Effros v. First Selectman, Town of Greenwich
Connecticut General Statutes §1-206(a) does not require a public agency to provide a written response to a request for public records informing the requester that there are no responsive records. On April 29, 2011, the complainant, Bill Effros, sent an 845 paragraph request to inspect records to the respondents, the town of Greenwich and its First Selectman, pertaining to the town's permitting process and appropriation of funds to construct a music instruction space and auditorium for the town's public high school. The respondents acknowledged the request on May 4, 2011. On June 6, 2011, Effros appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the respondents violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying his request. On June 13, 2011, the respondents informed Effros that the applicable files were available for his inspection and copying. The FOIC found that the respondents' May 4, 2011 letter was not a denial of the complainant's request as claimed. The respondents merely acknowledged the request and promised to get back in touch with him after review of his request. The respondents did not deny the request in the June 13, 2011 letter. The complainant was dissatisfied with the respondents' invitation to come in and inspect all applicable files because he believed the respondents had a duty under the FOIA to state affirmatively which of the records described in his request they maintained and which they did not maintain. Connecticut General Statutes §1-206(a) does not require a public agency to provide a written response to a request for public records informing the requester that there are no responsive records. Given the voluminous request to inspect records pertaining to a construction project, the FOIC found that the respondents acted reasonably in providing all applicable files for the complainant's review and inspection and inviting him to review such records at his convenience. The respondents did not deny the complainant's request to inspect records and offered the records for the complainant's inspection in a prompt manner. The respondents did not violate the FOIA as alleged. The complaint was dismissed.