Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Raised Bill No. 388

February Session, 2014

 

LCO No. 2156

 

*02156_______JUD*

Referred to Committee on JUDICIARY

 

Introduced by:

 

(JUD)

 

AN ACT IMPLEMENTING THE RECOMMENDATIONS OF THE TASK FORCE ON VICTIM PRIVACY AND THE PUBLIC'S RIGHT TO KNOW.

Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives in General Assembly convened:

Section 1. Subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the 2014 supplement to the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective October 1, 2014):

(b) Nothing in the Freedom of Information Act shall be construed to require disclosure of:

(1) Preliminary drafts or notes provided the public agency has determined that the public interest in withholding such documents clearly outweighs the public interest in disclosure;

(2) Personnel or medical files and similar files the disclosure of which would constitute an invasion of personal privacy;

(3) Records of law enforcement agencies not otherwise available to the public which records were compiled in connection with the detection or investigation of crime, if the disclosure of said records would not be in the public interest because it would result in the disclosure of (A) 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 identity was made known, (B) the identity of [minor] witnesses (i) to a drug offense under chapter 420b, a sexual offense under subdivision (2) of subsection (a) of section 53-21 or part VI of chapter 952 or a crime of violence, (ii) who are under the age of eighteen at the time of witnessing such offense or crime or making a statement to a law enforcement agency concerning such offense or crime, (C) signed statements of witnesses, (D) information to be used in a prospective law enforcement action if prejudicial to such action, (E) investigatory techniques not otherwise known to the general public, (F) arrest records of a juvenile, which shall also include any investigatory files, concerning the arrest of such juvenile, compiled for law enforcement purposes, (G) the name and address of the victim of a sexual assault under section 53a-70, 53a-70a, 53a-71, 53a-72a, 53a-72b or 53a-73a, or injury or risk of injury, or impairing of morals under section 53-21, or of an attempt thereof, or (H) uncorroborated allegations subject to destruction pursuant to section 1-216;

(4) Records pertaining to strategy and negotiations with respect to pending claims or pending litigation to which the public agency is a party until such litigation or claim has been finally adjudicated or otherwise settled;

(5) (A) Trade secrets, which for purposes of the Freedom of Information Act, are defined as information, including formulas, patterns, compilations, programs, devices, methods, techniques, processes, drawings, cost data, customer lists, film or television scripts or detailed production budgets that (i) derive independent economic value, actual or potential, from not being generally known to, and not being readily ascertainable by proper means by, other persons who can obtain economic value from their disclosure or use, and (ii) are the subject of efforts that are reasonable under the circumstances to maintain secrecy; and

(B) Commercial or financial information given in confidence, not required by statute;

(6) Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data used to administer a licensing examination, examination for employment or academic examinations;

(7) The contents of real estate appraisals, engineering or feasibility estimates and evaluations made for or by an agency relative to the acquisition of property or to prospective public supply and construction contracts, until such time as all of the property has been acquired or all proceedings or transactions have been terminated or abandoned, provided the law of eminent domain shall not be affected by this provision;

(8) Statements of personal worth or personal financial data required by a licensing agency and filed by an applicant with such licensing agency to establish the applicant's personal qualification for the license, certificate or permit applied for;

(9) Records, reports and statements of strategy or negotiations with respect to collective bargaining;

(10) Records, tax returns, reports and statements exempted by federal law or the general statutes or communications privileged by the attorney-client relationship, marital relationship, clergy-penitent relationship, doctor-patient relationship, therapist-patient relationship or any other privilege established by the common law or the general statutes, including any such records, tax returns, reports or communications that were created or made prior to the establishment of the applicable privilege under the common law or the general statutes;

(11) Names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school or college without the consent of each student whose name or address is to be disclosed who is eighteen years of age or older and a parent or guardian of each such student who is younger than eighteen years of age, provided this subdivision shall not be construed as prohibiting the disclosure of the names or addresses of students enrolled in any public school in a regional school district to the board of selectmen or town board of finance, as the case may be, of the town wherein the student resides for the purpose of verifying tuition payments made to such school;

(12) Any information obtained by the use of illegal means;

(13) Records of an investigation or the name of an employee providing information under the provisions of section 4-61dd or sections 17b-301c to 17b-301g, inclusive;

(14) Adoption records and information provided for in sections 45a-746, 45a-750 and 45a-751;

(15) Any page of a primary petition, nominating petition, referendum petition or petition for a town meeting submitted under any provision of the general statutes or of any special act, municipal charter or ordinance, until the required processing and certification of such page has been completed by the official or officials charged with such duty after which time disclosure of such page shall be required;

(16) Records of complaints, including information compiled in the investigation thereof, brought to a municipal health authority pursuant to chapter 368e or a district department of health pursuant to chapter 368f, until such time as the investigation is concluded or thirty days from the date of receipt of the complaint, whichever occurs first;

(17) Educational records which are not subject to disclosure under the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, 20 USC 1232g;

(18) Records, the disclosure of which the Commissioner of Correction, or as it applies to Whiting Forensic Division facilities of the Connecticut Valley Hospital, the Commissioner of Mental Health and Addiction Services, has reasonable grounds to believe may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person or the risk of an escape from, or a disorder in, a correctional institution or facility under the supervision of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities. Such records shall include, but are not limited to:

(A) Security manuals, including emergency plans contained or referred to in such security manuals;

(B) Engineering and architectural drawings of correctional institutions or facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(C) Operational specifications of security systems utilized by the Department of Correction at any correctional institution or facility or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system may be disclosed;

(D) Training manuals prepared for correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(E) Internal security audits of correctional institutions and facilities or Whiting Forensic Division facilities;

(F) Minutes or recordings of staff meetings of the Department of Correction or Whiting Forensic Division facilities, or portions of such minutes or recordings, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(G) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of inmates or staff at correctional institutions or facilities; and

(H) Records that contain information on contacts between inmates, as defined in section 18-84, and law enforcement officers;

(19) Records when there are reasonable grounds to believe disclosure may result in a safety risk, including the risk of harm to any person, any government-owned or leased institution or facility or any fixture or appurtenance and equipment attached to, or contained in, such institution or facility, except that such records shall be disclosed to a law enforcement agency upon the request of the law enforcement agency. Such reasonable grounds shall be determined (A) (i) by the Commissioner of Administrative Services, after consultation with the chief executive officer of an executive branch state agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; and (ii) by the Commissioner of Emergency Services and Public Protection, after consultation with the chief executive officer of a municipal, district or regional agency, with respect to records concerning such agency; (B) by the Chief Court Administrator with respect to records concerning the Judicial Department; and (C) by the executive director of the Joint Committee on Legislative Management, with respect to records concerning the Legislative Department. As used in this section, "government-owned or leased institution or facility" includes, but is not limited to, an institution or facility owned or leased by a public service company, as defined in section 16-1, a certified telecommunications provider, as defined in section 16-1, a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, or a municipal utility that furnishes electric, gas or water service, but does not include an institution or facility owned or leased by the federal government, and "chief executive officer" includes, but is not limited to, an agency head, department head, executive director or chief executive officer. Such records include, but are not limited to:

(i) Security manuals or reports;

(ii) Engineering and architectural drawings of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(iii) Operational specifications of security systems utilized at any government-owned or leased institution or facility, except that a general description of any such security system and the cost and quality of such system, may be disclosed;

(iv) Training manuals prepared for government-owned or leased institutions or facilities that describe, in any manner, security procedures, emergency plans or security equipment;

(v) Internal security audits of government-owned or leased institutions or facilities;

(vi) Minutes or records of meetings, or portions of such minutes or records, that contain or reveal information relating to security or other records otherwise exempt from disclosure under this subdivision;

(vii) Logs or other documents that contain information on the movement or assignment of security personnel;

(viii) Emergency plans and emergency preparedness, response, recovery and mitigation plans, including plans provided by a person to a state agency or a local emergency management agency or official; and

(ix) With respect to a water company, as defined in section 25-32a, that provides water service: Vulnerability assessments and risk management plans, operational plans, portions of water supply plans submitted pursuant to section 25-32d that contain or reveal information the disclosure of which may result in a security risk to a water company, inspection reports, technical specifications and other materials that depict or specifically describe critical water company operating facilities, collection and distribution systems or sources of supply;

(20) Records of standards, procedures, processes, software and codes, not otherwise available to the public, the disclosure of which would compromise the security or integrity of an information technology system;

(21) The residential, work or school address of any participant in the address confidentiality program established pursuant to sections 54-240 to 54-240o, inclusive;

(22) The electronic mail address of any person that is obtained by the Department of Transportation in connection with the implementation or administration of any plan to inform individuals about significant highway or railway incidents;

(23) The name or address of any minor enrolled in any parks and recreation program administered or sponsored by any public agency;

(24) Responses to any request for proposals or bid solicitation issued by a public agency or any record or file made by a public agency in connection with the contract award process, until such contract is executed or negotiations for the award of such contract have ended, whichever occurs earlier, provided the chief executive officer of such public agency certifies that the public interest in the disclosure of such responses, record or file is outweighed by the public interest in the confidentiality of such responses, record or file;

(25) The name, address, telephone number or electronic mail address of any person enrolled in any senior center program or any member of a senior center administered or sponsored by any public agency;

(26) All records obtained during the course of inspection, investigation, examination and audit activities of an institution, as defined in section 19a-490, that are confidential pursuant to a contract between the Department of Public Health and the United States Department of Health and Human Services relating to the Medicare and Medicaid programs;

(27) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state, or municipal governmental agency consisting of a photograph, film, video or digital or other visual image depicting the body or any portion of the body of a victim of a homicide, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of [the] personal privacy, [of the victim or the victim's surviving family members.] provided nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit the inspection of such a record in accordance with section 2 of this act;

(28) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state or municipal governmental agency consisting of an audio recording of an emergency 9-1-1 call or other call for assistance that is made by a member of the public when such call (A) relates to a homicide, and (B) captures, conveys or relates to the impaired physical condition of the caller or another person, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, provided nothing in this subdivision shall be construed to prohibit listening to such record in accordance with section 2 of this act;

(29) Any record created by a law enforcement agency or other federal, state or municipal governmental agency consisting of an audio recording that is an operative communication among law enforcement personnel when such communication (A) relates to a homicide, and (B) captures, conveys or relates the impaired physical condition of the caller or another person, to the extent that the disclosure of such record could reasonably be expected to constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, provided nothing in this subsection shall be construed to prohibit listening to such record in accordance with section 2 of this act.

Sec. 2. (NEW) (Effective October 1, 2014) (a) As used in this section:

(1) "Image" means a record described in subdivision (27) of subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, and

(2) "Audio recording" means a record described in subdivision (28) or (29) of subsection (b) of section 1-210 of the general statutes, as amended by this act.

(b) A public agency shall permit any person to view an image or to listen to an audio recording at the office or place of business of such agency during regular office or business hours. In the case of an audio recording, the agency shall, upon request, provide a transcript of the audio recording for a fee not to exceed the cost to the agency of making such transcript.

(c) Whenever a public agency receives a request from any person to copy or receive a copy of any image or audio recording, and the agency reasonably believes that the copying of such image or audio recording could constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy, the agency shall immediately notify in writing, as the case may be, the homicide victim's next of kin or, if an audio recording, any person who is recorded on such audio recording, or the legal representative of such next of kin or person. Nothing in this section shall require an agency to withhold from copying an image or audio recording when the agency does not reasonably believe that such copying would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

(d) A public agency that has provided notice under subsection (c) of this section shall permit the copying of or provide a copy of the image or audio recording as requested, unless it receives a written objection to such copying from the homicide victim's next of kin or any person who is recorded on an audio recording or the legal representative of such next of kin or person, if any, not later than seven business days from the date on which such written notice was sent. Each objection filed under this subsection shall be on a form prescribed by the public agency, which shall consist of a statement to be signed by the person or persons filing the objection, under the penalties of false statement, that to the best of his or her knowledge, information and belief there is good ground to support the objection. Upon the filing of an objection as provided in this subsection, the agency shall not permit the copying of the requested records unless ordered to do so by the Freedom of Information Commission pursuant to section 1-206 of the general statutes. Failure to comply with a request to copy or receive a copy of records under this section shall constitute a denial for the purposes of section 1-206 of the general statutes. If the Freedom of Information Commission orders the public agency to permit the copying of the requested records, said commission shall provide not less than twenty-four hours advance notice of such order to the person or persons filing the objection.

(e) Except as provided in subsection (d) of this section, no public agency shall permit a person to remove, copy or otherwise duplicate an image or audio recording.

(f) Any person who removes, copies or otherwise duplicates an image or audio recording in violation of this section shall be guilty of a class A misdemeanor and each distinct violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) The Legislative Program Review and Investigations Committee shall conduct a study regarding victim privacy and all of its aspects and make recommendations for any necessary legislative changes. On or before January 1, 2015, said committee shall submit its findings and recommendations concerning such study to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration and the judiciary.

This act shall take effect as follows and shall amend the following sections:

Section 1

October 1, 2014

1-210(b)

Sec. 2

October 1, 2014

New section

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

Statement of Purpose:

To implement the recommendations of the Task Force on Victim Privacy and the Public's Right to Know.

[Proposed deletions are enclosed in brackets. Proposed additions are indicated by underline, except that when the entire text of a bill or resolution or a section of a bill or resolution is new, it is not underlined.]