Robert Galbraith

Does anyone have any experience getting records of applications for warrants or pen register orders from district attorneys?

My request to the Erie County (NY) DA ( for court orders to use cell site simulators was just returned with “no responsive documents,” even though I know that in at least once instance the DA sought and obtained a pen register order.

The denial is phrased oddly, at first seeming like they were going toward asserting a privacy exemption before flatly denying that they even maintain those kinds of records. I’m wondering if the phrasing of my request left some kind of loophole for them or if they are just being cagey. The request was phrased:

Any and all applications submitted to state or federal courts for warrants, orders, or other authorization (including pen register court orders) for use of cell site simulators in criminal investigations, as well as any warrants, orders, authorizations, denials of warrants, denials of orders, denials of authorization, and returns of warrants associated with those applications.

Could it be that I asked for “applications submitted to state or federal courts” and they only submitted requests to the county court?

Any advice here would be greatly appreciated.


Michael Morisy

Florida has a very broad public records laws, and as far as my research can tell, employee disciplinary records are subject to the Sunshine Law, so you should be able to get copies of them. This varies in other states.

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