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Final Decision FIC2015-510
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Ira Alston,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2015-510
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and
State of Connecticut, Department of
Correction,
     Respondents
April 27, 2016

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 6, 2015, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts, and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.  The matter was consolidated for hearing with Docket #FIC 2015-481, Ira Alston v. 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 the hearing, the complainant submitted after-filed exhibits which have been marked collectively as complainant’s exhibit A.
     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 6, 2015, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with copies of the records he requested on July 9, 2015.
     3. It is found that the complainant made a July 9, 2015 request to the FOI Liaison at Northern Correctional Institution (“NCI”) for copies of any and all “[McDougall-]Walker Correctional Institution B1 housing unit Security Risk Group Affiliation Phase 1 Summary of Incident Reports for the years of 2013 to the date of your reply.”
     4. It is found that the respondents initially replied on July 17, 2015, denying the request on the grounds that disclosure would constitute a safety and security risk under §1-210(b)(18), G.S.
     5. It is found that the respondents subsequently determined that the requested record is not a record generated at McDougall-Walker Correctional Institution.
     6. 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.
     7. 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, (2) copy such records in accordance with subsection (g) of section 1-212, or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
     8. Section 1-212(a), G.S., provides in relevant part:  “Any person applying in writing shall receive, promptly upon request, a plain or certified copy of any public record.”
     9.  It is found that the requested record does not exist at McDougall-Walker Correctional Institution, although the form is used at least one other correctional institution, Northern Correctional Institution.
     10.  It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate §1-210(a), G.S., as alleged.
     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 April 27, 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:
Ira Alston #275666
Northern Correctional Institution
287 Bilton Road
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/2015-510/FD/cac/4/27/2016