FOIA Advisor

Q&A: criminal case records from District Attorney (NYC)

Q&A (2015-16)Allan BlutsteinComment

Q.   I am trying to get the full details of a criminal case which took place in New York City last year. I was able to go to the courthouse and copy a limited amount of files, but I was unable to get the “Evidence” that the District Attorney brought forth against the Defendant. They said that was all back at the DA’s office. The people at the DA’s office were not helpful. 

A.  You may wish to submit a Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request to the District Attorney's office in question.  Although D.A. offices are subject to FOIL, please note that certain records such as grand jury minutes, trial transcripts, and physical evidence are exempt.  For further information about FOIL, you may wish to consult the web site of the New York Department of State's Committee on Open Government, which has issued FAQs about making FOIL requests, as well as advisory opinions categorized by topic (e.g., Court Records; District Attorney).  For your convenience, here is the contact information for each District Attorney's office in New York City:  Manhattan; Bronx; Brooklyn; Staten Island; and Queens.