Court Decisions 2015
The Supreme Court upheld the Commission’s decision that two reports resulting from the filing of a formal grievance against a university faculty member did not fall within the exemption in Conn. Gen. Stat. § 10a-154a for “performance and evaluation records.”
The Supreme Court held that the zoning commission improperly discussed, in executive session, taking nonjudicial action in connection with a matter that was not pending in any court or forum, because such discussion did not pertain to "strategy or negotiation with respect to pending claims or pending litigation," under Conn. Gen. Stat. 1-200(6)(B).
A newspaper and reporter requested certain portions of applications for absolute pardons, which, at the time of the request, were not erased pursuant to Conn. Gen. Stat. §54-142a et seq., because the applicant had not yet received an absolute pardon. The Board of Pardons and Paroles (“board”) denied the request, claiming such records were exempt from disclosure on several grounds. By the time of the contested case hearing, the pardon applicants had received absolute pardons from the board and, by operation of law, such records were erased. The Commission concluded that, although the board should have disclosed the applications prior to their erasure, it could not order disclosure of erased records.
The newspaper and reporter appealed to the superior court, arguing that the Commission erred when it failed to order the board to disclose the erased records, in light of the fact that such records were not erased at the time of the request. The court agreed that the board violated the FOI Act when it failed to disclosure the records prior to their erasure, but also agreed with the Commission that once records are erased, the Commission cannot order their disclosure.