Bill S1816-2013

Authorizes police agencies to charge fees for searching, copying, and mailing police agency generated records

Authorizes police agencies to charge fees for searching, copying, and mailing police agency generated records.

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  • Jan 8, 2014: REFERRED TO FINANCE
  • Jan 9, 2013: REFERRED TO FINANCE

Memo

BILL NUMBER:S1816

TITLE OF BILL: An act to amend the executive law, in relation to authorizing police agencies to include administrative costs in fees for copies of police agency records

PURPOSE: Enactment of this legislation would authorize police agencies to charge certain fees for searching, copying and mailing police agency generated records.

SUMMARY OF PROVISIONS:

Section 1 amends the executive law by adding a new section 837-s by authorizing local police agencies to charge a fee for searching police agency records, copying said documents, and preparing such documents for mailing. No fee shall be charged for any public officer, board or other specified public entity.

Subsection 2 states that such fee shall be five dollars per request for searches conducted manually, and three dollars for searches undertaken by electronic medium.

Subsection 3 provides that the fee for copies of documents other than accident reports shall be one dollar per page, and the fee for an accident report shall be fifteen dollars.

EXISTING LAW: Current law limits the amount a local police agency may charge fox such records to twenty-five cents.

JUSTIFICATION: Currently a local police department, receiving a Freedom of Information Act (FOIL) request from an insurance company for a copy of an accident report, may only charge a maximum of twenty five cents for a copy of that report. Those persons actually involved in an accident cannot be charged any fee or a copy of the report. Obviously, the costs involved in searching, copying, handling and mailing these documents far exceed the current fee structure.

The State Legislature recognized this inequity in the past, by making an exception to the statutes governing this fee structure, in that section 202.3 of the vehicle and traffic law allows the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles to charge fifteen dollars for a copy of an accident report.

Local governments are under extreme pressure to cut costs and do more with less personnel. It is not unreasonable to provide local police agencies the same fee structure as provided to the NYS Department of Motor Vehicles.

LEGISLATIVE HISTORY: New bill.

FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: None to New York State.

LOCAL FISCAL IMPLICATIONS: Favorable for local governments.

EFFECTIVE DATE: This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after becoming law.


Text

STATE OF NEW YORK ________________________________________________________________________ 1816 2013-2014 Regular Sessions IN SENATE (PREFILED) January 9, 2013 ___________
Introduced by Sens. ESPAILLAT, PERKINS -- read twice and ordered print- ed, and when printed to be committed to the Committee on Finance AN ACT to amend the executive law, in relation to authorizing police agencies to include administrative costs in fees for copies of police agency records THE PEOPLE OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK, REPRESENTED IN SENATE AND ASSEM- BLY, DO ENACT AS FOLLOWS: Section 1. The executive law is amended by adding a new section 837-s to read as follows: S 837-S. FEES FOR COPIES OF POLICE AGENCY RECORDS. 1. EXCEPT AS PROVIDED BY LAW THAT NO FEE SHALL BE CHARGED, LOCAL POLICE AGENCIES MAY CHARGE A FEE FOR SEARCHING THE POLICE AGENCY RECORDS, COPYING THE RESULTING DOCUMENTS, AND PREPARING SUCH DOCUMENTS FOR MAILING AS PROVIDED IN THIS SECTION. PROVIDED, HOWEVER, THAT NO FEE SHALL BE CHARGED ANY PUBLIC OFFICER, BOARD, BODY, AGENCY, OR DEPARTMENT OR VOLUN- TEER FIRE COMPANY, FOR SEARCHES OR COPIES OF DOCUMENTS TO BE USED FOR A PUBLIC PURPOSE. 2. FEES FOR SEARCHES OF POLICE AGENCY RECORDS. (A) THE FEE FOR A SEARCH WHICH IS MADE MANUALLY BY THE POLICE AGENCY SHALL BE FIVE DOLLARS PER REQUEST. (B) THE FEE FOR A SEARCH WHICH IS CONDUCTED BY MEANS OF AN ELECTRONIC MEDIUM SHALL BE THREE DOLLARS PER REQUEST. 3. FEES FOR COPIES OF DOCUMENTS AND PREPARATION FOR MAILING. THE FEES FOR COPIES OF DOCUMENTS, OTHER THAN ACCIDENT REPORTS, SHALL BE ONE DOLLAR PER PAGE. A PAGE SHALL CONSIST OF EITHER A SINGLE OR DOUBLE-SIDE OF ANY DOCUMENT. THE FEE FOR A COPY OF AN ACCIDENT REPORT SHALL BE FIFTEEN DOLLARS. ALL COPIES OF DOCUMENTS SHALL BE CERTIFIED AT NO ADDI- TIONAL FEE. WHENEVER A SEARCH OF RECORDS OF THE POLICE AGENCY IS REQUIRED IN CONJUNCTION WITH A COPY OF A DOCUMENT, THE FEE SHALL BE THE FEE FOR THE SEARCH AS PROVIDED IN SUBDIVISION TWO OF THIS SECTION. THE
RESULT OF SUCH SEARCH WILL BE THE LOCATING OF THE DOCUMENT, OR IF NO DOCUMENT CAN BE LOCATED, A CERTIFICATION TO THAT EFFECT WILL BE THE RESULT OF SUCH SEARCH. THE FEE FOR THE PREPARATION FOR MAILING, IF NECESSARY, SHALL BE TWO DOLLARS PER REQUEST. S 2. This act shall take effect on the sixtieth day after it shall have become a law.

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