by Mark Sommaruga | Pullman & Comley – School Law
Although it is known as the “Sunshine Law,” the idea of summer fun is usually not synonymous with the Freedom of Information Act [“FOIA”]. Nevertheless, as we lament the passing of time (and loss of daylight), Connecticut’s Freedom of Information Commission [“FOIC”] issued intriguing decisions during the summer that provide teachable moments, such as the following:
- Must we still give a document to someone who already has it? Yes. In Smith v. President, Board of Education, Windsor Public Schools, #FIC 2014-831 (August 12, 2015), a noted FOIA gadfly asserted that a board of education violated the FOIA when it denied his request for a copy of a handout that was distributed at a prior board meeting. The board asserted that this person was present at the meeting, and indeed received a copy of the document in question (along other members of the public). The FOIC found that the board violated the FOIA, noting that even if a complainant has received a copy of a document previously, it does not relieve an agency of its obligation to produce a copy when it is requested (again).
Lesson? The right to copies of public records exists [Read More]