Final Decision FIC2015-518
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2015-518|
Chief, Police Department,
Town of Newington; Police
Department, Town of Newington; and
Town of Newington,
February 10, 2016
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 5, 2015, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared, stipulated to certain facts and presented testimony, exhibits and argument on the complaint.
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 10, 2015, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with his request for certain public records.
3. It is found that the complainant made a July 31, 2015 request to the respondents for copies of all records pertaining to a July 31, 2015 traffic stop that resulted in the issuance of a defective equipment warning ticket by the Newington Police Department. The complainant requested a waiver of the copying fees on the grounds of his alleged indigence.
4. Section 1-200(5), G.S., provides:
“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, 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:
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.
6. It is concluded that the requested records are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5) and 1-210(a), G.S.
7. It is found that the respondents conducted a diligent search for the requested records.
8. It is found that the respondents provided copies of the warning ticket,
records of calls from the officer and dispatch, and records of the officer’s name and badge number, on August 21, 2015. It is also found that the respondents mistakenly provided a copy of the computer aided dispatch (“CAD”) call information from an apparently unrelated Fire Department EMS incident concerning a gas stove left on in a house.
9. It is found that the respondents also provided audio recordings of the calls between the officer and dispatch, and certified copies of certain of the records provided on August 21, on August 25, 2015.
10. It is found that the respondents provided a copy of the CAD call report pertaining to the traffic stop in October 2015, from which copy the respondents redacted only information obtained from the Connecticut Online Law Enforcement Communication Teleprocessing (“COLLECT”) System. The information redacted pertained to requested records of license plate checks, registration checks, and driver’s license checks.
11. It is found that the respondents did not challenge the complainant’s claim of indigency, and provided all copies free of charge.
12. It is found that the respondents did not withhold any documents from the complainant, and claimed an exemption only for the portion of the CAD call report that contained information obtained from the COLLECT system.
13. The complainant concedes that information in the COLLECT system is not accessible to the public, but maintains that once that information is printed out, copies should be made available to the public.
14. It is found that the information redacted from the CAD report was obtained from the national Crime Information Center (“NCIC”) computerized database.
15. It is concluded that records obtained from the NCIC computerized data base are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §29-164f, G.S., (The National Crime prevention and Privacy Compact), as well as 42 U.S.C. §14616. See, Commissioner of Public Safety v. FOIC, 144 Conn. App. 821, 76 A.3d 185 (2013). See also Commissioner of Correction v. FOIC; United States of America v. FOIC, 307 Conn. 53, 52. A3d 636 (2012). See also Docket #FIC 2013-562, Michael Anania v.University of Connecticut et al.
16. It is therefore concluded that the respondents did not violate §§1-210(a) and 1-212(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 February 10, 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:
P.O. Box 2322
New Britain, CT 06050
Chief, Police Department, Town of Newington; Police
Department, Town of Newington; and Town of Newington
c/o Peter J. Boorman, Esq.
365 Willard Avenue, Suite 2E
Newington, CT 06111
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission