Published on: Tuesday, February 16, 2021

In 2020, New York repealed section 50-a of its Civil Rights Law, which shielded police disciplinary records from disclosure under the state’s Freedom of Information Law. After repeal, New York City announced its intention to proactively publish certain types of disciplinary records and provide other records upon request consistent with its obligations under New York’s Freedom of Information Law.

New York Police Union: If our disciplinary files are made public, our members will have a hard time getting jobs! Unanimous Second Circuit panel summary order: The harm is speculative and that sounds like a problem for the union, not the law. Reminder, the public has a legitimate interest in the disciplinary records of police officers, so NYPD cannot bargain away disclosure obligations.

The case is Uniformed Fire Officers Association et al v. DeBlasio, 20-2789 (2d Cir. Feb. 16, 2021).