December 10, 2010

Responding to Freedom of Information requests

Responding to Freedom of Information requests
McKethan v NY-NJ Port Authority, Appellate Division, First Dept., 277 AD2d 15

William McKethan obtained a court order pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law directing the New York-New Jersey Port Authority [New York Branch] to provide him with certain information. In a subsequent proceeding, State Supreme Court Judge Paula Omansky determined that the Authority had adequately respond[ed] to the court’s prior order. Not satisfied with the court’s determination, McKethan appealed.

The Appellate Division sustained Judge Omansky’s decision, holding that the Authority adequately established the nonexistence of additional records requested by [McKethan].

The reasoning of the court:

Once the Authority’s records access officer certified that respondent had provided McKethan with all responsive documents in its possession, McKethan was required to articulate a demonstrable factual basis to support his contention that the [further] requested documents existed and were within the [Authority’s] control.

Citing Gould v New York City Police Department, 89 NY2d 267, in support of its position, the Appellate Division ruled that McKethan has not met that burden.
NYPPL

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