PA 17-86—SB 983

Government Administration and Elections Committee

AN ACT CONCERNING APPEALS UNDER THE FREEDOM OF INFORMATION ACT INVOLVING NOTICE OF MEETINGS

SUMMARY: The Freedom of Information Act generally allows someone to file a complaint with the Freedom of Information Commission within 30 days after being denied the right to attend a public agency meeting. Under prior law, a person who alleged that a public agency held an unnoticed or secret meeting could file a complaint within 30 days after receiving “notice in fact” that a meeting was held. This act changes the deadline to 30 days after receiving “actual or constructive notice” of the meeting.

In a 2017 decision, the Connecticut Superior Court ruled that “notice in fact” means “actual notice to the person filing the appeal.” It rejected the commission's argument that “notice in fact” includes both actual notice and “implied notice” (Lowthert v. Freedom of Information Commission, No. HHB-CV15-6030425-S (Conn. Super. Ct., January 17, 2017)).

EFFECTIVE DATE: October 1, 2017