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Language after 'general' FOIL Denial

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We are fortunate to have a growing list of attorneys experienced in handling FOIL lawsuits as Coalition members. Often times an agency will deny a FOIL request by simply referencing an exemption available under the law without any explanation.
Attorney Anthony Fasano a Coalition member recently suggested adding the following language to your FOIL appeal when receiving a general denial.
We note that the Legislature amended Public Officers Law § 87(2) in 2021 to specifically require that denials of access under FOIL provide a “particularized and specific justification” for records being withheld. Your response does not comport with this requirement. Other than merely citing to two exemptions broadly, you do not particularize and specify the exemptions and their application to this request, thereby preventing a meaningful review on our end.”

The Author

Paul is the founder of the NY Coalition For Open Government and has truly loved seeing it become what it is today and is excited about its future growth.

As an attorney for 32 years, he is a partner in the law firm of Berzer & Wolf. Prior to his private law practice, Paul served in several government positions with the Buffalo Common Council, Buffalo Housing Authority, and Erie County.

When he is not practicing law and doing open government stuff, Paul enjoys spending time with his spouse, Cheryl, and his three children, Michael, Joseph, and Julia. Paul resides in Amherst, NY, a suburb of Buffalo.

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