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Laws and Regulations Relevant to Court Records
Civil Practice Laws and Rules (CPLR)
Allows admissibility of original records in court, including electronic records, when made in the regular course of business.
Establishes the means by which public officials can indicate the lack or non-existence of a particular record.
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.
Establishes the means by which public officials can authenticate copies of public records.
Governs the disposition and microfilming of all court records, including jury records. These 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.
Sections 175.20 and 175.25
Deals with tampering with 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 Officers Law
Requires that outgoing public officials deliver official records to their successors in office and outlines legal action to take if this transfer is not completed.
Regulations of the Judiciary
Section 104, 22NYCRR
Sets the guidelines for the 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 Technology Law
Electronic Signatures and Records Act (Article I, Sections 101 - 109)
Ensures that electronic signatures are legally binding in government and clarifies the authority of government agencies to create records created by computers in electronic form. The Office for Technology is the facilitator for this act.