Niemeyer v. Madison, CT Police Department

About the Case

Since 2020, MFIA has been working to access Madison Police Department records relating to a homicide investigation. Barbara Hamburg was tragically murdered nearly a decade ago and, despite thorough law enforcement efforts in the aftermath of the homicide, the case has been cold for years. MFIA represents Anike Niemeyer, a documentary filmmaker who is working with the victim's son to make a film about his mother's murder. Niemeyer sought access to the Police Department's investigative file on the case pursuant to the Connecticut Freedom of Information Act.

Connecticut's FOIA requires disclosure of these records unless their release would prejudice a prospective law enforcement action. In February 2020, clinical students Sara Sampoli ’20 and Jake van Leer ’20 argued against the application of this exemption to these investigatory records at a fact-finding hearing before a Freedom of Information Commissioner.

On August 26, 2020, the Freedom of Information Commission issued a decision ordering the Police Department to produce all of the requested records. On August 13, 2021, the Superior Court for the District of New Britain affirmed the Commission's decision.

The matter is currently on appeal before the Connecticut Supreme Court. Clinical student Stephanie Rice '23 will represent MFIA's client at oral argument during the Fall 2022 semester.

Key Documents

Connecticut Freedom of Information Commission

Complainant's Brief

Complainant's Reply Brief

Respondent's Post Hearing Brief

Respondent's Reply Brief

Freedom of Information Commission Decision

Superior Court

Memorandum of Decision

Connecticut Supreme Court

Appellants' Brief

Appellee's Brief

Appellants' Reply