Final Decision FIC2013-104
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2013-104|
Internal Affairs Division, Police Department,
City of New Haven; and Police Department,
City of New Haven,
January 8, 2014
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 23, 2013, and September 12, 2013, at which times the complainant and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
After the September 12, 2013 hearing on this matter, pursuant to the request of the hearing officer, the respondents filed one after-filed exhibit that is marked as follows: Respondents’ Exhibit 2, Affidavit of Anthony Duff, dated October 9, 2013.
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 February 11, 2013, the complainant made a written request to the respondents for “a copy of the closure letter, case summary, fact findings and the recorded interviews between the officers and Sgt. Wolcheski” in civilian complaint CN 089-12-C.
3. By emails dated February 20, 2013, and February 23, 2013, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with all records responsive to his February 11, 2013 request.
4. Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records or files” as:
any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public’s business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, or to which a public agency is entitled to receive a copy by law or contract under section 1-218, 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 that:
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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours . . . (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
6. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part that “any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
7. It is found that the records requested by the complainant, to the extent that they exist, are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. It is found that on or about the last week of February 2013, the respondents provided the complainant with a multi-page packet of documents consisting of records responsive to his records request, described in paragraph 2, above. It is also found that on or about March 2, 2013, the respondents provided the complainant with a one-page case closure letter that was prepared for the complainant subsequent to his February 2013 request. It is further found that immediately prior to the July 23, 2013 hearing in this matter, the respondents provided the complainant with copies of the same records previously provided to him in February and March 2013.
9. The complainant contends that the respondents did not provide all records responsive to his request; in particular, text messages, medical records and a 9-1-1 transcript.
10. It is found that the text messages, medical records and 9-1-1 transcript, described in paragraph 9, above, were not contained within the scope of the complainant’s February 11th request, described in paragraph 2, above, which is the subject of this appeal. The text messages, medical records and 9-1-1 transcript, therefore, shall not be considered further herein.
11. It is found that the respondents provided the complainant with all records responsive to his February 11th request. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a) of the FOI Act.
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 January 8, 2014.
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:
193 Jones Hill Road
West Haven, CT 06516
Internal Affairs Division, Police Department, City of New Haven;
and Police Department, City of New Haven
c/o Kathleen Foster, Esq.
Office of the Corporation Counsel,
City of New Haven
165 Church Street
New Haven, CT 06510
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission