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Final Decision FIC2011-421
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Anthony Lazzari,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2011-421
Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services and
Public Protection; and State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services and
Public Protection,
     Respondents
May 23, 2012

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on December 20, 2011, at which times 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 15, 2011, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by denying his request for copies of certain police records.
     3.  It is found that, by letter dated July 27, 2011, the complainant requested certain records relating to a July 19, 2011 incident. The complainant requested a fee waiver on the grounds of his indigence, and attached a Superior Court application for waiver of fees.
     4. It is found that the complainant was aware that the respondents used a different fee waiver application, and that he had received that application in connection with a different request. However, the complainant did not submit the respondent’s application to the respondent, but only the Superior Court’s.
     5. It is found that the two fee waiver applications, the respondents’ and the Superior Court’s, request similar information concerning assets, income and liabilities. However, the respondents’ application additionally requires supporting documentation, as well as an affidavit swearing to the truth of the information submitted.
     6.  It is found that, by letter dated July 29, 2011, the respondents acknowledged the complainant’s July 27 request, and indicated that his request would be processed upon receipt of the $16.00 fee authorized by §29-10b, G.S., which provides:
          The Commissioner of Public Safety shall charge the following fees for the item or service indicated:
          (1) Each search of the record files made pursuant to a request for a copy of an accident or investigative report which results in no document being produced, six dollars, and on and after July 1, 1993, sixteen dollars.
          (2) Each copy of an accident or investigative report, six dollars, and on and after July 1, 1993, sixteen dollars.
     7.  It is found that the complainant neither remitted the $16.00 fee, nor submitted the respondents’ fee waiver application.
     8.  The complainant maintains that he assumed that he did not need to submit the respondents’ fee waiver application because the respondents did not send one to him on this occasion, nor indicate that one was required.
     9.  It is found, however, that the complainant was aware of the respondents’ fee waiver process, and deliberately disregarded it. In this regard, the Commission notes that the complainant exhibited the same intransigence in complying with the City of Waterbury’s fee waiver process in docket #FIC 2010-519, Albright and Lazarri v. Waterbury Police Department.
     10.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act as alleged.
     11. It is further found that the complainant’s behavior in bringing this case to a hearing rather than submit the appropriate documentation to the respondents was frivolous and unreasonable.

     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.
     2. The complainant is cautioned that the Commission will take into consideration both this case and docket #FIC 2010-519, above, should the complainant file future complaints based upon his own failure to submit the proper documentation of an indigence claim, and that appropriate sanctions may apply.
Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of May 23, 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:

Anthony Lazzari
132 Rock Creek Road
New Haven, CT  06515

Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services and
Public Protection; and State of Connecticut,
Department of Emergency Services and
Public Protection
c/o Stephen R. Sarnoski, Esq.
Assistant Attorney General
Office of the Attorney General
Public Safety Department
110 Sherman Street
Hartford, CT  06105
_______________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission

FIC/2011-292/FD/cac/5/23/2012