The FOIL request clearly and unambiguously requests copies of orders of appointment of a RETIRED judge Robert Harlem, over the period of 1999 to 2012 (his death) as a:
- judicial hearing officer;
- referee, or
- in any other capacity
Retired judges are appointed as judicial hearing officers, referees, arbiters etc.
This is the response of the NYS Court Administration that I received today as to my FOIL request specifically about retired Judge Robert Harlem:
In the portion of the letter dedicated to my FOIL request regarding orders of appointment of retired judge Robert Harlem, Assistant Deputy Counsel Shawn Kerby "advises me" that the NYS Court Administration has "no responsive records, as Justice Harlem retired, effective June 1, 1991".
I simply cannot believe that from "Justice Harlem" was not appointed in any capacity from 1999 to 2012 as a judicial hearing officer, referee, arbiter or the like capacity.
Moreover, that was exactly why I made the FOIL request, BECAUSE "justice Harlem" retired, and because retired justices are routinely appointed by the NYS Court Administration as referees in, let's say, foreclosure proceedings, or as judicial hearing officers in various courts.
It appears that the NYS OCA did not read the FOIL, or did not want to respond to it truthfully, and, because of it, declined to produce records of orders of appointment of a RETIRED judge because he was a - guess what - a retired judge.
Not good enough.
I am filing an appeal for constructive denial of the FOIL request. Stay tuned as to the results.