Court Decisions 2010
Note: The court decisions published here are for the convenience of the public. While every effort is made to assure accuracy, the public is advised that only the original court decisions are official. In this regard, please note that the format of court decisions at this Website may not correspond exactly to the format in the official version of those decisions.
Listed below are court decisions pertaining to appeals of FOI decisions.
Next to each decision listed is a short description of the issue or issues involved in the decision. These descriptions are intended to be used as a general index to assist the public and may not reference every issue in each decision.
To choose a document, click on your selection below.
2010 Court Decisions
The list of court decisions issued in 2010 is updated when the Commission receives such decisions from the courts. These decision documents are in HTML.
2010 Court Decisions
The Supreme Court upheld the FOIC’s decision that the Board of Selectmen violated the notice provision of Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-225(d) and improperly conducted an “emergency meeting.” The Court found that the FOIC has interpreted the emergency meeting provision to mean that an emergency meeting may be held only when there is no time for a special meeting to be posted 24 hours in advance, and that the FOIC’s application of the interpretation to the facts of this case was reasonable.
The Division of Criminal Justice and the City of Hartford filed two appeals concerning companion contested cases which ordered the City to disclose: 1) grand jury subpoenas served on employees of Diggs Construction and employees of the City; and 2) the records produced by said employees in response to the subpoenas. The superior court upheld the FOIC’s decision with regard to disclosure of the subpoenas themselves, concluding that Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-210(b)(10) does not constitute an exemption to the FOI Act’s disclosure requirement. The court agreed with the FOIC that the grand jury statutes, including Conn. Gen. Stat. §54-47e, “do not provide the clear, affirmative statement of confidentiality required to shield [the subpoenas]…from public disclosure….” However, the court reversed the FOIC’s decision with regard to the subpoenaed records, concluding that the records are exempt from disclosure under Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-210(b)(10).
Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission et al.
, HHB-CV-09-4020983S (June 4, 2010); Commissioner, State of Connecticut, Department of Public Safety v. Freedom of Information Commission et al.
, HHB-CV-09-4021543S (June 4, 2010), N.B. Superior Court, Cohn, J.
In this consolidated appeal, the superior court upheld the Commission’s determinations that certain records obtained during the course of a police investigation of a suicide at the MGM Grand Hotel located at the Foxwoods Resort were not exempt from disclosure. The plaintiff argued that portions of the police report containing information about the deceased’s medications were exempt as “medical files,” and that disclosure of such information would constitute an invasion of his privacy. The plaintiff also argued that disclosure of the deceased’s motor vehicle operator’s number would violate Conn. Gen. Stat. §14-10. Finally, the plaintiff argued that disclosure of records it identified as “national criminal history information” would violate Conn. Gen. Stat. §29-164f and 42 U.S.C §14616. In rejecting the plaintiff’s arguments, the court noted that there is established case law contrary to the positions taken by the plaintiff in this case. This decision was appealed and a decision was issued in 2013.
See court and commission decisions posted under "2013 Commission and Court Decisions."
The superior court dismissed the plaintiff’s appeal of the Commission’s final decision that concluded that the Town of Old Saybrook violated the FOI Act by failing to adopt an indigency standard. In essence, the plaintiff argued on appeal that the Commission should have determined that he was indigent, and erred in not doing so, and that the FOIC incorrectly interpreted Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-212(d)(1), by allowing towns to develop their own objective standards.
The defendant Prison Legal News requested records from the plaintiff free of charge, based on its claim that the request for a fee waiver “benefits the general welfare.” The plaintiff denied the request for a fee waiver and the defendants appealed to the Commission. In its final decision, the Commission ordered the plaintiff to provide copies of the requested records free of charge, after it concluded that the plaintiff had no “objective, fair or reasonable basis” for denying the fee waiver request and that it had abused its discretion in doing so. The plaintiff appealed. The court, in sustaining the appeal, concluded that the FOIC had applied the incorrect standard for reviewing the denial of the fee waiver request under Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-212(d)(3).