Agencies Must Detail Disclosure Denials, Judge Rules

, New York Law Journal

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The judge refused.

"Petitioner is asking the Court either to engraft new forms of relief onto the existing statutory scheme, which is a legislative task, or, in effect, to recognize a new cause of action," Palmieri wrote. "[T]he Court instead declares that the existing statute provides all the relief currently available to petitioner."

Newsday was represented by David Schulz and Alia Smith of Levine Sullivan Koch & Schulz.

Nassau County Attorney Carnell Foskey and Deputy County Attorney Jeremy Zenilman represented the police department.

Robert Freeman, executive director of the state Committee on Open Government, said the ruling is significant in its "insistence that the government agency … meet the burden of defending secrecy."

"It is clear that the court found that the agency's mere parroting of the language of exceptions to rights of access, without explaining how and why disclosure would cause interference, harm or jeopardy, was insufficient to deny access," Freeman said. "I believe, too, that the award of attorney's fees is important, for it should serve as intended, as a deterrent to unreasonable denials of access to records."

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