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Freedom of Information: City Records Access (FOIL)

Click here to submit a FOIL request

Request to Access City Records under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) 

City FOIL Subject Matter

The City maintains records relating to City government only, not records of suburbs and towns, Monroe County, the State of New York, the United States Government or any other municipality. For your convenience, we have listed links to other frequently requested records and/or information sources at the bottom of this page.

FOIL Subject Matter List by Department

Records are made available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday to Friday.

The Law Department is located at Rochester City Hall, Room 400A, 30 Church St., Rochester, NY 14614.  Phone: (585) 428-6986. Fax (585) 428-6950.

To ensure efficient processing of your application, please be sure to provide the following information:

  • Requestor's name, address and telephone number. This information is provided so the City may contact you with any questions and/or mail your materials.
  • A reasonable description of the records sought, containing specific information which will allow the City to identify and locate the record.
  • The requester's preference to inspect/review records, copy records or both.

The City's Response To Your Records Requests

In response to a request the City will do one of the following:

  • Approve the request;
  • Deny the request, stipulating the legal reasons for denial;
  • Approve the request in part and deny the request in part (i.e., some of the requested materials are released and some are withheld or certain information is deleted for privacy reasons or other legal reasons), specifying the legal reasons for the denied portions thereof;
  • Give notice of an extension of time needed to fulfill the request;
  • If specified on the request form, provide an opportunity for the requester to review/inspect the records prior to copying;
  • Advise that the requested materials are not maintained by the City and refer the requester to the appropriate agency, if known;
  • Notify the requester that after a thorough search, the requested record(s) cannot be located.

Appeal of a Denial

If the requested materials are denied by the City, the requester may file a written appeal with Corporation Counsel within 30 days of receipt of the denial. Appeal instructions will be included in the denial letter. The appeal should include a copy of the request, a copy of the denial and a clear and concise statement detailing the reasons why the requester feels the appeal should be granted. Corporation Counsel with either affirm the denial or overturn the denial in whole or in part and provide access to all or part of the previously denied material. If an appeal is denied, the requester may commence a proceeding in New York State Supreme Court pursuant to Article 78 of the Civil Practice Law and Rules.  

Denied FOIL Requests

Under the New York’s Freedom of Information Law (found in full here), governments must provide access to public documents and information upon request. An individual seeking public records or information must submit a request through the process outlined on this page, making sure to reasonably describe their request so the City can understand and fulfill it. However, there are situations where the City may deny access to records or portions thereof, including those that: are exempted from disclosure by state or federal statute; if disclosed would constitute an unwarranted invasion of personal privacy; may impair imminent contract awards or collective bargaining negotiations; if disclosed could endanger life or safety of any person; are compiled for law enforcement purposes and which, if disclosed, would have specific negative impact on an investigation, judicial hearing, or other aspect of the justice process; are inter-agency or intra-agency materials exempt from public release; or that meet any of the additional criteria listed in full in subsection 87.2 of the FOIL law linked above. 

Fees for Processing Records Requests

There is a photocopying fee of 25 cents per page for 8-1/2 " X 11", 8-1/2" X 14" and 11" X 17" records and $1.00 per cassette tape or CD. Copies of maps, plans, drawings or blueprints will range in price from $5.00 to $10.25, depending on the size of the map. Photographs (5" X 7") are available at $5.00 per print. Normally, fees are billed at the time the records are mailed. However, the City may request payment in advance.

Click here to submit a FOIL request

Conviction Records Contact Table

Court in Which Case was 
Contact Information for Judgment or Conviction
Rochester City Court - Civil
City Court - Civil Division 
Room 6, Hall of Justice 
99 Exchange Blvd. Room B
Rochester, NY 14614 
Phone: (585) 371-3412
Rochester City Court - Criminal 
Rochester City Court - Criminal Division 
150 South Plymouth Avenue, Room 123 
Rochester, NY 14614 
Phone: (585) 371-3413
Monroe County Court
Monroe County Court Records
Monroe County Hall of Justice
99 Exchange Blvd.
Rochester, NY 14614 
Phone: (585) 371-3758

Links to Information, Record Sources

Agencies of Interest