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Final Decision FIC2011-337
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Bradshaw Smith,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2011-337
Steven F. Mitchell, Chairman, Greater
Hartford Transit District; and Greater
Hartford Transit District,
     Respondents
March 14, 2012

The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on January 5, 2012, 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. On June 2, 2011, the complainant hand-delivered a written request for a copy of any records distributed or generated at the meeting of the respondents’ Personnel Committee on June 2, 2011.
3. By letter filed July 5, 2011, the complainant appealed to this Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with the records he requested.  The complainant requested the imposition of a civil penalty.
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 … receive a copy of such records in accordance with the provisions of 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 concluded that the records requested by the complainants are public records within the meaning of §§1-200(5), 1-210(a), and 1-212(a), G.S.
8. It is found that on June 2, 2011, the respondents inadvertently misplaced the complainant’s request. 
9. It is found that the respondent chairman first learned of the complainant’s request in late October 2011, when the Commission notified him of the hearing in this matter.
10. It is found that, within a day of learning of the complainant’s request, the respondent chairman sent a letter to the complainant in which the chairman apologized for the delay, provided the complainant with a copy of the four-page report used during the Personnel Committee’s meeting on June 2, 2011, and suggested that in the future the complainant deliver requests either by postal service or by hand-delivering them to the respondents’ executive director.
11. It is found that, based on the facts and circumstances of this case, the respondents did not violate the FOI Act.
12.  Because there is no violation, no civil penalty is warranted.

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 14, 2012.
__________________________
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:
Bradshaw Smith
23 Ludlow Road
Windsor, CT  06095
Steven F. Mitchell, Chairman, Greater Hartford Transit District;
and Greater Hartford Transit District
c/o Adam M. Kasowitz, Esq.
Day Pitney LLP
242 Trumbull Street
Hartford, CT  06103
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2011-337/FD/cac/3/14/2012