Court clerk’s handling of public records costs taxpayers $335G


New York taxpayers are on the hook for $335,000 due to a Manhattan Supreme Court clerk’s failure to make new lawsuits promptly available to the public.

Late last month, Manhattan Federal Court Judge Edgardo Ramos approved the hefty attorney fees in a lawsuit brought by Courthouse News Service brought.

The service had said County Clerk Milton Tingling’s policies prevented reporters — and the public — from accessing certain high-profile civil cases even though they were technically filed and covered by select media outlets. Some Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuits were being withheld for a day or more while Tingling’s employees finished clerical work.

Tingling “has complied with the preliminary injunction by modifying the New York State Courts electronic filing system to permit the immediate public online viewing of case(s),” Ramos wrote in a five-page order regarding the fees.

In December, Ramos ordered Tingling to make the suits promptly available, ruling Courthouse News Service had presented enough evidence to prevail in its case.

Tingling, who previously served as a judge, is best known for his 2013 ruling killing former Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s soda ban. He was appointed to his current job as New York County clerk in January 2015. Tingling was sued in April 2016.

He did not respond to a request for comment.

A spokesman for the Office of Court Administration declined to comment.

Source: Court clerk’s handling of public records costs taxpayers $335G