As of September 5, 2022, Freedom of Information Commission meetings and contested case hearings will resume being conducted in person. All parties and witnesses must appear in person for their contested case hearings and Commission meetings. Please access this link or contact the Commission for further information.

Final Decision FIC2011-634
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Rodney Hankerson,
     Complainant
against
Docket #FIC 2011-634
Chief, Police Department , City of New
Britain; and Police Department, City of
New Britain
     Respondents
September 12, 2012

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on July 17, 2012 and August 16, 2012, at which times the complainant and 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 et al, 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 in December 2010, the complainant requested copies of records pertaining to Docket #05-41132, a criminal incident for which he was convicted.
     3.  It is found that on June 10, 2011, the respondents informed the complainant that his request was under review.
     4.  It is found that on August 21, 2011, the complainant again requested the same records from the respondents, and it is found that the complainant renewed his request on September 7, 2011.
     5.  By letter of complaint filed September 29, 2011, the complainant appealed to the Commission, alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information (“FOI”) Act by failing to provide him with copies of the records he requested.
     6.  Section 1-200(5), G.S., defines “public records” as follows:
          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.
     7.  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.
     8.  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.”
     9.  It is concluded that 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.
     10.  Section 1-210(c), G.S., provides, in relevant part:
          Whenever a public agency receives a request from any person confined in a correctional institution … for disclosure of any public record under the Freedom of Information Act, the public agency shall promptly notify the Commissioner of Correction … in the manner prescribed by the commissioner, before complying with the request as required by the Freedom of Information Act. If the commissioner believes the requested record is exempt from disclosure pursuant to subdivision (18) of subsection (b) of this section, the commissioner may withhold such record from such person when the record is delivered to the person's correctional institution ...
     11.  It is found that on July 17, 2012, the respondents notified the Commissioner of Correction in the manner prescribed by the Commissioner, and delivered several hundred pages of requested records to the Commissioner for review pursuant to §1-210(c), G.S.  It is found that the respondents claimed no exemption for such records.
     12.  The respondents claim that other records responsive to the complainant’s request are exempt from disclosure pursuant to §1-210(b)(3)(A) and (B), G.S.  It is found that the respondents did not deliver such records to the Commissioner of Correction for review pursuant to §1-210(c), G.S.
     13.  Section 1-210(b)(3), G.S., exempts, in relevant part:
          Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known, (B) signed statements of witnesses …
     14.  Following the hearing in this matter, the respondents submitted for in camera inspection the records for which they claim an exemption from disclosure.  Such records shall hereby be identified as IC-2011-634-A through IC-2011-634-FFF.
     15.  Upon careful inspection of the in camera records, it is found that all of the records were compiled in connection with the investigation of crime.
     16.  It is found that the following records submitted for in camera inspection are exempt from mandatory disclosure because they contain the signed statements of witnesses:
          IC-2011-634-B (pages 2 and 3); IC-2011-634-C; IC-2011-634-E; IC-2011-634-K (bold print only); IC-2011-634-L; IC-2011-634-N (italics print only); IC-2011-634-O; IC-2011-634-Q; IC-2011-634-R; IC-2011-634-T; IC-2011-634-U (except for photos); IC-2011-634-Y (italics print only); IC-2011-634-Z; IC-2011-634-EE (italics print only); IC-2011-634-HH (bold print only); IC-2011-634-I I; IC-2011-634-JJ; IC-2011-634-LL (bold print only); IC-2011-634-NN; IC-2011-634-PP (bold print only); IC-2011-634-RR (bold print to end of –RR); IC-2011-634-SS; IC-2011-634-TT (bold print to end of -TT); IC-2011-634-UU (bold print to end of –UU); IC-2011-634-VV (italics print to end of -VV); IC-2011-634-WW; IC-2011-634-XX; IC-2011-634-ZZ (bold print to end of –ZZ); IC-2011-634-AAA (italics print only); IC-2011-634-CCC (bold print only);
     17.  It is found that the following records submitted for in camera inspection are exempt from mandatory disclosure because they contain the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identity was made known:
          a. Exempt in entirety:  IC-2011-634- IC-2011-634-M; IC-2011-634-N; IC-2011-634-P; IC-2011-634-HH; IC-2011-634-KK; IC-2011-634-OO; IC-2011-634-QQ; IC-2011-634-WW; IC-2011-634-XX; IC-2011-634-YY; IC-2011-634-AAA; IC-2011-634-DDD (page 4, paragraph 5 only); IC-2011-634-EEE; IC-2011-634-FFF;
          b. Proper name, date of birth, address, phone number and other identifying information as specified:  IC-2011-634-D (also motor vehicle information); IC-2011-634-G (also motor vehicle information, friends’ and relatives’ names and phone numbers); IC-2011-634-K (relative’s address); IC-2011-634-Y; IC-2011-634-AA; IC-2011-634-BB; IC-2011-634-DD; IC-2011-634-FF; IC-2011-634-VV;
          c. Dates of birth, address, phone number:  IC-2011-634-A; IC-2011-634-B; IC-2011-634-F; IC-2011-634-H; IC-2011-634-I; IC-2011-634-J; IC-2011-634-K IC-2011-634-P ; IC-2011-634-X; IC-2011-634-AA; IC-2011-634-BB; IC-2011-634-EE; IC-2011-634-FF; IC-2011-634-MM; IC-2011-634-PP; IC-2011-634-RR; IC-2011-634-TT; IC-2011-634-UU; IC-2011-634-VV; IC-2011-634-ZZ; IC-2011-634-BBB; IC-2011-634-CCC.
     18.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act by withholding the records referenced in paragraphs 16 and 17, above.
     19.  At the conclusion of the second hearing date in this matter, the respondents promised to provide forthwith to the complainant copies of the records that were submitted for in camera inspection with the redactions as indicated in paragraphs 16 and 17, above.
     20.  It is concluded that the respondents violated the FOI Act by withholding from the complainant the records referenced in paragraph 14, above, except for the redactions described in paragraphs 17 and 18, above.
     The following order by the Commission is hereby recommended on the basis of the record concerning the above-captioned complaint:
     1.  If they have not already done so, the respondents forthwith shall provide the complainants with a copy of the records referenced in paragraph 14 of the findings of fact, above, free of charge, except for the information that may be redacted, described in paragraphs 16 and 17 of the findings of fact, above.

Approved by Order of the Freedom of Information Commission at its regular meeting of September 12, 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:
Rodney Hankerson
Garner Correctional Institution
50 Nunnawauk Road
Newtown, CT   06470
Chief, Police Department , City of New Britain;
and Police Department, City of New Britain
c/o Joseph E. Skelly, Jr., Esq. and
Mary C. Pokorski, Esq.
Office of Corporation Counsel
27 West Main Street
New Britain, CT  06051
____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2011-634/FD/cac/9/12/2012