What records can I ask for under FOIL?

The FOIL definition of records is very broad and includes information found in paper and electronic documents and audio and visual recordings. All records are available upon request, unless an exception in FOIL permits an agency to deny access to a record. See Public Officers Law § 87 (2).

Most of the exceptions are based upon common sense and the potential for harm that would arise if the record were disclosed to unauthorized people. If disclosure of a record would be damaging to an individual or prevent a government agency from carrying out its duties, it is likely that some or all of the record may be withheld.

Keep in mind that many records can be found on the City website and do not require a FOIL request.

Subject Matter List

Affirmative Action & Advisory Committee

  • Job listings
  • Documents relating to employment statistics
  • Documents relating to discrimination and harassment complaints

Animal Control

  • Appearance tickets
  • Informations relative to animal incidents
  • Incident reports


  • Documents relating to the assessed value of properties
  • Property inventory records
  • List of tax exempt properties
  • Maps

Bureau of Receipts

  • Documents relating to the general fund budget
  • List of taxable properties
  • Documents relative to tax bill

City Archives

  • City directory and scrapbook collections
  • Collections from local labor unions, civic organizations, public schools, and businesses
  • Military records
  • Municipal records
  • Over 500 maps, atlases, insurance maps and blueprints
  • Postcards and photographs

City Clerk's Office

  • City Council resolutions
  • City Council agendas
  • City Code provisions
  • Ordinances
  • List of licensed dogs
  • Permit information
  • Birth Certificates
  • Death Certificates
  • Marriage Licenses

Corporation Counsel

  • Documents relating to the sale of City-owned property
  • Documents relating to tax foreclosures
  • Documents relating to claims against the City
  • Documents relating to litigation brought by the City

Department of Engineering

  • Documents relating to engineering projects around the City
  • Plans and specifications
  • Documents relating to public bids
  • Sidewalk notices


  • Zoning information
  • Variance applications and determinations
  • Documents relating to historic preservation
  • Grant documents
  • Documents relating to HOME Investment Partnerships Program (HOME)

Finance Department

  • Documents relating to annual budget
  • Documents relating to purchases by the City
  • Documents relating to City investments and debt

Fire Department

  • Incident reports
  • Documents relating to fire safety data
  • PCR (pre-hospital care reports)

Human Resources

  • List of City employees
  • Documents relating to title and salary of every City employee
  • Documents relating to employment postings
  • Employment policies and rules

Office of Code Enforcement

  • Violation notices
  • Complaints submitted to the City
  • Neighborhood Code Compliance Reviews
  • Building permits
  • Electrical permits
  • Plumbing permits
  • Landlord registrations
  • Certificates of Occupancy
  • Section 8 Housing Inspections and Condition Reviews
  • Certificates of Use for convenience stores
  • Documents relating to lead and asbestos

Office of General Services

  • Garbage schedule
  • Notice of violations

Police Department

  • Accident reports
  • Incident reports
  • MV 104-A reports
  • Arrest reports
  • Premise history
  • Accident reconstruction
  • Scene photos
  • In-car videos
  • Total station measurements
  • Crime stats


  • Drinking water quality reports
  • Documents relating to stormwater management
  • Documents relating to water breaks
  • Documents relative to water/utility billing
  • Documents relative to emergency shut offs

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1. What records can I ask for under FOIL?