Final Decision FIC2013-264
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2013-264|
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction,
March 12, 2014
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 4, 2013, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared 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. It is found that on March 28, 2013, the complainant requested copies of all invoices concerning the complainant’s detention under the authority of federal law, copies of agreements between the United States immigration authorities and the respondents, and copies of any records showing that the complainant “is being detained and treated pursuant to” such agreements and detainers.
3. Section 1-206, G.S., provides:
(a) Any denial of the right to inspect or copy records provided for under section 1-210 shall be made … within four business days of such request … Failure to comply with a request to so inspect or copy such public record within [four] business days shall be deemed to be a denial.
(b) (1) Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 or wrongfully denied the right to attend any meeting of a public agency or denied any other right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act 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[.]
4. It is found that the respondents neither acknowledged nor complied with the complainant’s request within four business days, which was April 3 or 4, 2013 (depending on whether Good Friday is considered to be a business day).
5. By letter of complaint filed May 1, 2013, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with a copy of the records he requested.
6. It is found that the complainant filed his complaint within the time period set forth in §1-206(b), G.S.
7. Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:
Public records or files means any recorded data or information relating to the conduct of the public's business prepared, owned, used, received or retained by a public agency, …whether such data or information be handwritten, typed, tape-recorded, printed, photostated, photographed or recorded by any other method.
8. Section 1-210(a), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of section 1-212.
9. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part: “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain, facsimile, electronic or certified copy of any public record.”
10. It is concluded 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.
11. It is found that the complainant is in the custody of the respondents pursuant to a sentence of incarceration imposed by a Connecticut court. It is found that the U.S. government lodged an immigration detainer with the respondents to be served on the complainant if and when he becomes eligible for release from the respondents’ custody.
12. It is found that the complainant possesses a copy of such detainer.
13. It is found that the complainant also possesses a copy of the 2012 contract between the United States and the respondents concerning confinement of federal immigration detainees in which the federal government agreed to pay the respondents for such services.
14. It is found that the complainant is not in the respondents’ custody pursuant to a federal detainer, so there are no copies of invoices to provide to him in response to his request for records, described in paragraph 2, above.
15. It is found that the respondents do not maintain any other records responsive to the complainant’s request.
The following order by the commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
1. The complaint is dismissed.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of March 12, 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:
David Taylor #272912
Osborn Correctional Institution
335 Bilton Road
Somers, CT 06071
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction;
and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o James Neil, Esq.
State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT 06109
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission