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Final Decision FIC2015-355
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Umar Shahid,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2015-355
Department of Legal Affairs,
State of Connecticut, Department of
Correction; and State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction,
     Respondents
March 23, 2016

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 4, 2015, at which time the complainant and respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  For purposes of hearing, the above- captioned matter was consolidated with Docket # FIC 2015-465, Umar Shahid v. Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction; and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction.  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 on or about April 10, 2015, the complainant made a written request to the respondents for a copy of an “October 28, 2014 hearing disposition form” from the Board of Pardons and Paroles.  It is found that the complainant resubmitted such request on or about May 8, 2015.   
     3. By letter of complaint, dated May 15, 2015, and received on May 21, 2015, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with a copy of the record, described in
paragraph 2, above.  The complainant also requested the imposition of civil penalties.
     4. Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records or files” as:
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 . . . (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 record requested by the complainant, to the extent that it exists,
is a public record within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
     8. It is found that the respondents did not receive a copy of the complainant’s request, described in paragraph 2, above, until they received the docketing letters from the Commission on or about June 18, 2015.
     9. Based on the credible testimony of Counselor Supervisor Washington, the respondents’ FOI Administrator, it is also found that the respondents do not maintain a record responsive to the complainant’s request.
     10.  It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents did not violate the disclosure provisions of §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S., as alleged by the complainant.
     11.  Since the Commission concluded that there is no violation of the FOI Act in this case, there is no basis on which to consider the imposition of civil penalities.
     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 March 23, 2016.
__________________________
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
MacDougall-Walker Correctional Institution
1153 East Street South
Suffield, CT  06080
Department of Legal Affairs, 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/2015-355/FD/cac/3/23/2016