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New laws now in effect in Conn.

Among the new laws in effect in Connecticut as of Monday is one that adds to the factors that the Freedom of Information Commission must consider when determining whether to hear certain appeals brought under the Freedom of Information Act.  It also establishes a procedure under which public agencies may petition the Commission for relief from “vexatious requesters.” Relief may include an order that the agency need not comply with future requests from the requester for a period of up to one year.

 

The measure was introduced by Redding Representative Adam Dunsby, who also serves as Easton First Selectman.


The Commission must consider whether the request or appeal is repetitious or cumulative, any history of nonappearance at commission proceedings or delaying Commission proceedings and any refusals to participate in settlement conferences.  A vexatious history of requests would include the number of requests filed and pending, the scope of the requests, nature of requests and pattern of conduct that amounts to an abuse of the right to access information under FOIA.


Existing law allows the Commission to impose a civil penalty of up to $1,000 if it determines, after a hearing, that someone has taken an appeal frivolously, without reasonable grounds, and solely to harass the agency.

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