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Final Decision FIC2014-152
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Bradshaw Smith,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-152
Craig Cooke, Superintendent of Schools,
Windsor Public Schools; and Windsor
Public Schools,
     Respondents
February 11, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 30, 2014, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  This case was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2014-269, Bradshaw Smith v. Craig Cooke, Superintendent of Schools, Windsor Public Schools; and Windsor Public Schools.
     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.  By letter of complaint filed March 14, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging the following:
     The undersigned has requested—in writing—the opportunity of the Windsor Public School District (601 Matianuck Ave., Windsor, CT 06095), receive a copy of one or more public documents in accordance with Section 1-210 & Section 1-212 Connecticut General Statutes. As of March 14, 2014, that request has been implicitly denied.
     Given the foregoing, the complainant looks to the Commission for:
 a. a civil penalty against Craig S. Cooke and Christina R. Santos),
 b. an order to disclose,
 c. an order to henceforth comply strictly with Chapter 14 Connecticut General Statutes,,
 d. any other order the Commission may deem appropriate.
     3.  The complainant subsequently, on June 9, 2014, supplemented his complaint to specify that the “documents in question” were requested on March 10, 2014, and that he had received no response as of March 15, 2014.
     4.  It is found that the respondents were unable to locate, prior to the hearing in this matter, any request from the complainant dated March 10, 2014. 
     5.  Section 1-21j-27 of the Regulations of the Connecticut State agencies provides;
All complaints shall be in writing and shall include the following components:
(b)  A concise statement of the relevant facts, including but not limited to the items that follow:

(2)  The name, title, address, and telephone and fax numbers, if known, of the public agency and any public agency official alleged to have denied the complainant a right conferred by the Freedom of Information Act.
(3)  If the complaint concerns the denial of access to public records, a description of, or reference to, the requested records. [Emphasis added.]
     6.  Although the complaint names two individuals against whom civil penalties are requested to be imposed, the complainant did not allege, and offered no evidence to prove, that those two individuals had denied him a copy of any public record.
     7.  Further, the complainant did not in his complaint attach a copy of, or in any way describe, the “one or more public documents” that he alleges he requested from the respondents.
     8.  It is found that the respondents had no notice, prior to the hearing, of either the person to whom the alleged request had been addressed, or the record that was claimed to have been denied, despite their efforts to locate a request that might correspond to the complaint.
     9.  It is concluded that the complainant failed to include a concise statement of the relevant facts, and thus failed to satisfy the minimal pleading requirements under Regulation §1-21j-28.

     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.
     2.  At the hearing, the complainant represented that he sought a copy of a certain honor roll, which the respondents expressed a willingness to provide. They are encouraged to do so.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of February 11, 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:
Bradshaw Smith
23 Ludlow Road
Windsor, CT  06095
Craig Cooke, Superintendent of Schools, Windsor Public
Schools; and Windsor Public Schools
c/o Gary R. Brochu, Esq. and
Anthony Shannon, Esq.
Shipman & Goodwin LLP
One Constitution Plaza
Hartford, CT  06103
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-152/FD/cac/2/11/2015