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THE CITY v. The New York City Police Department

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  1. Freedom of Information

Case Number: 161633

Court: New York Supreme Court

Clients: THE CITY, Yoav Gonen

Lawsuit Filed: Nov. 29, 2023

Background: In August 2022, Yoav Gonen, a reporter for THE CITY, a nonprofit news outlet in New York City, filed a public records request under New York’s Freedom of Information Law seeking records from the New York City Police Department related to police misconduct.

One year later, the NYPD denied Gonen’s request. The police department claimed that the request is unduly burdensome, and that the records at issue are protected from disclosure under the state’s public records law.

On behalf of Gonen and THE CITY, attorneys from the Reporters Committee and Davis Wright Tremaine LLP sued the NYPD for unlawfully withholding the records. The lawsuit argues that the request is not unduly burdensome and that the records are not exempt from disclosure under the state’s public records law.

Quote: “Access to these records is necessary for Petitioners to provide the public with in-depth reporting about how the NYPD — the largest municipal police force in the U.S. — handles investigations into allegations of misconduct and issues discipline,” Reporters Committee attorneys argued in a brief filed in support of THE CITY’s lawsuit.

Related: In 2020, New York lawmakers repealed Section 50-a of New York’s Civil Rights Law, a controversial provision long used to shield police misconduct records from public scrutiny. Following the repeal, the Reporters Committee filed friend-of-the-court briefs in support of efforts to access police misconduct records after police and firefighters unions moved to challenge the release and publication of officer disciplinary records in court.


2023-11-29: Verified petition

2023-11-29: Memorandum of law in support of verified petition

2023-11-29: Exhibit 1

2023-11-29: Exhibit 2

2023-11-29: Exhibit 3

2023-11-29: Exhibit 4

2023-11-29: Exhibit 5

2023-11-29: Exhibit 6

2023-11-29: Exhibit 7

2023-11-29: Notice of petition

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