Q. When I was a minor I was sent by the Family Court of New York State to Spofford, a youth detention facility in the Bronx. I want to obtain information contained in my family court records and any records kept by Spofford. Is this allowed under the FOIA?
A. Access to New York court records is governed by Section 255 of the Judiciary Law, not the state's Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL") or the federal Freedom of Information Act ("FOIA"). If you want to obtain court records, you can go to the courthouse where the case took place and request the records in writing from the clerk of the court. As you may know, the Spofford Juvenile Center closed in 2011. I do not know where the institution's records are located now, but you might want to try the New York State Office of Children and Family Services at firstname.lastname@example.org.