Sunday, October 16, 2011

Oswego County Clerk George Williams sued for improperly charging the public for criminal searches

Oswego County Clerk George Williams is the subject of an Article 78 legal proceeding filed by a business owner who alleges Williams has been improperly charging the public for criminal searches.
The Order to Show Cause references New York State Civil Practice Law and Rules, section 8021, which states a county clerk can charge “for certifying to a search of any records, other than those in an action or relating to real property, for a consecutive two year period or fraction thereof, for each name so searched, five dollars.”

The petitioner, APS Information Services, Inc. alleges in court papers that Williams has been unlawfully charging the fee for searches that are not certified and further alleges that Williams denies access to the records in absence of the fee.

The case also cites access to records through the Freedom of Information Law and states, “It was only because the respondent illegally denied the petitioner its right of access to the criminal indexes that the respondent placed itself in a position to be able to extort money from the petitioner.”

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