This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
65-21 Main Street Flushing, NY 11367 --------------(339) 222-1500
October 26, 2007 Greg Koster Records Access Officer Associate Dean for Administration and Finance CUNY Law School 65-21 Main Street, Room 210E Flushing, NY 11367 FOIL REQUEST Dear Associate Dean Koster: This is a request under the New York State Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”). Pursuant to Article 6 of the Public Officers Law (N.Y. Pub. Off. Law, Art. 6, Sec. 84) and CUNY Law School’s notice and procedures set forth by the City University of New York relating to requests for copies of information under FOIL, I request copies of the following records1 and information.
1. All reports produced by the Association of American Law Schools (AALS) in 2007 regarding CUNY Law School.
In an effort to facilitate the basic purpose of the Freedom of Information Law, that is that a free society is better maintained by an informed citizenry and an accountable government, I ask that you err on the side of disclosure where at all possible. In the instance where you anticipate denying access to information based on an exemption, please keep in mind FOIL’s goal of broad disclosure and that exemptions are to be construed narrowly. As the Court of Appeals stated in Gould v. New York City Police Department, 89 NY2d 267, 275 (1996):
The term “record” is defined expansively by §86(4) of FOIL as: "any information kept, held, filed, produced, reproduced by, with or for an agency or the state legislature, in any physical form whatsoever including, but not limited to, reports, statements, examinations, memoranda, opinions, folders, files, books, manuals, pamphlets, forms, papers, designs, drawings, maps, photos, letters, microfilms, computer tapes or discs, rules, regulations or codes."
1 of 3
"All government records are thus presumptively open for public inspection and copying unless they fall within one of the enumerated exemptions of Public Officers Law § 87(2). To ensure maximum access to government records, the 'exemptions are to be narrowly construed, with the burden resting on the agency to demonstrate that the requested material indeed qualifies for exemption.' As this Court has stated, '[o]nly where the material requested falls squarely within the ambit of one of these statutory exemptions may disclosure be withheld.’” (internal citations omitted). In addition, I request that you waive any such exemptions and disclose all records requested. Alternatively, if you are compelled to deny access to any record, please do not deny access to entire documents but, rather redact documents to prevent disclosure of the allegedly exempted information and disclose the remaining unexempted portion. Again, in Gould v. New York City Police Department, 89 NY2d 267 (1996) the Court has said that a categorical denial of access to records that can otherwise be disclosed by redacting exempted portions is inconsistent with FOIL. In Gould the Police Department tried to deny “complaint follow up reports” from disclosure as intra-agency materials but the Court held that since the reports contained factual data, full nondisclosure was not justified and that “blanket exemptions for particular types of documents are inimical to FOIL’s policy of open government” (Id., 275). With respect to specific FOIL exemptions, §87(2)(g) requires disclosure of inter-agency or intra-agency materials that are: “i. statistical or factual tabulations or data; ii. instructions to staff that affect the public; iii. final agency policy or determinations; or iv. external audits, including but not limited to audits performed by the comptroller and the federal government…" All of the records requested that may even remotely be considered inter-agency or intraagency memoranda fall either squarely or mostly under one of the above mandatory disclosure categories. Thus, please either waive or do not invoke this exemption. If you do invoke it, please redact the information that allegedly doesn’t fall under one of the above §87(2)(g) categories and disclose the rest of the record. Please certify that any copies of records made pursuant to this request are true copies of such records. Upon failure to locate records, please certify that CUNY Law School is not the custodian for such records or, that after diligent search, the records cannot be found. I agree to pay all necessary costs. Please contact me at 339-222-1500 with any estimated costs before you proceed. Thank you for your time and cooperation.
2 of 3
3 of 3