June 2, 1994
Mr. John W. Kane
RR#3 Box 165
Gloversville, NY 12078
The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to
issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is
based solely upon the facts presented in your correspondence.
Dear Mr. Kane:
I have received your letter of May 2 in which you questioned
the propriety of a fee of fifty cents per photocopy assessed by a
In this regard, county clerks perform a variety of functions,
some of which involve county records that are subject to the
Freedom of Information Law, others of which may be held in the
capacity as clerk of a court. Further, as you may be aware, under
the Freedom of Information Law, an agency may charge up to twenty-five cents per photocopy, "except when a different fee is otherwise
prescribed by statute". In the case of fees that may be assessed
by county clerks, §§8018 through 8021 of the Civil Practice Law and
Rules require that county clerks charge certain fees in their
capacities as clerks of court and other than as clerks of court.
Since those fees are assessed pursuant to statutes other than the
Freedom of Information Law, the fees may exceed those permitted
under the Freedom of Information Law. Section 8019 of the Civil
Practice Law and Rules provides in part that "The fees of a county
clerk specified in this article shall supersede the fees allowed by
any other statute for the same services...".
Lastly, §8019(f) of the Civil Practice Law and Rules, entitled
"Copies of records", states in relevant part that:
"The following fees, up to a maximum of thirty
dollars per record shall be payable to a
county clerk or register for copies of the
records of the office except records filed
under the uniform commercial code:
1. to prepare a copy of any paper or record on
file in his office, except as otherwise
provided, fifty cents per page with a
minimum fee of one dollar."
I hope that the foregoing serves to clarify your understanding
of the matter.
Robert J. Freeman
cc: Fulton County Clerk