July 19, 2016
The staff of the Committee on Open Government is authorized to issue advisory opinions. The ensuing staff advisory opinion is based solely upon the information presented in your correspondence, except as otherwise indicated.
We are in receipt of your request for an advisory opinion relating to the $10.00 fee proposed by the Nassau County Police Department for a copy of an investigative report pursuant to Nassau County Ordinance 116-89.
As you are aware, §87(1)(b)(iii) of the Freedom of Information Law states:
“the fees for copies of records which shall not exceed twenty-five cents per photocopy not in excess of nine inches by fourteen inches, or the actual cost of reproducing any other record in accordance with the provisions of paragraph (c) of this subdivision, except when a different fee is otherwise prescribed by statute.” (emphasis added)
Public Officers Law §66-a(3) states:
“Notwithstanding the provisions of section twenty-three hundred seven of the civil practice law and rules, this chapter, or any other law to the contrary, the county of Nassau, upon adoption of a local law, is hereby authorized to require the police department of the county of Nassau to charge fees for the search and copy of accident reports and photographs. A search fee of ten dollars per accident report shall be charged, with no additional fee for a photocopy. An additional fee of ten dollars shall be charged for a certified copy of an accident report. A fee of fifteen dollars per photograph or contact sheet shall be charged. The fees for investigative reports shall be the same as those for accident reports.”
As such, pursuant to Public Officers Law §66-a(3) and Nassau County Ordinance 116-89, the County is permitted to charge a fee of $10.00 per accident report or per investigative report.
I hope I have been of assistance.
Sincerely, Kristin O’Neill Assistant Director
cc: Bill Hussain, Detective Sergeant