Connecticut Seal

General Assembly

 

Bill No. 5303

February Session, 2012

 

LCO No. 1396

 

*01396__________*

 

Referred to Committee on No Committee

 

Introduced by:

 

REP. DONOVAN, 84th Dist.

SEN. WILLIAMS, 29th Dist.

 

AN ACT CONCERNING THE EXEMPTION FROM DISCLOSURE OF CERTAIN ADDRESSES UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT.

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

Section 1. Section 1-217 of the general statutes is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective from passage):

(a) No public agency may disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, the residential address of any of the following persons:

(1) A federal court judge, federal court magistrate, judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court of the state, or family support magistrate;

(2) A sworn member of a municipal police department, a sworn member of the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a sworn law enforcement officer within the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection;

(3) An employee of the Department of Correction;

(4) An attorney-at-law who represents or has represented the state in a criminal prosecution;

(5) An attorney-at-law who is or has been employed by the Division of Public Defender Services or a social worker who is employed by the Division of Public Defender Services;

(6) An inspector employed by the Division of Criminal Justice;

(7) A firefighter;

(8) An employee of the Department of Children and Families;

(9) A member or employee of the Board of Pardons and Paroles;

(10) An employee of the judicial branch;

(11) An employee of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services who provides direct care to patients; or

(12) A member or employee of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

(b) The business address of any person described in this section shall be subject to disclosure under section 1-210. The provisions of this section shall not apply to Department of Motor Vehicles records described in section 14-10.

(c) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the disclosure without redaction of any document, as defined in section 7-35bb, any list prepared under title 9, or any list published under section 12-55.

Sec. 2. Section 1-217 of the general statutes, as amended by section 1 of this act, is repealed and the following is substituted in lieu thereof (Effective June 1, 2012):

(a) No public agency may disclose, under the Freedom of Information Act, from its personnel, medical or similar files, the residential address of any of the following persons employed by such public agency:

(1) A federal court judge, federal court magistrate, judge of the Superior Court, Appellate Court or Supreme Court of the state, or family support magistrate;

(2) A sworn member of a municipal police department, a sworn member of the Division of State Police within the Department of Emergency Services and Public Protection or a sworn law enforcement officer within the Department of Energy and Environmental Protection;

(3) An employee of the Department of Correction;

(4) An attorney-at-law who represents or has represented the state in a criminal prosecution;

(5) An attorney-at-law who is or has been employed by the Division of Public Defender Services or a social worker who is employed by the Division of Public Defender Services;

(6) An inspector employed by the Division of Criminal Justice;

(7) A firefighter;

(8) An employee of the Department of Children and Families;

(9) A member or employee of the Board of Pardons and Paroles;

(10) An employee of the judicial branch;

(11) An employee of the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services who provides direct care to patients; or

(12) A member or employee of the Commission on Human Rights and Opportunities.

(b) The business address of any person described in this section shall be subject to disclosure under section 1-210. The provisions of this section shall not apply to Department of Motor Vehicles records described in section 14-10.

(c) (1) Except as provided in subsections (a) and (d) of this section, no public agency may disclose the residential address of any person listed in subsection (a) of this section from any of its records, regardless of whether such person is an employee of the public agency, provided such person has (A) submitted a written request for the nondisclosure of the person's residential address to the public agency, and (B) furnished his or her business address to the public agency.

(2) Any public agency that receives a request for a record subject to disclosure under this chapter where such request (A) specifically names a person who has requested that his or her address be kept confidential under subdivision (1) of this subsection, shall make a copy of the record requested to be disclosed and shall redact the copy to remove such person's residential address prior to disclosing such record, (B) is for an existing list that is derived from a readily accessible electronic database, shall make a reasonable effort to redact the residential address of any person who has requested that his or her address be kept confidential under subdivision (1) of this subsection prior to the release of such list, or (C) is for any list that the public agency voluntarily creates in response to a request for disclosure, shall make a reasonable effort to redact the residential address of any person who has requested that his or her address be kept confidential under subdivision (1) of this subsection prior to the release of such list.

[(c)] (d) The provisions of this section shall not be construed to prohibit the disclosure without redaction of any document, as defined in section 7-35bb, any list prepared under title 9, or any list published under section 12-55.

(e) No public agency or public official or employee of a public agency shall be penalized for violating a provision of this section, unless such violation is wilful and knowing. Any complaint of such a violation shall be made to the Freedom of Information Commission. Upon receipt of such a complaint, the commission shall serve upon the public agency, official or employee, as the case may be, by certified or registered mail, a copy of the complaint. The commission shall provide the public agency, official or employee with an opportunity to be heard at a hearing conducted in accordance with the provisions of chapter 54, unless the commission, upon motion of the public agency, official or employee or upon motion of the commission, dismisses the complaint without a hearing if it finds, after examining the complaint and construing all allegations most favorably to the complainant, that the public agency, official or employee has not wilfully and knowingly violated a provision of this section. If the commission finds that the public agency, official or employee wilfully and knowingly violated a provision of this section, the commission may impose against such public agency, official or employee a civil penalty of not less than twenty dollars nor more than one thousand dollars. Nothing in this section shall be construed to allow a private right of action against a public official or employee of a public agency.

Sec. 3. (Effective from passage) Not later than sixty days after the effective date of this section, the Labor Department shall, within available appropriations, create a guide that instructs protected employees listed in section 1-217 of the general statutes, as amended by this act, how to exercise their rights under said section, and that includes methods for protecting their addresses from disclosure. Once the department has completed such guide, the department shall post such guide on the department's Internet web site.

Sec. 4. (Effective from passage) (a) The joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration shall establish an advisory committee to study whether there are alternatives to permitting the disclosure without redaction of certain records under subsection (c) of section 1-217 of the general statutes, as amended by this act. The members of the advisory committee shall be appointed by the chairpersons of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration. Said chairpersons shall appoint two chairpersons of the advisory committee from among the members of the advisory committee.

(b) The administrative staff of the joint standing committee of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration shall serve as administrative staff of the advisory committee.

(c) Not later than January 1, 2013, the advisory committee shall submit a report on its findings and recommendations to the joint standing committees of the General Assembly having cognizance of matters relating to government administration, planning and development and public safety, in accordance with the provisions of section 11-4a of the general statutes. The advisory committee shall terminate on the date that it submits such report or January 1, 2013, whichever is later.

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

Section 1

from passage

1-217

Sec. 2

June 1, 2012

1-217

Sec. 3

from passage

New section

Sec. 4

from passage

New section