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Final Decision FIC2014-529
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Raymond Cerilli,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-529
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and
State of Connecticut, Department of
Correction,
     Respondents
June 24, 2015

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on May 4, 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.  By letter of complaint filed August 7, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his August 5, 2014 request for records related to a June 12, 2014 collision between the inmate transport van in which the complainant and others were riding, and another vehicle on DOC property.
     3.  It is found that the respondents provided the incident report responsive to the August 7, 2014 request on August 12, 2014.
     4.  It is also found that the respondents subsequently provided black and white copies of photographs of the motor vehicle collision when they became aware that the complainant was dissatisfied with the provided incident report.
     5.  Section 1-206(b), G.S., provides in relevant part:
     Any person denied the right to inspect or copy records under section 1-210 … may appeal therefrom to the Freedom of Information Commission, by filing a notice of appeal with said commission.  [Emphasis supplied.]
     6.  Section 1-206(a), G.S. provides in relevant part that “[f]ailure to comply with a request to … inspect or copy such public record within [four] business days shall be deemed to be a denial.” [Emphasis supplied.]
     7.  It is found that the complainant filed his request before four business days had elapsed from the August 5, 2015 request, and that therefore his request had not been “deemed” denied on August 7, 2015 by operation of law pursuant to §1-206(a), G.S.
     8.  It is also found that the respondents themselves did not take any action in writing or otherwise to deny the complainant’s request, but in fact supplied him with all the responsive records in their possession in a prompt manner.
     9.  It is therefore concluded that the Commission lacks jurisdiction to hear this complaint filed August 7, 2014, because the complaint does not allege, and there in fact did not occur, a denial of the complainant’s request for records.
     10. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act.
     11. At the hearing the respondents graciously promised to supply the complainant with color copies (instead of black and white copies) of the photos of the accident, if the color prints could be located.  The respondents also promised to supply the complainant with contact information for an office within the Department of Administrative Services, from which he could request paperwork concerning repair of the state-owned vehicles (with respect to which the state is self-insured).

     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 June 24, 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:
Raymond Cerilli #162375
Corrigan-Radgowski Correctional Center
986 Norwich-New London Tpke.
Uncasville, CT  06382
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction;
and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o Nancy Kase O’Brasky, Esq. and
James E. Neil, Esq.
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT  06109
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2014-529/FD/cac/6/24/2015