Christopher Robinson and "the program"

Greta Moran filed this request with the Bronx County District Attorney's Office of New York.
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Communications

From: Greta Moran

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to the New York State Freedom of Information Law (1977 N.Y. Laws ch. 933), I hereby request the following records:

I would like all available files pertaining to Christopher Robinson and "the program" of correctional officers on Rikers island.

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 5 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Greta Moran

From: FOILREQUEST (BronxDA)

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has received your request for documents pursuant to New York Public Officers Law, Article 6, sections 84 et seq., the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL").

If you have provided us with all of the necessary information needed to process a request, our Office will initiate the process within five business days. You can expect a determination or update in approximately 30 business days.

If you have not provided sufficient information, our Office will inform you as soon as possible and let you know what additional information we require to process your request.

Please be advised that each page of documents under FOIL has a $0.25 per-page copying fee, $5.00 per audio recording, and $15.00 per video recording. There is no provision in the Public Officers Law for a waiver of these fees. See Whitehead v. Morgenthau, 146 Misc.2d 806, 807-808 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1990).

Thank you for your request and we hope to be of service to you.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOILREQUEST (BronxDA)

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has received your request for documents pursuant to New York Public Officers Law, Article 6, sections 84 et seq., the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL").

If you have provided us with all of the necessary information needed to process a request, our Office will initiate the process within five business days. You can expect a determination or update in approximately 30 business days.

If you have not provided sufficient information, our Office will inform you as soon as possible and let you know what additional information we require to process your request.

Please be advised that each page of documents under FOIL has a $0.25 per-page copying fee, $5.00 per audio recording, and $15.00 per video recording. There is no provision in the Public Officers Law for a waiver of these fees. See Whitehead v. Morgenthau, 146 Misc.2d 806, 807-808 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1990).

Thank you for your request and we hope to be of service to you.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: FOILREQUEST (BronxDA)

The Bronx District Attorney’s Office has received your request for documents pursuant to New York Public Officers Law, Article 6, sections 84 et seq., the Freedom of Information Law ("FOIL").

If you have provided us with all of the necessary information needed to process a request, our Office will initiate the process within five business days. You can expect a determination or update in approximately 30 business days.

If you have not provided sufficient information, our Office will inform you as soon as possible and let you know what additional information we require to process your request.

Please be advised that each page of documents under FOIL has a $0.25 per-page copying fee, $5.00 per audio recording, and $15.00 per video recording. There is no provision in the Public Officers Law for a waiver of these fees. See Whitehead v. Morgenthau, 146 Misc.2d 806, 807-808 (Sup. Ct., N.Y. Co. 1990).

Thank you for your request and we hope to be of service to you.

From: Curbelo, Rafael (BronxDA)

Dear Greta,

We are processing your request. Please bear in mind the case about which you inquired involved 14 defendants and the file consists of 16 boxes. Needless to say, there are a great many documents to sort through. This endeavor will take at least one month. In the end, I hope to have all the documents available on disc. If I had to guess now, it would take approximately 8 discs to accommodate all of the disclosable documents. Since we charge $5.00 per disc, your total cost will be approximately $40.00. I will give you an exact tally once I have finished assembling all the material.

Sincerely,
Rafael Curbelo
FOIL Supervisor
Bronx District Attorney’s Office

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Curbelo, Rafael (BronxDA)

My apologies for not responding to your query sooner. With respect to your FOIL request, I can assure you that it is being processed. As I mentioned in an earlier correspondence, the case file is substantially voluminous to say the least. Sorting through thousands of documents, photos, etc., is a time-consuming, labor-intensive endeavor. Having said that, I hope to have a determination for you by mid-September, with the understanding that that is only my fairest estimate at this juncture. I apologize for the delay and thank you for your patience.

Sincerely,
Rafael Curbelo
FOIL Supervisor
Bronx District Attorney’s Office

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Curbelo, Rafael (BronxDA)

Dear 17687-81419323,

As I indicated in my July 17, 2015 e-mail, we are processing your request and hope to render a final determination by mid-September.

Sincerely,
ADA Rafael Curbelo
FOIL Supervisor
Bronx District Attorney’s Office

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Curbelo, Rafael (BronxDA)

Dear 17687-81419323,

As I indicated in my July 17, 2015 e-mail, we are processing your request and hope to render a final determination by mid-September.

Sincerely,
ADA Rafael Curbelo
FOIL Supervisor
Bronx District Attorney’s Office

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 7, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: Curbelo, Rafael (BronxDA)

Your FOIL request for "All available files pertaining to Christopher Robinson and 'the program' of correctional officers on Rikers island" is granted. All of the available files have been copied onto a disc. Where necessary, documents have been redacted in accordance with Public Officers Law sec. 89(2)(a) and (c)(i) to delete identifying information. Given the nature of the case, i.e., correction officers delegating authority to inmates who in turn meted out physical punishment to other inmates, disclosure of the identities of those individuals who cooperated in the investigation and/or prosecution could potentially cause such persons undue hardship and jeopardize their safety. Indeed, the court permitted the prosecution to bestow aliases uponmany of the cooperating witnesses. Accordingly, identifying information has either been withheld or redacted. See Public Officers Law sec. 87(2)(e)(iii); 87(2)(f); and 89(2)(b)(iv).

All transcripts of grand jury or court proceedings have been withheld. Transcripts/minutes of court proceedings are court records, not agency records, and are not subject to FOIL disclosure. See In re Roque v. Kings County D.A.'s Office, 12 A.D.3d 374, 375 (2d Dept. 2004); In re Dupont v. Kings County D.A.'s Office, 15 A.D.3d 480 (2d Dept. 2005); Matter of Moore v Santucci, 151 AD2d 677, 680 (2d Dept. 1989) ("the respondent is not required to make available for inspection and copying the suppression hearing or trial transcripts of a witness' testimony in its possession, because the transcripts are court records, not agency records"); see also Public Officers Law § 86(3); CPLR § 8002 (stenographers are entitled to a fee for transcribed copies of his or her stenographic notes of testimony or other proceedings taken in a court). "The courts have consistently held that court records are not subject to disclosure under FOIL, even if those court records are possessed by other agencies. See Matter of Mullgrav v. Santucci, 195 A.D.2d 786 [3d Dept. 1993] (Grand Jury minutes in district attorney's possession are not disclosable under FOIL); Matter of Moore v. Santucci, 151 A.D.2d 677 [2d Dept. 1989] (FOIL cannot be used to compel District Attorney's office to disclose trial transcripts; transcripts are court records, not agency records)." Daily News Pub. Co. of Memphis, Tenn. V. Off. of Ct. Admin. of State of N.Y., 186 Misc 2d 424, 427 (N.Y. Co., Sup Ct 2000).

Photographs depicting the deceased in a gruesome or horrific manner (including autopsy photos) have been withheld. See NY Times v. NYC Fire Dept., 4 NY3d 477, 485 (2005) ("surviving relatives have an interest protected by FOIL in keeping private the affairs of the dead"); Edwards v. New York State Police, 44 A.D.3d 1216 (3d Dept. 2007) (crime-scene photographs depicting female victim's bloodied, partially clothed body properly withheld because disclosure would have constituted an unwarranted invasion of the privacy of the victim's surviving family); Buffalo v. Correctional Services, 155 A.D.2d 106, 112 (3d Dept. 1990).

All records originating from the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner pertaining to the homicide have been withheld. Section 557 of the New York City Charter states: "The chief medical examiner shall promptly deliver to the appropriate district attorney copies of all records relating to every death as to which there is, in the judgment of the medical examiner in charge, any indication of criminality. Such records shall not be open to public inspection." Thus, FOIL requests for reports pertaining to autopsies, serological analyses, DNA analyses, etc., must be denied. See Tims v. City of New York, 112 A.D.3d 457 (1st Dept. 2013) (records delivered by the OCME to the D.A.'s Office due to indicia of criminality are to be kept confidential); Katz v. Scott, 236 A.D.2d 259 (1st Dept. 1997) (FOIL request for serology report denied in accordance with NYC Charter § 557[g]); Mitchell v. Borakove, 225 A.D.2d 435 (1st Dept. 1996); Spencer v. New York State Police, 187 A.D.2d 919, 921-922 (3d Dept. 1992) (police entitled to withhold portions of file that described autopsies performed on victims); Moore v. Santucci, 151 A.D.2d 677, 679 (2d Dept. 1989) (autopsy reports exempt from FOIL). The provisions of County Law § 677 are not applicable in New York City. See County Law § 2(a); see also Katz, 236 A.D.2d at 260; Borakove, 225 A.D.2d at 435.

The disclosable records include, but are not limited to: unredacted portions of witness statements, Department of Corrections paperwork, investigating detective's notes, Complaint Follow-Up Reports, photographs.

If you wish to obtain a copy of the compact disc, please send a check or money order for $5.00 made payable to: Bronx District Attorney's Office.

If you wish to appeal any portion of this determination, you must do so within 30 days by writing to: FOIL Appeals Officer Peter Coddington, Bronx District Attorney's Office, 198 East 161st Street, Bronx, NY 10451.

Sincerely,
Rafael Curbelo
FOIL Supervisor
Bronx District Attorney's Office

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