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Final Decision FIC2015-591
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Jason Goode,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2015-591
Commissioner, State of Connecticut,
Department of Correction; and
State of Connecticut, Department of
Correction,
     Respondents
March 9, 2016

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on November 23, 2015, at which time the complainant and the respondents appeared 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, 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 a written “Inmate Request Form,” dated August 12, 2015, the complainant requested from the respondents “a copy of all names of correctional lieutenants [and] captains, who participated in the use of force incident(s) dated July 30, 2014 thru [sic] August 3, 2014.”  The complainant specifically stated in his request that he was not seeking the incident report (“incident report”).

     3.  By letter dated August 28, 2015, and filed with the Commission on September 8, 2015, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to comply with the request, described in paragraph 2, above. 
     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 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…(3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
     6.  It is found that, in response to an earlier records request, the complainant received a copy of the incident report from the respondents, and that the incident report included the names of the department employees who were involved in the incident, investigated the incident, or signed off on the report.  It is found that such names were typewritten in the report and that the report also included these individuals’ signatures. 

     7.  At the hearing in this matter, the complainant stated that he filed the complaint herein because he believed the signatures of the individuals, described in paragraph 6, above, were illegible, and that the respondents therefore violated the FOI Act. 
     8.  It is found that, other than the incident report, the respondents do not maintain a record consisting of the names or signatures of the individuals, described in paragraph 6, above. 

     9.  It is concluded that the allegation described in paragraph 7, above, does not constitute a violation of the FOI Act.  Moreover, in response to a request for information, a public agency is not required to create a record that does not exist.
     10.  Based upon the foregoing, it is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act, as alleged by the complainant.
     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 March 9, 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:
Jason Goode #228240
MacDougall Walker Correctional Institution
1153 East Street South
Suffield, CT  06080
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Correction;
and State of Connecticut, Department of Correction
c/o James Neil, Esq. and Nancy Kase O’Brasky, Esq.
24 Wolcott Hill Road
Wethersfield, CT  06109
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2015-591/FD/cac/3/9/2016