CGS Sec. 1-225(e) states:
(e) No member of the public shall be required, as a condition to attendance at a meeting of any such body, to register the member’s name, or furnish other information, or complete a questionnaire or otherwise fulfill any condition precedent to the member’s attendance.
Unlike CGS Sec. 1-210(b)(19), CGS Sec. 1-225 of our FOI Act does not have any exemptions or exceptions to 1-225(e)'s provision that allows folks to freely gain access to public meetings.
Remember JAN 13's meeting concerning a gun bill .. they had a metal detector people had to go through ... and made people wait out in the cold and snow for an hour or two?
Making people go through a checkpoint is illegal. Relief can be sought by a letter to the freedom of information commission ( http://www.ct.gov/foi/site/default.asp ) even via an email letter.
By putting in metal detectors at the capitol bldg., they are violating the law. Its your right to enter and exit a meeting w/o being searched or hassled.
If you visit the capitol for a meeting and are subjected to the metal detector treatment, complain...a simple email complaint like:
Freedom of Information Commission
18-20 Trinity St.
Hartford, CT 06106
[date of letter]
Dear Freedom of Information Commission,
On [date] I went to attend a [meeting description] at the capitol bldg located at 210 Capitol Dr., Hartford, CT 06106. Upon reaching the building I was required to go through a metal detector, was forced to wait a long time causing me to miss part of the meeting, and subjected to a set of questions prior to me being able to attend the public meeting.
I believe that the actions taken in not allowing me free access to a meeting violates provisions of the FOI Act and I would like the Freedom of Information Commission to make findings and orders as necessary to insure that I have free access to meetings in the future and for finding(s) and orders that my rights under the FOI Act were violated on the date described above.
name, address, phone
You can email to : firstname.lastname@example.org
Mail it to address noted
Or file it in person [get a file stamped copy if you wish - bring a copy with you] at address above..its across the street from the capitol bldg on Trinity Ave, next to Sec. of State bldg...
It can be hand written .... so if violated, get a piece of paper, write the letter and hand deliver it across the street to the commission if you wish.
Above is a sample letter ... you can change the facts to meet your set of individual circumstances.
We should not have to be searched to go to a public meeting. For ANY reason.
If you refused to go through the metal detectors and they refused you entry (ask if its mandatory-note who said it --- in commission proceedings hearsay is allowed) you can also file a complaint.
Last edited by davidmcbeth; 08-29-2014 at 01:45 PM.