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From: Jobin-Davis, Camille (DOS)
Sent: Friday, May 06, 2011 2:47 PM
Subject:    Freedom of Information Law - juvenile records

Pursuant to our discussion at the AFDSNY conference, I’ve researched the issue of access to records regarding juveniles.  The following is a copy of Section 784 of the Family Court Act, pertaining to persons in need of supervision:

  §  784.  Use  of  police  records.  All police records relating to the
arrest and disposition of any person under this article shall be kept in  files separate and apart  from  the  arrests  of  adults  and  shall  be  withheld  from  public  inspection,  but  such  records shall be open to  inspection upon good cause shown by the parent, guardian, next friend or  attorney of that person upon the written order of a judge of the  family  court  in  the  county  in which the order was made or, if the person is  subsequently convicted of a crime, of a judge of the court in  which  he  was convicted.

Based on the language in this statute, it is my impression that an arrest record pertaining to a “person in need of supervision” would be only available to those listed in section 784 pursuant to a court order.  This statute protects records pertaining to the arrest and disposition of a person in need of supervision in their entirety, and would not require an agency to redact identifying information and provide access to parts of the record.  See These records, I believe, can be distinguished from records that are more similar to a “police blotter” or a daily log of events, which I believe could be redacted and released at least in part due to their nature, i.e., “blotters” and logs would include information regarding all ages of people.  See the advisory opinion at the following link: Http://docs.dos.ny.gov/coog/ftext/f9455.htm

I hope that you find this helpful.  Please let me know if you have further questions.

Sincerely,

Camille

Camille S. Jobin-Davis, Esq.
Assistant Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
Department of State
99 Washington Ave, Suite 650
Albany NY 12231

Tel: 518-474-2518
Fax: 518-474-1927
http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html