FREEDOM OF INFORMATION COMMISSION
OF THE STATE OF CONNECTICUT

In the Matter of a Complaint by FINAL DECISION
John Kaminski,  
  Complainant  
  against   Docket #FIC 2010-546

Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

Police Officer Standards and Training

Council; and State of Connecticut, Police

Officer Standards and Training Council,

 
  Respondents August 10, 2011
       

 

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 6, 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.).

 

            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 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 comply with the Commission’s order in Kaminski v. Police Officer Standards and Training Council et al., Docket #FIC 2009-544 (“Kaminski I”).

 

3.  In Kaminski I, the Commission ordered the respondents to provide “a copy of the requested guide to the complainant.” The guide is designed to inform police officers of current search and seizure law, and is authored and compiled by Assistant State’s Attorney Timothy Sugrue in connection with his duties as an appellate attorney with the Chief State’s Attorney’s Office. The guide is periodically updated by attorney Sugrue as the law of search and seizure evolves.

 

4. It is found that the respondents provided a copy of the requested guide that had been revised to 2009.

 

5.  It is further found that the 2009 version is the only version of the guide maintained by the respondents.

 

6.  The complainant contends that the version he requested was the 2003 version, not the 2009 version.

 

7.  It is found that the complainant’s request in Kaminski I was for a copy of the guide, not for a specific version of the guide that predated his request by some six years. Further, the Commission’s order in Kaminski I does not refer to a specific version of the guide.

 

8. The complainant contends that the respondents, through testimony at the hearing on Kaminski I, indicated that they probably had “a dusty copy” of the 2003 version of the guide.

 

9. It is found, however, that the respondents conducted a diligent search for the earlier version, and do not in fact maintain a copy of it. Nor can the Commission divine any reason why the respondents would maintain a version of the guide that is no longer used for instruction.

 

10. It is concluded that the respondents complied with the Commission’s order in Kaminski I, and did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.

 

11. Section 1-206(b)(2), G.S., provides in relevant part:

 

If the commission finds that a person has taken an appeal under this subsection frivolously, without reasonable grounds and solely for the purpose of harassing the agency from which the appeal has been taken, after such person has been given an opportunity to be heard at a hearing conducted in accordance with sections 4-176e to 4-184, inclusive, the commission may, in its discretion, impose against that person a civil penalty of not less than twenty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. 

 

12. Although the Commission declines to consider the imposition of a civil penalty against the complainant pursuant to 1-206(b)(2), G.S., it nonetheless notes that the complainant was unable to articulate a reason for filing an appeal concerning an outdated version of the guide, other than to say that he wanted to compare the two versions, for unspecified reasons.

 

 

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

 

            1.  The complainant is dismissed.

 

 

                 

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of August 10, 2011.

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

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:

 

John Kaminski #241124 

MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution

1153 East Street South

Suffield, CT 06080

 

Executive Director, State of Connecticut,

Police Officer Standards and Training

Council; and State of Connecticut, Police

Officer Standards and Training Council

C/o Stephen R. Sarnoski, Esq.

Assistant Attorney General

110 Sherman Street

Hartford, CT 06105

 

 

 

 

____________________________

S. Wilson

Acting Clerk of the Commission

 

 

FIC/2010-546FD/sw/8/12/2011