Final Decision FIC2014-881
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2014-881|
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and State of
Connecticut, Department of Correction,
September 9, 2015
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on June 1, 2015, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint. This case was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2014-862, Umar Shahid v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction et al. 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 December 8, 2014, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his November 13, 2014 request for certain records.
3. It is found that the complainant wrote an October 29, 2014 request to the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development for the names of all disciplinary hearing officers and acting hearing officers for the year 2012. The complainant also asserted in his request that he was indigent, and requested a fee waiver.
4. The Commission takes administrative notice of the fact that Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development is the respondent Department of Correction’s principal training site for in-service and pre-service training.
5. No evidence was presented at the hearing tending to show that the requested list of disciplinary hearing officers and acting hearing officers was maintained by the Maloney Center for Training and Staff Development.
6. It is found that the respondents first became aware of the complainant’s request when they received a Notice of Hearing and Order to Show Cause from this Commission.
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 they exist, are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
11. At the hearing, the respondents were still attempting to determine if the requested list of disciplinary hearing officers and acting hearing officers existed.
12. It is concluded that the respondents reasonably attempted to satisfy a request for records that, if properly deposited in the respondent’s internal mail system, had not been delivered to the appropriate FOI liaison for the respondents.
13. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act with respect 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.
2. The Commission recommends that, if the respondents are able to locate the list requested by the complainant, that they provide it to him in order to preclude future complaints about the same record.
3. The Commission further recommends that the respondents advise the complainant of the appropriate person or office to whom the complainant should address his FOI requests.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 9, 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:
Umar Shahid # 103589
Carl Robinson Correctional Institution
285 Shaker Road
Enfield, CT 06082
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