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Appellate Division, Third Department Rules Unsealing Criminal Record Solely for Prosecutorial Purposes as Impermissible

  • Organization: Appellate Division, Third Department
  • Document Type: Brief/Motion Papers
  • Date Created: Monday, October 24, 2011
  • Submitted: Monday, October 24, 2011
  • Attachment(s): LINK

Memorandum issued by Appellate Division, Third Department overturns an order from the County Court of Albany which denied respondent's motion to vacate a prior order that unsealed the records of certain criminal proceedings. The County Court granted the prosecutor and police department involved in respondent's an ex parte application to unseal the records from the prior case for use in the pending criminal case.

The Court notes that the exception(among the six defined by law) used by the prosecutor to unseal records is restricted to investigatory purposes to uncover criminal conduct prior to commencement of criminal proceedings. Since there was no indication that the records were intended for criminal investigation, the Court finds that the petitioner's application impermissibly invoked CPL 160.50 (1) (d) (ii) for prosecutorial purposes.

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