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Final Decision FIC2014-543
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
David Osuch,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2014-543
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 March 30, 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 14, 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 1, 2014 request to review his master file.
     3.  It is found that the complainant made an August 1, 2014 request to the respondents to review his master file.
     4.  It is found that the complainant delivered his request by depositing it in the appropriate mail box in his correctional facility, addressed to the warden.
     5.  It is found that, in the ordinary course of the respondents’ business, the complainant’s request should have been forwarded from the warden’s office to the respondents’ FOI liaison.
     6.  It is found that the respondents’ FOI liaison never personally received the request, which should have been forwarded to her from the warden’s office.
     7.  It is found that the complainant took the appropriate steps to deliver his request, by depositing it in the equivalent of a mailbox, and that the respondents are therefore deemed to have received it.
     8.  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.
     9.  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 (1) inspect such records promptly during regular office or business hours ….
     10.  It is concluded that the requested file is a public record within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
     11.  It is found that the complainant made a request for records, appropriately delivered it, and that the respondents, even if inadvertently, did not provide access to the records.
     12.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents technically violated the FOI Act by failing to provide the complainant with access to the requested records.

     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
     1.  The respondents shall forthwith provide the complainant with access to inspect his master file.
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:
David Osuch #139268
Osborn Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 100
Somers, CT  06071
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction;
and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o James Neil, Esq.
24 Wolcott Hill road
Wethersfield, CT  06109
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2014-543/FD/cac/6/24/2015