Some people eat, sleep and chew gum, I do genealogy and write...

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Reclaim The Records Challenges the New York Department of Health Over Priority
In a somewhat complicated lawsuit involving a claim by Reclaim the Records ( against the New York State Department of Health, there are allegations that the state agency gave preferential or fast treatment to a request by for public records to add to Ancestry's database, while at the same time failing to provide the same service to the non-profit Reclaim the Records organization.

The lawsuit seeks to obtain records from the New York State Department of Health concerning the transaction with The link in the caption of the screenshot above is to a copy of the full petition. Essentially, the request for records under the Freedom of Information Law filed by Reclaim the Records took more than a year to process while the request made by produced the records in about 3 months.

Initially, the New York State Department of Health also told Reclaim the Records that they would need to pay $152,000 to obtain copies of the New York State Death Index. Here is a link to a detailed account of what Reclaim the Records did to obtain the Index to New York State Deaths (Outside of New York City) 1880-1956

It will be interesting to see how the request was handled.

The issues raised by this legal action extend into the area of the monetization of public records whereby government agencies around the world try to make money from the information they have collected from individuals and families. I suggest you may wish to subscribe to Reclaim the Records' newsletter and support them in their efforts.

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