Four month wait for records is too long

2009 September 15
by Attorney Mark Dumas

It must be prisoner FOI week over at the Law Tribune, because we have a second inmate records request decision in this week’s issue.  In fact, it is the same inmate.   In this request, the inmate wanted questions answered about a policy that forbids prisoners from wearing boots.  He also wanted a copy of the policy, which he was given four months after his request.

So what did the FOIC have to say about this frequent fliers appeal?

First the bad news for the DOC.  The four month delay did not comply with the FOIA’s promptness provisions of General Statutes §§ 1-210(a) and 1-212(a). But what about the good news? They don’t have to answer questions about the policy.  The FOIA does not force the DOC to answer the inmates questions.  That would require creation of new records and the Freedom of Information Act only applies to records that have already been created.

The case was Elliot v. McGill, Doc. No. FIC 2008-601.  You can read it here.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. 2009 September 17
    Record finder permalink

    Working for a government department I often have to respond to FOI requests. Things would change from state to state but there will be some free categories of request in SA these are MPs, students,pensioners etc and they get $1000 worth of service free. Total costs.

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