Garlasco v. Freedom of Information Commission
Connecticut General Statutes §1-211 does not require that a municipality conduct the municipality's banking online. The plaintiff, Paul Garlasco, requested copies of cancelled checks, and the Town of Bridgewater denied his request. Garlasco appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission, which found that the municipality did not keep copies of the cancelled checks. In January 2010, Garlasco filed a second request for copies of the cancelled checks. The town denied Garlasco's second request, and he filed another appeal to the Freedom of Information Commission. The first selectman's representative testified that the municipality did not possess the ability to "print out checks from online," as Garlasco requested. The town discovered its former bank kept records for 18 months, and it provided Garlasco with pertinent records for the 18 months. Garlasco subpoenaed a representative of that bank's successor financial institution, and it also provided some records that Garlasco requested. Garlasco argued that the municipality violated C.G.S. §1-211, because it refused to conduct the municipality's banking online. The Freedom of Information Commission found that C.G.S. §1-211 does not require that the municipality conduct the municipality's banking online. Garlasco appealed to the Connecticut Superior Court and argued that the commission wrongly interpreted C.G.S. §1-211. The court distinguished cases that Garlasco cited, in which the requestor sought information that already existed in the public agency's computer. "The plaintiff," wrote the court, "incorrectly argues that Conn. Gen. Stat. §1-211 requires a public agency to establish and maintain an online banking relationship with its financial institution." The court dismissed Garlasco's appeal.