A recent revelation confirms NYPD has unrestricted access to sealed records. Reportedly for a number of reasons including the apprehension of suspects and investigation. This access to sealed records confirmed in a recent email by the city attorney. The access to sealed records is also used for the licensing of hand guns. Another attorney has claimed the disclosure as alarming. These recent issues have been unearthed as a result of a lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges a ‘summons quota system’ in The New York police Department detailing email exchanges. Further a dispute as to who exactly can have access to sealed records following the dismissal of charges.

The attorney represents individuals who were in receipt of around 850,000 summonses. A judge had dismissed the summonses due to them being legally insufficient. The attorney further commented that laws that underpinned sealed records were in place to remove stigmas of possible criminal conduct. Documents filed in Manhattan Federal Court confirmed the exchange. The city has now been ordered to carry out a statistical analysis of the summonses in question. This in order to confirm why they were dismissed. NYPD has commented that it’s access to sealed records was carried out with utmost care. Also stating that authorization was sought by plaintiffs and the court prior to accessing sealed records.

If you require access to sealed records for your own benefit or clarification a visit to the Central Clerk’s Office is required. However the above link confirms procedure for any one other than the defendant. Should any one asides from the defendant require your sealed records they need an unsealing order from a Supreme Court Judge. Unsealing orders, by statute, are made available solely under certain circumstances.

New York State Executive Law defines “qualified agencies” eligible to access arrest records history. Every organization or agency who has authority to access criminal records relies on a contract with DCJS. These contracts are known and referred to as a Use and Dissemination Agreement. The agreement details the responsibilities of DCJS along with those authorized to access.

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