Disclosure of Public Land Records
In 2004, Data Tree, a national company that collects and provides online access to millions public land records, requested copies of electronic land records maintained by the Suffolk County Clerk’s Office. Public land records include such things as deeds, mortgages, liens, judgments, releases and maps. The Clerk denied this Freedom of Information Law (FOIL) request because it required reformatting the data, because disclosure might constitute an unwarranted invasion of privacy, and because the records were available from terminals within the Clerk’s Office. See Data Tree, LLC v. Romaine (9 N.Y.3d 454, 849 N.Y.S.2d 489).
Professor Salkin provides a useful analysis of this case in her blog posting NY Court of Appeals Addresses Disclosure of Electronic Public Land Records (December 18, 2007).
NY Legal Update Blog summary of case (December 20, 2007): http://tswartz1.typepad.com/new_york_legal_update/2007/12/will-your-neigh.html
For a realtor’s viewpoint visit Scott Perry’s Blog: http://activerain.com/blogsview/370414/Big-Title-Challenges-Denial
For the full text of the case, visit Cornell’s legal repository: http://db.law.cornell.edu/nyctap/I07_0171.htm