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Final Decision FIC2014-410
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Juan Maldonado,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-410
Chief, Police Department, City of Hartford;
Police Department, City of Hartford; and
City of Hartford,
     Respondents
April 22, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 21, 2015, 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.  It is found that by letter dated June 3, 2014, which the respondents received on June 19, 2014, the complainant made a request to the respondents for thirteen categories of records.
     3.  By letter dated June 18, 2014 and filed on June 27, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his records request.
     4.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:
"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, 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, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (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 “[a]ny 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 requested records described in paragraph 2, above, to the extent 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 by letter dated June 23, 2014, the respondents provided the complainant with nine pages of documents responsive to five of the thirteen categories of records he requested and waived the copying fee.  With respect to the other eight categories, it is found that the respondents informed the complainant that no records responsive to those requests exist within the Hartford Police Department.  
     9.  However, at the hearing on this matter the complainant contended that certain photographs that were provided were not the photographs he sought.  He contended that he wanted the photographs used as exhibits by the prosecutor during his trial and that the photographs he was provided were Polaroid photographs “that could have been taken by anyone.”
     10. It is found, however, that the respondents conducted a diligent search for any and all records responsive to the complainant’s request and that the complainant was provided with all responsive records that are maintained by the respondent police department.
     11. It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged by the complainant.
     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 April 22, 2015.
__________________________
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:
Juan Maldonado #236268
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
1153 East Street South
Suffield, CT  06080
Chief, Police Department, City of Hartford;
Police Department, City of Hartford; and
City of Hartford
c/o Cynthia Lauture, Esq.
Office of the Corporation Counsel
550 Main Street
Hartford, CT  06103

____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-410/FD/cac/4/22/2015