FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

 

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION

Stamford Professional Fire Fighters

Association,  

 
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-763

Chief, Belltown Volunteer Fire Department;

and Belltown Volunteer Fire Department,

 
  Respondents July 27, 2011
       

  

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 13, 2011, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The case caption has been amended to reflect the removal of Daniel Hunsberger as a complainant.

 

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 letter dated October 12, 2010, the complainant sent a request to the respondents to inspect and copy documents related to the Belltown Fire Department and that such request consisted of an itemized list, numbered 1 through 7, with several subparts. 

 

3.  It is found that, by letter dated November 6, 2010, the respondents informed the complainant that “we regret that we cannot furnish you with the incredible amount of information you have requested, as it is far too much work to gather and unrealistic for a 100% volunteer group to spend countless hours researching it and gathering it specifically for you.”

 

4.  It is found that, by letter dated November 23, 2010, the complainant wrote, in relevant part, “[t]hank you for your response that appears to indicate that Belltown Volunteer Fire Department will not comply with our limited and specific requests to inspect readily available public documents, which leaves Local 786 no alternative but to file a complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission.”  It is found that such correspondence does not constitute a request for records.

 

5.  By letter of complaint, dated December 7, 2010, postmarked December 13, 2010, and filed on December 14, 2010, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (FOI) Act by failing to comply with the request for records described in paragraph 2, above. 

 

6.  Section 1-206(b)(1), G.S., provides, in relevant part:

 

Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210…may appeal therefrom 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….For purposes of this subsection, such notice of appeal shall be deemed to be filed on the date it is received by said commission or on the date it is postmarked, if received more than thirty days after the date of the denial from which such appeal is taken.

 

7.  It is found that the complaint was filed on December 13, 2010, more than thirty days after the November 6, 2010 denial of the request for records, described in paragraph 2, above.

 

8.  It is therefore concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to adjudicate the complaint.

 

 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.

 

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:

 

Daniel Hunsberger and the Stamford Professional

Fire Fighters Association

629 Main Street

Stamford, CT  06901

 

Chief, Belltown Volunteer Fire Department; and

Belltown Fire Department

c/o Mark J. Kovack, Esq.

Berchem, Moses & Devlin, P.C.

27 Imperial Avenue

Westport, CT  06880

 

 

 

 

 

 

____________________________

Cynthia A. Cannata

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

 

 

 

FIC/2010-763/FD/cac/8/1/2011