Final Decision FIC2015-633
In the Matter of a Complaint by
||Docket #FIC 2015-633|
Chief, Police Department, Town of
Cheshire; Police Department, Town of
Cheshire; and Town of Cheshire,
May 11, 2016
The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on March 17, 2016, 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. It is found that in September 2015, the respondents provided records in response to the complainant’s request.
3. By letter filed September 23, 2015, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide: [a] a copy of a certain arrest file from 2007; [b] a complete copy of the recording of the 911 call the complainant placed on January 7, 2014; and [c] the Computer Aided Dispatch (“CAD”) report from such 911 call.
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, …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, … or (3) receive a copy of such records in accordance with section 1-212.
6. 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.”
7. It is found that all the records requested by the complainant are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. With respect to the arrest file requested by the complainant, as described in paragraph 3.a, above, §54-142a, G.S., provides in relevant part:
(a) Whenever in any criminal case…the accused, by a final judgment, is found not guilty of the charge or the charge is dismissed, all police and court records and records of any state’s attorney pertaining to such charge shall be erased….
(c)(1) Whenever any charge in a criminal case has been nolled in the Superior Court, … if at least thirteen months have elapsed since such nolle, all police and court records and records of the state's or prosecuting attorney or the prosecuting grand juror pertaining to such charge shall be erased[.]
9. It is found that the arrest file requested by the complainant was erased pursuant to §54-142a, G.S., and the respondents no longer maintain such records.
10. With respect to the 911 call, described in paragraph 3.b, above, it is found that the respondents provided a copy of such recording to the complainant, and also submitted a copy as an exhibit in this matter. The complainant contends that the respondents failed to provide a complete copy of the 911 call.
11. Upon review of the recording of the 911 call and based on the respondents’ witness’s testimony, it is found that the respondents provided the complete recording to the complainant.
12. With respect to the CAD call, described in paragraph 3.c, above, it is found that the respondents provided the only CAD report created and maintained pertaining to the incident described in the 911 call by the complainant, to the complainant on January 7, 2014.
13. It is found that the respondents provided copies of all records they maintain that were responsive to the complainant’s request.
14. It is concluded, therefore, that the respondents did not violate §§1-210(a) and 1-212(a), G.S.
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 May 11, 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:
c/o John R. Williams, Esq.
John R Williams and Associates, LLC
51 Elm Street, Suite 409
New Haven, CT 06510
Chief, Police Department, Town of Cheshire; Police
Department, Town of Cheshire; and Town of Cheshire
c/o Michael C. Harrington, Esq.
Murtha Cullina LLP
185 Asylum Street
Hartford, CT 06103-3469
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission