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Final Decision FIC2012-007
In the Matter of a Complaint by
FINAL DECISION
Ricky Nelson,
     Complainant
     against
Docket #FIC 2012-007
Chief, Police Department, City of
Stamford; and Police Department, City of
Stamford,
     Respondents
October 24, 2012

     The above-captioned matter was heard as a contested case on August 7, 2012, at which time 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 on December 21, 2011, the complainant requested copies of three police reports.
     3. It is found that on December 29, 2011, the respondents acknowledged receipt of the complainant’s request.
     4. By letter of complaint filed December 30, 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.
     5. 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.
     6. 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.
     7. 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.”
     8. 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.
     9.  It is found that on February 1, 2012, and on March 14, 2012, the respondents delivered the records requested by the complainant, described in paragraph 2, above, to the complainant’s correctional facility.  It is found that the complainant received such records shortly thereafter.
     10.  It is found that the respondents withheld certain records from those that they provided to the complainant.  The respondents claimed such records are exempt from mandatory disclosure because they are signed statements of witnesses.
     11.  Section 1-210(b)(3)(B), G.S., provides that disclosure is not required of  “[r]ecords 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 … (B) signed statements of witnesses …”
     12.  It is found that the records that the respondents withheld from the complainant are signed statements of witnesses.  It is concluded, therefore, that such records are exempt from mandatory disclosure.
     13.  It is concluded that the respondents did not violate the FOI Act by withholding such records from 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 October 24, 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:
Ricky Nelson #324915
Enfield Correctional Institution
P.O. Box 1500
Enfield, CT  06083
Chief, Police Department, City of
Stamford; and Police Department,
City of Stamford
c/o Burt Rosenberg, Esq.
Assistant Corporation Counsel
City of Stamford
888 Washington Blvd.
Stamford, CT  06901

____________________________
Cynthia A. Cannata
Acting Clerk of the Commission
FIC/2012-007/FD/cac/10/24/2012