What is FOIL?

FOIL stands for New York's Freedom of Information Law (FOIL), enacted in 1974. FOIL provides access to many records of governmental agencies, including the Attorney General's Office.

Can I get legal advice from the Attorney General through FOIL?

No, the FOIL requires that the Office of the Attorney General respond to requests for copies of existing records that are in the possession of the Attorney General. FOIL does not require the Attorney General to provide advice or information.

Can the Office of the Attorney General certify the "reputation" or "legitimacy" of a business through FOIL?

The Office of the Attorney General does not certify or verify the "legitimacy" or "reputation" of businesses.

This Office can forward a request for documents relating to a corporation to a Bureau within the Attorney General's Office ("Bureau") to determine whether that Bureau possesses records. Those records may be related to complaints made by consumers, investigations or litigation initiated by the Attorney General or filings required to be made by statute. Please specify which documents you would like in your FOIL request.

How do I make a FOIL request to the Attorney General's Office?

You may make a FOIL request for any other records within the possession of the Office of the Attorney General by clicking here.

You may also send an e-mail to FOIL@ag.ny.gov or mail to the following address:

Records Access Officer
Office of the Attorney General
The Capitol
Albany, NY 12224

You may send an e-mail or letter that contains your request, but it is best to include the information that is included on the FOIL form when you make your request.

How do I know the Attorney General's Office has received my request?

The Office of the Attorney General will send you a letter or e-mail that acknowledges your request.

How much does it cost to receive records that respond to my request?

If any documents are located that respond to your request, please note that the first five pages would be provided free of charge, and the production of the remaining pages would cost $.25 per page. If your records are provided in another medium, you will be notified of the charge.

You may also make a request to come to the Attorney General's Office to review documents. Please note that if information must be redacted in order for you to review the request, there will be a charge as noted above.

Can I receive my documents before I pay?

If you are notified that there is a fee to receive your records, you must pay the fee before you receive the records.

How long will it take for me to get a response to my FOIL request?

If you have a rather routine request,you should receive a response to your request within 20 business days. If you make a request that asks for documents that are in storage, the response to your request contains a large number of documents or there are other issues that complicate your request, it may take more than 20 business days to respond to your request. If that is the case, you will be notified of a date certain where all or part of your request will be sent to you.

Why are some of the pages I received redacted?

The Freedom of Information Law provides that some information is excepted from disclosure. Those exceptions can be found in Public Officers Law section 87(2). see www.dos.ny.gov/coog/foil2.html

Who should I contact if I have more questions about FOIL?

The Committee on Open Government is charged with furnishing any person with an advisory opinion or other appropriate information regarding the Freedom of Information Law. (Public Officers Law, Article 6).

You may logon to the Committee's website at http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/index.html for more information.