the complainants, in response to the respondent’s first May 18th letter, described in paragraph 4, above, informed the respondent that they are not requesting access to, but rather, copies of the documents set forth in their May 13th letter, described in paragraph 2, above.  It is also found that, in their May 20th letter, the complainants made an additional request to the respondents for copies of records, and answers to questions, pertaining to the complainants’ appeal of the cease and desist order described in paragraph 2, above.

7.      It is found that, by letter dated May 20, 2010, the respondent, in response to the complainants’ May 20th letter, described in paragraph 6 above, informed the complainants that they may have full access to any files maintained in the office of the Zoning Enforcement Officer, and that such office will provide copies of any documents contained in such files at their request. 

8.      By letter dated June 21, 2010, and filed on July 6, 2010, the complainants appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondent violated the Freedom of Information ("FOI”) Act by failing to provide them with copies of the records, described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 6, above. 

9.      The respondent contends that the Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction in this matter, since the complaint was not timely filed.

10.  Section 1-206, G.S., provides, in pertinent part that:

 

(b)(1)  Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act may appeal there from to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  A notice of appeal shall be filed not later than thirty days after such denial….

 

11.  It is found that the notice of appeal in this matter was filed more than thirty days after the alleged denial of the requests described in paragraphs 2, 3 and 6 above, within the meaning of 1-206, G.S.  Accordingly, it is concluded that the Commission lacks subject matter jurisdiction in this matter.

 

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

                                                                       

1.       The complaint is hereby dismissed for lack of subject matter jurisdiction.

 

 

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:

 

Jon Kores and Kathleen Kores

c/o John M. Wyzik, Esq.

11 High Street

P.O. Box 295

Suffield, CT  06078

 

Zoning Enforcement Officer, Town of Suffield

c/o Carl T. Landolina, Esq.

Fahey & Landolina, Attorneys LLC

487 Spring Street

Windsor Locks, CT  06096

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-418/FD/cac/5/16/2011