Tuesday, October 23, 2012

State Supreme Court agrees to consider FOI case

The state Supreme Court has agreed to consider a case which will have an impact on reporters' ability to get police reports in a timely fashion.
The Appellate Court recently agreed with the state police’s contention that if they put out a press release, regardless of how little information it contains, they have done enough to comply with state Freedom of Information law.
The Supreme Court will consider whether the Appellate Court's ruling was proper in the coming months.
The New Haven Register had lodged a complaint with the state Freedom of Information Commission after state police refused to release a police report on a near fatal attack on Route 8 in Derby in 2008, when Toai Nguyen severely beat his father. The commission sided with the New Haven Register.
The Department of Public Safety appealed to the Superior Court, and Judge Henry Cohn, a former assistant attorney general, sided with the state police, who were represented by Stephen Sarnoski, a current assistant attorney general. Cohn’s ruling prompted the appeal to the Appellate Court.
The New Haven Register did eventually receive the police report, but it took several months.

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