Lazzari v. Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection
The complainant's behavior in filing a complaint and bringing it to a hearing based on his own failure to submit proper documentation for a claim of indigence was frivolous and unreasonable. Anthony Lazzari appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the respondents, including the Legal Affairs Unit, State of Connecticut, Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection, violated the Freedom of Information Act by denying his request for copies of certain police records. The FOIC found that the complainant requested a fee waiver on the grounds of indigence and submitted a Superior Court application for waiver of fees. The complainant was aware that the respondents used a different fee waiver application. He received that application in connection with a different request. The Superior Court and respondents' fee waiver applications request similar information concerning assets, income and liabilities. However, the respondents' application additionally requires supporting documentation and an affidavit swearing to the truth of the information submitted. The respondents indicated that the request would be processed upon receipt of the $16.00 fee authorized by C.G.S. §29-10b. The complainant did not remit the fee or submit the appropriate waiver application. The FOIC found that the complainant was aware of the respondents' fee waiver process and deliberately disregarded it. The FOIC noted that the complainant exhibited the same intransigence in complying with the city of Waterbury's fee waiver process in a prior case. The respondents did not violate the FOIA as alleged. The complaint was dismissed. The complainant's behavior in bringing this case to a hearing rather than submit the appropriate documentation to the respondents was found frivolous and unreasonable. The complainant was cautioned that the FOIC will take both of his cases into consideration should he file future complaints based on his own failure to submit the proper documentation of an indigence claim and that sanctions may apply.