|Submitted||Sept. 13, 2020|
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To Whom It May Concern:
Pursuant to the New York Freedom of Information Law, I hereby request the following records:
All records concerning the former prisoner Arfan Butt, born 9/15/1986 with Department Identification Number 09R3872.
These include records that falling into the Department's Subject Matter List categories of Community Supervision; Correctional Facilities; Counsel - Board of Parole; Counsel - Department of Corrections and Community Supervision; Inmate Subjects; Office of Special Investigation; Program Services; and Public Information.
Mr. Butt was widely reported deceased as of 9/12/2020 in Brooklyn. Please see attached PDF. Under New York State Freedom of Interest Law, the Records Access Officer should assume that the balancing test of review favors the public interest in disclosure over the diminished privacy interests of a deceased person.
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 there are fees, 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.
Attached please find correspondence from Department of Corrections and Community Supervision regarding your FOIL Request DOCCS-20-09-104.
If you have any questions regarding your FOIL request, please contact the Department of Corrections and Community Supervision Records Access Office at the
Department of Corrections and Community Supervision
Records Access Office
1220 Washington Ave
Albany, NY 12226-2050
Andrew m. cuomo
ANTHONY J. aNNUCCI
Attached please find the response to your Freedom of Information Law request.
If you do not agree with this decision, you may appeal by contacting the Office of the Counsel, Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, State Campus, Building #9, 1220 Washington Avenue, Albany, New York 12226, in writing.
Assistant Records Access Officer
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To whom it may concern,
I appeal the determination in my FOIL request, assigned identifier "DOCCS-20-09-104," a request for the records of Arfan Butt, deceased former prisoner and a sex offender subject to monitoring by DOCCS.
This response wrongfully states that the request requires permission of the Surrogate Court to obtain records in the possession of DOCCS without citing any precedent (or indeed any law). The grounds for denial are summoned from thin air, and constitute illegal grounds for denial of a lawful FOIL request.
(For the sake of background, Mr. Butt died outside of prison, and this request is not made in contemplation of any claim over a death in custody; stonewalling would not be acceptable even if this were the case, however I acknowledge that DOCCS sometimes stonewalls for this reason.)
I pray that the appeal officer instruct DOCCS staff to comply with FOIL request and release records as they were requested forthwith.
A letter stating that the request appeal has been rejected.