April 24, 1995
Mr. Stephen R. Grant
Gowanda Correctional Facility
P.O. Box 311
Gowanda, NY 14070-0311
Dear Mr. Grant:
I have received your letter of April 12 in which you asked that I inform your of the law or citation that governs disclosure of documents of the Erie County Bar Association Aid to Indigent Prisoners Society Inc.
In this regard, there is likely no law or citation that deals directly with disclosure of the records of the entity in question. I point out that the Freedom of Information Law pertains to agency records and that §86(3) of that statute defines the term "agency" to mean:
"any state or municipal department, board, bureau, division, commission, committee, public authority, public corporation, council, office or other governmental entity performing a governmental or proprietary function for the state or any one or more municipalities thereof, except the judiciary or the state legislature."
Based upon the foregoing, the Freedom of Information Law generally pertains to records maintained by entities of state and local government.
A bar association in my view is not a governmental entity. Therefore, I do not believe that it would be subject to the Freedom of Information Law. Further, I know of no other provision of law that would require such an entity to disclose its records to the public. I hope that the foregoing serves to clarify your understanding of the matter.
Robert J. Freeman