In the Matter of a Request
for Advisory Opinion





)     Advisory Opinion   #1



Edward S. Seremet, Applicant

)     November 14, 1975








On November 12, 1975, the Commission considered and agreed to respond to a request for an advisory opinion by Edward S. Seremet as president of the Connecticut Town Clerks Association, Inc.


By his letter the applicant called to the attention of the Commission the following facts.


Requests for copies of public records are governed under Section 5 of the Act. The fees paid to a public agency for any copies provided in accordance with the Act shall not exceed the cost of furnishing the copies. The cost to the towns according to the applicant, exceeds the cost of the paper and equipment used, in that there is a further cost for the labor and for overhead expenses involved in the production of copies.


The applicant further referred to Section 7‑34a, which provides for fees that the town clerks must receive for making a copy of any document either recorded or filed in their offices.


 On the basis of the facts presented by the applicant, the Commission enters the following order as its advisory ruling:


            1.            To the extent that the town clerk furnishes a copy of a record of the class described in Section 7‑34a, the rates and fees established by Section 7‑34a shall govern.


2.                     As to all other copies of public records furnished by the town clerk, the rate established by the public agency under Section 5 shall govern.


             3.             The Commission recognizes that persons requesting copies of records may have occasion to contest the rates established under Section 5 of the Act. The Commission will treat any complaint that a fee for copies is excessive as an allegation that the complainant has been denied a copy of a public record for the purposes of according the complainant a right to appeal under Public Act 75‑342, Section 14.


                                                                                                        By Order of the Freedom of
                                                                                                        Information Commission


                                                                                                        Herbert Brucker, Chairman of
                                                                                                        of the Freedom of Information