From: Robert Freeman
Date: 6/7/01 10:29AM


I have received your letter in which asked whether "the appearance schedule of defendants can be
inspected prior to the commencement of court."

While the Freedom of Information Law does not apply to the courts, other statutes frequently
grant broad rights of access to court records. An "appearance schedule" is likely the equivalent
(or may be) a docket, and section 255-b of the Judiciary Law states that "A docket-book, kept by
a clerk of a court, must be kept open, during the business hours fixed by law, for search and
examination by any person." In addition, assuming that most of the courts of your interest are
town and village justice courts, section 2019-a of the Uniform Justice Court Act, entitled
"Justices' criminal records and docket" provides in relevant part that: "The records and dockets
of the court except as otherwise provided by law shall be at reasonable times open for inspection
to the public..."

In short, the kind of record in which you are interested must in my view be disclosed pursuant to
statutes other than the Freedom of Information Law.

I hope that I have been of assistance.

Robert J. Freeman
Executive Director
NYS Committee on Open Government
41 State Street
Albany, NY 12231
(518) 474-2518 - Phone
(518) 474-1927 - Fax
Website -