Hankerson v. Chief, Police Department, City of New Britain
Records compiled in connection with the investigation of crime were exempt from the mandatory disclosure provisions of the Freedom of Information Act pursuant to Connecticut General Statutes §1-210(b)(3)(B), because they contained the signed statements of witnesses. Inmate Rodney Hankerson appealed to the Freedom of Information Commission alleging that the New Britain Police Department and its chief violated the Freedom of Information Act by failing to comply with his request for records pertaining to a docket for a criminal incident of which he was convicted. Thereafter, the respondents delivered several hundred pages of requested records to the commissioner of correction for review pursuant to C.G.S. §1-210(c) and claimed no exemptions for those records. The respondents withheld other responsive records claiming that they were exempt from disclosure under C.G.S. §1-210(b)(3)(A) and (B). The FOIC reviewed the withheld records in camera and found that all of the submitted records were compiled in connection with the investigation of crime. Certain designated records were exempt from mandatory disclosure under C.G.S. §1-210(b)(3)(B) because they contained the signed statements of witnesses. Other designated records were found partially or totally exempt from mandatory disclosure under C.G.S. §1-210(b)(3)(A), as containing the identity of informants not otherwise known or the identity of witnesses not otherwise known whose safety would be endangered or who would be subject to threat or intimidation if their identities were made known. The respondents did not violate the FOIA by withholding the exempt records. Other records with partial exemptions of identifying information were to be redacted and provided to the complainant. The respondents violated the FOIA by withholding the nonexempt portion of the records and were ordered to provide the complainant such records free of charge.