How Do I...
To obtain records from a public agency in Connecticut, you must request them from the agency that has those records. You have the right to view public records without obtaining a copy, as well as the right to obtain copies. The agency may ask you to put your request in writing, regardless of whether you wish to inspect or receive copies. However, an agency can only require you to put your request in writing if you wish to obtain copies. There is no universal form for making a records request in Connecticut, although some agencies have created one for their own use. Simply articulate what records you seek as succinctly and specifically as possible. Make sure the request is made directly to the department in the agency that has the records. Municipal agencies may charge a maximum of $.50 per page, and state agencies may charge a maximum of $.25 per page. Other fees may be charged for certified copies of public records or for transcriptions, printouts or records on electronic media.
The following are methods of searching the FOIC website.
In general, it is recommended that you keep your search terms simple. For broad search, type your search terms without quotations to maximize the number of results that are about all of the search terms used. For example, searches using the words public record without quotations will return results containing both public and record anywhere the web pages of the results. However, such results may not necessarily relate to the phrase public records.
Exact Phrase Searches
You can use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase, e.g., FOI"; City of Hartford"; pending claim"; etc. You can also use quotations to search for variants of a word. For example, a search for the term request" in quotation marks will return results containing similar words like requested, requesting, or requester.
The advance search feature is displayed as a link next to the search button on the search results page. You can use the advance search feature to narrow your search on the FOIC website for detailed topics. You can also use the advance search to find detailed terms or exact phrases while specifying words that shouldn’t appear in your search results.
You can specify a specific time range in your search results. For example, to search and find results containing the word request" between the period of 2008 and 2010, type request 2008..2010.
There is no form for filing an appeal with the Freedom of Information Commission. Simply write a letter and send, fax or e-mail it to the Freedom of Information Commission, 18-20 Trinity Street, Hartford, Ct. 06106 (Email: firstname.lastname@example.org ; Fax: 860-566-6474). The letter must contain all the relevant facts pertaining to the alleged denial of access to a public meeting or to public records. Complete contact information (name, address, phone number) for both the complainant and respondents must be provided. An appeal must be filed with the Commission within 30 days of the alleged violation, except when the appeal concerns an unnoticed or secret meeting. In that case, the appeal must be filed within 30 days after the person filing the appeal receives notice in fact that such meeting was held. Consult the FOI statutes or contact the FOI staff if you need to confirm that your claim is indeed a violation of the Freedom of Information Act.