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How Do I...

Obtain Records?

To obtain records from a public agency in Connecticut, you must request them from the agency that has those records. You have the right to view public records without obtaining a copy, as well as the right to obtain copies.  The agency may ask you to put your request in writing, regardless of whether you wish to inspect or receive copies.  However, an agency can only require you to put your request in writing if you wish to obtain copies. There is no universal form for making a records request in Connecticut, although some agencies have created one for their own use. Simply articulate what records you seek as succinctly and specifically as possible. Make sure the request is made directly to the department in the agency that has the records. Municipal agencies may charge a maximum of $.50 per page, and state agencies may charge a maximum of $.25 per page. Other fees may be charged for certified copies of public records or for transcriptions, printouts or records on electronic media.

Search For A Prior Decision?

The following are methods of searching the FOIC website. 
Broad Searches
In general, it is recommended that you keep your search terms simple.  For broad search, type your search terms without quotations to maximize the number of results that are about all of the search terms used.  For example, searches using the words public record without quotations will return results containing both public and record anywhere the web pages of the results.  However, such results may not necessarily relate to the phrase public records.
Exact Phrase Searches
You can use quotation marks to search for an exact phrase, e.g., FOI"; City of Hartford"; pending claim"; etc.  You can also use quotations to search for variants of a word.  For example, a search for the term request" in quotation marks will return results containing similar words like requested, requesting, or requester.
Time Ranges

You can specify a specific time range in your search results.  For example, to search and find results containing the word "request" between the period of 2008 and 2010, type "request 2008..2010". 

File an Appeal with the Commission?

An appeal (also referred to as a complaint) must be filed no later than 30 days after an alleged violation of the FOI Act. (See Conn. Gen. Stat. Sec. 1-206(b)(1))  If an appeal concerns an unnoticed or secret meeting, it shall be filed not later than thirty days after the person filing the appeal received actual or constructive notice that such meeting was held.

Consult the FOI statutes or contact the FOI staff if you need to confirm that your claim is indeed a violation of the Freedom of Information Act.

There is no specific form required for filing an appeal with the Freedom of Information Commission. All appeals (complaints) to the Commission must be in writing and shall include the following components:

1. The complainant's name, address, and telephone number.  If available, an email address should also be included.

2.  A concise statement of the relevant facts, including but not limited to  (a) the date of the alleged violation of the FOI Act; (b) the name, title, address, and telephone number, if known, of the public agency and any public agency official alleged to have denied the complainant a right conferred by the FOI Act.

3.  If the complaint concerns the denial of access to public records, a description of, or reference to, the requested records; if the complaint concerns the denial of access to a meeting of a public agency, the date of such meetings.

4.  A copy of any pertinent correspondence or other documents.

5.  An explanation of any unusual circumstances involved in the complaint, to which the Commission shall be expected to direct its particular attention.

6.  See Section 1-21j-28 of the Regulations of State Agencies, for additional details regarding the form of the complaint. 

Your appeal (complaint) must be sent to the Commission by mail, email, or fax:

Freedom of Information Commission
165 Capitol Ave., Suite 1100
Hartford, CT  06105


Fax: (860) 566-6474 

If you have questions regarding the filing of an appeal, please call our office at (860) 566-5682 or toll-free (866) 374-3617.