Managing Records:

New York State Laws and Regulations Relevant to Local Government Records

  • The text of laws and regulations pertaining to the State Archives are found on our website by clicking on the name of the law or regulation.
  • The links for other laws pertaining to state government records lead directly to the New York State Assembly's website.
  • To locate a particular citation, click on the appropriate law (e.g., "CVP" for Civil Practice Law and Rules), and follow the links to the desired article and section of that law.
  • The links for other regulations pertaining to state government records lead to the Department of State's New York Code, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR) page. To locate a particular citation, click on the NYCRR link, and follow the links to the appropriate title, chapter, subchapter, and part.

Arts and Cultural Affairs Law

Local Government Records Law (Article 57-A)

Consolidates former sections of the Arts and Cultural Affairs Law, Public Officers Law, Town Law, County Law, and Village Law into a single statute promoting improved management of local government records. This law is the single most important statute dealing with local government records.

Local Government Historian Law (Section 57.07, subdivision one)

Clarifies the records-related responsibilities of local government historians.

Civil Practice Laws and Rules (CPLR)

Certain sections of the CPLR listed below provide specific statutes of limitation which may affect the retention of records. While these statutes were taken into account when minimum legal retention periods were established by the State Archives, these CPLR provisions should not be used alone to determine how long specific records need to be retained, as other statutes and regulations are often taken into account in determining retention requirements. Please consult your attorney or counsel, and contact the State Archives if necessary, if questions regarding retention schedule items and the CPLR arise.

Section 208

Provides persons who have arrived at "majority" (age 18) an additional three-year period to bring legal action as adults relative to an event which occurred when they were minors. This statute has broad implications and requires retention of many records series long enough to protect the legal rights of minors.

Section 211

Establishes a twenty-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced for bonds; money judgments, by state for real property; by grantee of state for real property; and for support, alimony, or maintenance.

Section 212

Establishes a ten-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced for possession necessary to recover real property, annulment of letters patent, to redeem from a mortgage, and to recover under an affidavit of support of an alien.

Section 213

Establishes a six-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced, where not otherwise provided, on contracts; on sealed instruments; on bonds or notes, and mortgages upon real property; by state based on misappropriation of public property; based on mistake; by corporation against director, officer, or stockholder; based on fraud.

Section 213-A

Establishes a four-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced for residential rent overcharge.

Section 214

Establishes a three-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced for non-payment of money collected on execution; for penalty created by statute; to recover chattel; for injury to property; for personal injury; for malpractice other than medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice; to annul a marriage on the ground of fraud.

Section 214-A

Establishes a 30-month statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced for medical, dental, or podiatric malpractice.

Section 214-C

Establishes statute of limitations of three years from the point of discovery within which certain legal actions must be commenced.

Section 215

Establishes a one-year statute of limitations within which legal actions must be commenced against sheriff, coroner ,or constable; for escape of prisoner; for assault, battery, false imprisonment, malicious prosecution, libel, or slander; for violation of right of privacy; for penalty given to informer; and on arbitration award.

Section 216

Abbreviates statute of limitations to one year after notice for actions to recover money and property.

Rule 4518

Allows the admissibility of original records in court, including electronic records, when made in the regular course of business.

Rule 4521

Establishes the means by which public officials can indicate the lack or non-existence of a particular record.

Rule 4539
Also called the best evidence rule. Permits the use of copies in court when those copies were prepared in the regular course of business by a process which accurately reproduces the original records and when those copies are satisfactorily identified. This use of copies is permitted whether the originals exist or not.

Rule 4540

Establishes the means by which public officials can authenticate copies of public records.

Sections 8018 and 8021

Outline appropriate fees for county clerks to charge for filing, recording, and assigning index numbers to select records, including fees collected for deposit in the New York State Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund and the Cultural Education Fund.

Judiciary Law

Section 89.1

Governs the retention, disposition, and microfilming of all court records, including jury records. These records are not subject to the authority of the Commissioner of Education but rather to the Office of Court Administration, which also promulgates records retention schedules for court records.

Section 89.2

Governs records of county district attorneys. Application for disposition of any records of a county district attorney must be made to the appropriate judicial department of the Appellate Division of State Supreme Court.

Local Finance Law

Section 63.10

Regulates the disposition and destruction of canceled obligations (bonds, corporate stock, notes or coupons), which are not subject to the Local Government Records Law. See also Part 55, 2NYCRR.

Penal Law

Sections 175.20 and 175.25

Addresses the tampering of public records in the second and first degrees. Because such tampering constitutes either a class A misdemeanor or a class D felony, persons can be prosecuted and, if convicted, sentenced accordingly for these offenses.

Public Housing Law

Sections 59 and 60

Regulates the disposal and reproduction of records of housing authorities. Disposition and reproduction of these records are not subject to the authority of the Commissioner of Education.

Public Officers Law

Section 80

Requires that outgoing public officials deliver their official records to their successors in office and outlines appropriate legal action if this transfer is not completed.

Freedom of Information Law (Article 6, Sections 84 - 90)

Outlines the rights of the public to access public records. Amendments enacted in 2008 clarify issues that govern access to electronic records.

Open Meetings Law (Article 7, Sections 100 - 111)
Covers accessibility by the public to meetings of public bodies and outlines requirements for the production and availability of minutes or other proceedings.

Regulations of Audit and Control (Office of the State Comptroller)

Part 55, 2NYCRR

Regulates the disposition and destruction of canceled obligations (bonds, corporate stock, notes or coupons). Their disposition is not subject to the Local Government Records Law. See also Local Finance Law, Part 63.10.

Regulations of the Commissioner of Education

Part 185, 8NYCRR

Details the responsibilities of records management officers (RMOs) and the Local Government Records Advisory Council (LGRAC), covers the issuance of records retention and disposition schedules, sets procedures for the disposition of records not listed on schedules and for records rendered unusable by disasters, provides standards for creating and maintaining micrographic and electronic records, provides criteria for contracted records storage facilities, and establishes eligibility criteria for local governments applying for Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LGRMIF) grants. Last revised on 3 January 2008.

Regulations of the Judiciary

Part 104, 22NYCRR

Sets the guidelines for the retention and disposition of court records in New York State. Records of all courts, including jury records, are not disposable under the authority of the Commissioner of Education, but rather according to retention schedules promulgated by the Office of Court Administration.

State Finance Law

Section 97-i

Covers the management of the New York State Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund by the State Comptroller and the Commissioner of Taxation and Finance.

Transportation Law

Sections 68 and 69

Regulates the disposal and reproduction of records of the Utica Transit Authority. Disposition of these records is not subject to the authority of the Commissioner of Education.

Specific federal laws and regulations:

Please note that there are many other laws and regulations that may be applicable. Due to space considerations, only four of the most commonly cited laws have been listed.

Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) (Public Law 104-191)

Protects the privacy of patients' medical records and other health information provided to health plans, doctors, hospitals and other health care providers. This act also provides patients with access to their medical records and more control over how their personal health information is used and disclosed. For more information, refer to http://www.hhs.gov/ocr/hipaa/

The Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act (FERPA) (20 U.S.C. § 1232g; 34 CFR Part 99)

Protects the privacy of student education records. The law requires a school district to provide parents with access to their children's educational records, to provide parents the opportunity to request the correction of records they believe to be inaccurate or misleading, and to obtain the written permission of a parent before disclosing information contained in a student's educational record. For more information, refer to http://www.ed.gov/policy/gen/guid/fpco/ferpa/index.html

Uniting and Strengthening America by Providing Appropriate Tools Required to Intercept and Obstruct Terrorism (USA PATRIOT Act) (Public Law 107-56)

Expands the powers of federal law enforcement agencies investigating cases involving foreign intelligence and international terrorism. This law amends the laws governing the Federal Bureau of Investigation's access to business records. For more information, refer to http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/cgi-bin/getdoc.cgi?dbname=107_cong_public_laws&docid=f:publ056.107.pdf

Federal Rules for Civil Procedure (FRCP) (28 U.S.C., appendix)

Outlines the rules used to govern civil procedures in United States district courts. Several rules were amended in 2006 to clarify the process of electronic records discovery, as well as the obligations of litigating parties in discovery actions. For more information, refer to http://www.law.cornell.edu/rules/frcp/#chapter_viii

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