The Nassau County Community College Foundation [Foundation] denied Nassau Community College Federation of Teachers, Local 3150’s [Local 3150] request for certain information pursuant to the Freedom of Information Law [FOIL], Public Officers Law, Article 6. Foundation contended that it “is not a governmental agency and, therefore, is not subject to FOIL”.
In response to Local 3150’s Article 78 petition, Foundation moved to dismiss the petition insofar as it was asserted against it. Supreme Court granted Foundation's motion but the Appellate Division reversed the lower court’s ruling and reinstated Local 3050’s petition insofar as asserted against the Foundation.
What is an “agency?” The Appellate Division said that an "agency" is "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," citing Public Officers Law §86.
The court then noted that Nassau Community College [College] is a public college, chartered under Education Law Article 126, sponsored and partially funded by Nassau County, and Foundation is a not-for-profit corporation created in 1979 to support the College's mission.
As to Foundation’s motion to dismiss Local 3150’s petition with respect to it, the Appellate Division said that Foundation had the burden to provide documentary evidence that "utterly refute[d] [Local 3150’s] factual allegations, conclusively establishing a defense as a matter of law.