DFTA Must Comply with Landlord's FOIL Request
LVT Number: 19016
(Decision submitted by James R. Marino of the Manhattan law firm of Kucker & Bruh, LLP, attorneys for the landlord.) Landlords submitted a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the Department for the Aging (DFTA), requesting copies of all records contained in DFTA's files in connection with 83 SCRIE tenants. Nine days later, after getting no response, landlords wrote to DFTA's director to appeal what they deemed to be a denial of their FOIL request. Again DFTA didn't respond. Landlords then started a court case to compel DFTA to comply with their FOIL request. For the first time in this case, DFTA claimed that granting landlords' request would violate tenants' privacy. The court ruled for DFTA and dismissed the case. Landlords appealed and won. Public Officers Law required DFTA to grant, deny, or at least acknowledge the FOIL request within five days of receipt. DFTA had violated the law by not responding. The law also required DFTA to respond to landlords' appeal within 10 days, with an explanation for the denial of their request. DFTA didn't do this either. The case was sent back to DFTA so the agency could comply with its obligations under the law.
Rhino Assets, LLC v. NYC Dept. for the Aging, SCRIE Programs: NYLJ, 7/17/06, p. 31, col. 4 (App. Div. 1 Dept.; Mazzarelli, JP, Friedman, Marlow, Sullivan, Catterson, JJ)