Missouri is refusing to release forced-resignation letter of DHSS head, claiming unlikely Missouri Sunshine Law exemption. That same former official *might* have been forced to leave due to his agency bungling the Missouri Sunshine case we brought and won.
I just got a definitely not retaliatory $1,095.24 "good-faith deposit invoice" for a #FOIA request that'll ultimately get me a $2 CD with absolutely incredible markup https://www.muckrock.com/foi/tallahassee-10211/fusion-center-mous-moas-and-ndas-northeast-florida-fusion-center-102543/
But in general, #FOIA requesters should not have to meet higher standards for requests for emails than they would for requests for paper records. The burden should be on agencies to have more effective software and policies allowing FOIA officer access to all agency e-records
Livestreaming now: The Office of Government Information Services hosts the #FOIA office of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (#CDC) for a deep dive into the search process for agency-wide electronic records.
If you like what the mere threat of a lawsuit and a tiny bit of social media publicity can do for records access, you are going to loooove what an actual FOIA lawsuit and whole lot of mainstream media publicity are going to do for records access. 😉
RECLAIM THE RECORDS’ LONG-RUNNING LEGAL FIGHT TO OPEN 1.6 MILLION NYC DEATH CERTIFICATES MOVES FORWARD!Hello again from your friends at Reclaim The Records! Today we have an exciting update in our long-running legal battle to (1) acquire and then release to the public about 1.6 million currently-inaccessible NYC death certificates from 1949-1968, totally free, as uncertified digital scans that we want to put online, and (2) strike down some truly awful new rules that heavily restrict public access to twentieth century New York City vital records, even from some of the relatives of the people directly named in the records.This project originally started back in October 2017, when the City held a public hearing at which none of the people in attendance and none of the more than six thousand people nationwide who submitted public comments voiced support for the new and incredibly strict record access rules. But the City went ahead and approved the stricter rule change anyway.Well, that just wouldn’t do. So in February 2019, we sued them.And it was quite a long list of "them". The Respondents in our case include the New York City Department of Mental Health and Hygiene, the New York City Bureau of Vital Statistics; the New York City Board of Health; Oxiris Barbot in her official capacity as New York City Commissioner of Health; Gretchen Van Wye in her official capacity as New York City Registrar; and last but certainly not least, Steven P. Schwartz in his official capacity as former New York City Registrar.We had one court hearing in November 2019 and one in early 2020, before two different judges, facing off with the City over some of the issues. And then the pandemic struck, and things in the New York City court system understandably got put on hold for a while.But now, we’ve got some movement — and, you guys, we don’t want to jinx it, but it seems to be looking promising!Want to read the latest details, and links to all our court paperwork? (There’s a lot of it!) It’s all in our latest newsletter issue!And here it is:mailchi.mp/reclaimtherecords/our-legal-fight-to-open-1-point-6-million-nyc-death-certificates-mov…Fun fact: the 2019 National Genealogical Society conference, which was held in Washington DC, makes a special guest appearance in this one, helping us catch city government officials "astroturfing", or making up fake support for their policies! (See, those overpriced Fleetwood conference session recordings really do come in handy!)Come for the discussion of the City hypothetically suing local cemeteries for supposed privacy invasions, stay for the unexpected "Hamilton" references. Check out our news and let us know what you think! … See MoreSee Less
~ RELEASE THE KRAKEN! ~Reclaim The Records is once again taking on the New York City Department of Records – Municipal Archives, but this time we’re asking for ALLLLL THEIR RECORDS. All of them. Every historical New York City birth, marriage, and death record. Every scan of an old will or deed or tax assessment list or military recruit list. Every everything! We’re going to get them and then put them all online for free, for everyone to use. No fees, no restrictions.We’re sick of the Archives’ illegal and immoral "licensing" and "permissions" con job restricting public access to historical public records. We’re mad that they’re continually ignoring the people and patrons they’re supposed to be serving.And so, we just filed a big brand new Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request with the city, and you can read all about it here, in very copious detail:www.reclaimtherecords.org/records-request/28/Enjoy! And if you have questions, please feel free to ask in the comments below. … See MoreSee Less
This morning, the NYC Department of Records, which is the parent agency of the New York City Municipal Archives, held a public hearing (online, of course) to discuss some horrid new "licensing" and "permission" rule changes that they’re trying to push through.Essentially, they want to force the public to ask for and receive permission from the agency to use any of the public records housed in their building — and then pay the agency for that permission, far above the costs of reproduction. They want to limit your right to re-use and re-publish every historical document, in articles or presentations or books or movies. They even want to take ownership of any new scans or new photographs you take of their records, hand over copies of the negatives to them, and then assign the rights to the new work to the City of New York.It’s all just so utterly bonkers — and illegal.And you might remember that this agency, the Municipal Archives, is the same one whose previous illegal actions restricting public records access under the New York State Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) actually spurred the formation of our organization six years ago. We’ve sued them for records access *twice* since then, both times successfully.For an overview of what their proposed licensing changes are, and why they’re so ridiculous, we recommend reading this from our friends at The New York Genealogical & Biographical Society – NYG&B, who have an excellent explainer about the issue on their website:www.newyorkfamilyhistory.org/access-alertAt this morning’s public hearing, our Reclaim The Records board member, archivist and genealogist Alec Ferretti, used his official public comment time to read the following comment into the official record. (See Image #1)And as an organization, we at Reclaim The Records submitted our slightly less lyrical official comment about their proposed rule change on the New York City rules web portal last night. (See Image #2)The Archives may not have any plans to make the public records they hold more freely available to the public, but we certainly do. We want the records back, and we want them put online — and we also want everybody who’s ever had to pay these obscene and legally unsupported licensing fees for records the Archives doesn’t even own to get their money back. It’s government grift, and we plan to stop it.Stay tuned for some big news in the coming weeks. 😉 … See MoreSee Less
Reclaim The Records is an IRS-recognized 501(c)3 non-profit organization. Our EIN is 81-4985446. Contact us at [email protected]