FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
Jose Arcia,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-545
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Newington; and Police Department, Town
of Newington,
 
  Respondents July 27, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 9, 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 July 27, 2010, the complainant requested a copy of the following records:

 

[a.]  All records related to case No. I20042009;

 

[b.]  All annexed supporting affidavits that established probable cause;

 

[c.]  Determination of probable cause from judge;

 

[d.]  Uniform arrest report with arrest warrant;

 

[e.]  Interviews standard operating procedures;

 

[f.]  Copy of court order to erase my police records…;

 

[g.]  Detective Michael Morgan’s disciplinary history reports;

 

[h.]  Uniform arrest report and data of entry into COLLECT/NCIC and Police Computer System;

 

[i.]  All records of warrant file, records of delivered warrant from court to police records department;

 

3.      By letter of complaint filed August 31, 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. 

 

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.      Based on the respondents’ after-filed exhibits consisting of a letter to the complainant and an affidavit by the respondents’ counsel, it is found that on June 16, 2011, the respondents provided, without redaction, copies of all the records they maintain that are responsive to the complainant’s request. 

 

9.      With respect to the complainant’s request for a copy of the court order to erase the complainant’s criminal records, described in paragraph 2.f, above, it is found that the respondents do not maintain a copy of such order.

 

10.   It is found that the respondents failed to prove that they provided the records requested by the complainant promptly, in light of the length of time between the complainant’s request and the respondents’ compliance.

 

11.   It is concluded that the respondents violated the requirement of 1-212(a), G.S., that records be provided promptly.

 

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 requirements of 1-212(a), G.S.

 

2. The Respondents shall send all documents previously sent to the complainant at Cheshire Correctional Institution to him at his new location at Carl Robinson Correctional Institution in Enfield, Connecticut.

 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of July 27,  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:

 

Jose Arcia #320962

Carl Robinson Correctional Institution

285 Shaker Road

Enfield, CT  06082

 

Chief, Police Department, Town of Newington; and

Police Department, Town of Newington

c/o Benjamin Ancona, Jr., Esq.

Ancona & Siegel

49 East Cedar Street

Newington, CT  06111

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-545/FD/cac/7/29/2011