Freedom of Information Act: Public Records Request

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The City of New Haven is committed to the principle that access to public records and meetings of public agencies is critical to good government. To ensure the City’s compliance with the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act (Conn. Gen. Stat. §§ 1-200 et seq.) (“CT-FOIA”) we have established a uniform procedure for (i) requesting access to inspect or receive a copy of public records in the custody of the City and (ii) the City’s response to such requests. With specific exceptions set forth under CT-FOIA, members of the public have the right to inspect and/or receive a copy of public records upon request.

Requests to inspect or copy public records under CT-FOIA shall be submitted to the City in writing or reduced to writing if made orally. Each requester is encouraged to provide the City with a completed Public Records Request Form to ensure a clear and complete understanding of the records requested. Using this form will assure that the City has the information needed to process the request efficiently.

The City of New Haven shall acknowledge receipt of requests and may seek clarification, as necessary. The City Department(s) having custody of the requested record(s) will conduct a search for the records in the ordinary course of business and in the order received. As appropriate and necessary, records will be reviewed to determine whether any or all of the record is exempt from disclosure under CT-FOIA. If the City determines a record, in whole or in part, is exempt, it will provide notice.

The Requester shall reimburse the City at the statutory rate or in accordance with CT-FOIA. The City shall waive the first five dollars ($5.00) of such fees. In the event that the reimbursement amount exceeds ten dollars ($10.00) the Requester shall make payment before the records are delivered. Requesters who are indigent may request a fee waiver. Proof of indigency may be provided on this Affidavit of Indigency form. The CT Department of Corrections may provide proof of indigency for incarcerated persons.

Requesters should be aware that the City receives many requests for information under FOIA, and that City personnel require time to gather and review responsive records. The City works to provide complete responses, but doing so takes time, and patience is requested and appreciated, as these requests are fulfilled.