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Thomas Swartz
Thomas Swartz, Attorney
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Experience:  Twenty one years experience as a lawyer in New York and New Jersey. Former Appellate Law Clerk.
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When you FOIL a Village (Nyack,NY 10960) How long should you

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When you FOIL a Village (Nyack,NY 10960) How long should you have to answer? Jerry

The rules are a little complicated.

After you submit a Freedom of Information request, the village has 5 business days to grant or deny the request in whole or in part, or acknowledge the receipt of the request. When an acknowledgment is given, it must include an approximate date within 20 business days indicating when it can be anticipated that the request will be granted or denied. However, if it is known that circumstances prevent the village from granting access within 20 business days, or if the village cannot grant access by the approximate date given and needs more than 20 business days to grant access, it must provide a written explanation of its inability to do so and a specific date by which it will grant the request. And this date must be reasonable in consideration of the circumstances of the request.

This is provided for in New York Public Officer's Law § 89(3)(a), which provides in relevant part as follows:

3. (a) Each entity subject to the provisions of this article, within

five business days of the receipt of a written request for a record

reasonably described, shall make such record available to the person

requesting it, deny such request in writing or furnish a written

acknowledgment of the receipt of such request and a statement of the

approximate date, which shall be reasonable under the circumstances of

the request, when such request will be granted or denied, including,

where appropriate, a statement that access to the record will be

determined in accordance with subdivision five of this section.

f circumstances prevent disclosure to the person requesting the record or

records within twenty business days from the date of the acknowledgment

of the receipt of the request, the agency shall state, in writing, both

the reason for the inability to grant the request within twenty business

days and a date certain within a reasonable period, depending on the

circumstances, when the request will be granted in whole or in part.

I hope this answers your question. Let me also refer you to the Committe on Open Government for a full explanation of the time limits.


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