The Second Department, reversing Supreme Court, determined FOIL requests for information about kosher meals provided by the NYC Department of Corrections (DOC) should have been denied because the requests would have required the creation of new documents:
… “[A]s a general rule, an agency responding to a FOIL request is not required to create any new record or data that is not already possessed and maintained by it as such” … .
The Press requested the following information: (1) how many inmates requested kosher meals in each of the last 10 years?; (2) how many of those requests were granted and how many were denied?; and (3) the reason for any denials. Here, the DOC established that it “does not track, record or report the amount of Kosher/Halal meals that are requested.” The DOC further established that the number of requests granted or denied and the reasons for the denials are not maintained by the DOC and would call for the creation of new records, which exceeds the scope of the DOC’s obligations in response to a FOIL request … . Matter of Jewish Press, Inc. v New York City Dept. of Corr., 2021 NY Slip Op 07544, Second Dept 12-29-21