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ORDER IN THE COURT: O RGANIZING L OCAL C OURT R ECORDS Becky Letko Court Analyst NYS Unified Court System Office of Court Administration Office of Records.

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Presentation on theme: "ORDER IN THE COURT: O RGANIZING L OCAL C OURT R ECORDS Becky Letko Court Analyst NYS Unified Court System Office of Court Administration Office of Records."— Presentation transcript:

1 ORDER IN THE COURT: O RGANIZING L OCAL C OURT R ECORDS Becky Letko Court Analyst NYS Unified Court System Office of Court Administration Office of Records Management

2 Definitions of what constitutes a record Where to find statutes relating to Local Court records Common issues regarding Local Court records involving both the Courts and Records Management Officers Retention Schedules: Where to find them How to use them What Court Record Series are Retention Periods for some of the Court Records you deal with How to Fill out a Records Disposition Request Form Some Strategies for coding and filing that will facilitate future purge projects How to contact the Records Management Office staff AGENDA: WHAT YOU’LL LEARN TODAY

3 W HAT IS A R ECORD ? Recorded information created or received in the course of conducting business regardless of media Court Records (Rules of the Chief Administrator Part 104.1b) “... shall include all documents and records that are part of the court file of each case and all books, papers, calendars, statistical schedules and reports and other records pertaining to the management of court cases.”

4 STATUTES PERTAINING TO COURT RECORDS: TOWN LAW Art. 3 sub. sect. 31, UCCA 2019 & UJCA 2019 demand that all judges of the Justice Courts keep or cause to be kept legible, suitable records and dockets of all criminal actions and proceedings separate and apart from civil actions. UJCA 107 also states the above and adds that the rules may prescribe their form, care, custody and disposition. Rules of the Chief Judge: Part 38.1(a) says the Chief Administrator of the Courts shall adopt rules providing for the retention and disposition of court records. Rules of the Chief Administrator of the Courts: Parts gives the authority to our office to devise retention schedules, reproduction and destruction procedures, and make determinations as to the suitability of off- site storage. It also states the requirement for written requests for disposal of court records. 22 NYCRR Uniform Civil Rules for the Justice Courts describes record keeping requirements and defines records as including: cases, copies of any original documents forwarded to another court or agency, an index of cases filed with their unique numbers, chronological cashbook with all receipts and disbursements, civil cases and specific information to be included in those cases. UJCA 2019-a discusses the transfer of custody of Justices’ criminal records and dockets to the clerk of the municipality (Town or Village) upon expiration of the Judge’s term.

5 I SSUES FOR LOCAL C OURTS AND RMO S THE BIG 4 C S : Custody Who is responsible for what? Physical custody vs. responsibility Care Proper environments Security Confidentiality Access Dissemination Cooperation Ensuring proper treatment of Court Records Obtaining grant monies

6 S EPARATE R ETENTION S CHEDULES : THESE ARE THE SCHEDULES THAT MAY REFER TO RECORDS THAT ARE CREATED AND/OR RECEIVED IN THE LOCAL COURT THESE MATERIALS ARE FOUND ON OUR WEBSITE: RECORDSMANAGEMENT Administrative Records: Fiscal General Personnel Records Management Security Court Records: Civil Records of the Civil Court of the City of New York, City Courts, District Courts and Town & Village Courts Criminal Records of the Criminal Court of the City of New York, City Courts, District Courts and Town & Village Courts Drug Treatment Court Family Court Jury System

7 W HAT IS A R ECORD S ERIES ? E XAMPLES OF TITLES : Fiscal: Accounts Receivable Accounts Payable Banking Civil: Civil (under Case Files) Record of Court Activity (Docket Books) Criminal Records (NYC, City, District, Town & Village): Criminal Misdemeanors Motor Vehicle/Traffic Infractions Violations General Administrative: Appointment calendars Grant Program files Records Management: Records Inventories Records Disposition Request forms

8 CRIMINAL RECORDS :

9 R ETENTION S CHEDULE P AGE S AMPLE :

10 R ECORD OF C OURT A CTIVITY :

11 R ECORDS D ISPOSITION R EQUEST F ORM :

12 C RIMINAL CASE FLOWCHART : This can also be found on our Website under : “Publications & Training Materials” “ Local Courts” “Flowchart for Purging Criminal Case Files”

13 W HERE TO S TART : Inventory Include information on: Location Dates of disposition and/or creation Any pertinent information to facilitate retrieval (ex. Judge’s name) Record Series Title(s) Status (Active/Inactive) Format (Don’t forget to include electronic records) Related retention period(s) Coding Information that will assist with the Purging process: Record Series Titles Retention Periods Filing Strategies Consider benefits for retrieval and retention

14 I NVENTORY E XISTING R ECORDS :

15 F ILING STRATEGIES : D O NOT INTERFILE C IVIL & C RIMINAL CASES ( REMEMBER THE STATUTE …) Keep active cases separate from inactive cases Store by initiation or purge dates which should be clearly marked along with the fact that it is a Civil record case type Keep disposed cases separate from open cases (open = not adjudicated, unpaid or otherwise unsatisfied conditions) Store by disposition or purge dates which should be clearly marked along with the Record Series Type Clearly distinguish Youthful Offender, dismissed & otherwise sealed cases Civil:Criminal:

16 F ILING STRATEGIES … CONTINUED Keep case records complete (make sure all parts of a case are stored together) Separate materials that are not part of the actual case record (ex. Judge’s notes, duplicate copies) Conspicuously mark and /or hi-light the case type & retention date Put the information on outside of file jacket or cover sheet Color code and keep an index Utilize electronic tracking systems Accurately mark any storage boxes with records types and retention periods Make the filing system logical and consistent to facilitate access Redesign previous filing sequences that are inefficient Train personnel to maintain consistency Criminal & Civil Case Files And don’t forget to…

17 C ODING FOR R ETENTION AND P URGING : Information needed (as a minimum): Record Series: So that all of one type can be grouped together for purposes of filling out a Records Disposition Request form Retention Period: So that records that can be purged can easily be identified at the time they are eligible So that records that must be retained can be easily identified and secured

18 C ODING E XAMPLES : Record Series Title: “F” -Felony Arraignment “M” -Criminal Misdemeanor “T” -Motor Vehicle/Traffic infraction “V” -Violation “P” -Parking “C” -Civil Retention Period: Red -permanent Pink -25 years Green -10 years Blue -6 years Yellow/Orange -1 year M = Misdemeanor 3/2022 disposed in March of 1997 This code applies to a case where there was at least one Misdemeanor conviction in the case. This charge was the highest level of conviction within the case. The Records Series title and number are : “Criminal Misdemeanors #80010(a)” and the case can not be purged until after March M = Misdemeanor 8/2008 disposed in August of 2002 This case originated with a Misdemeanor as the highest level of charge and was subsequently dismissed. Record Series Info: “Criminal Misdemeanors #80010(b)” This case can be purged after August 2008.

19 C REATE A R ECORDS P ROCEDURE M ANUAL : Document the organization & implementation of your filing and coding strategies Include all processes & procedures for the entire life cycle of a case file (from initiation to disposition) Include regulations, policies and informal practices Document the previous filing systems that were inherited Update the manual as practices change and… Keep a Master Copy and copies of all updates permanently to maintain access to all records even after there has been a change in procedures

20 O FFICE OF R ECORDS M ANAGEMENT W EBSITE : WWW. COURTS. STATE. NY. US / ADMIN / RECORDSMANAGEMENT Rick Hogan - Chief Records Manager (212) Jane Chin - Deputy Chief Records Manager (212) Vincent Armerino - Principal Court Analyst (212) Becky Letko - Court Analyst (518)

21 THANK YOU FOR COMING! -Becky Letko Court Analyst Office of Records Management


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