A few weeks back, we reported on a 2008 lawsuit filed by the City of Buffalo against 36 lenders in an effort to recoup money for demolitions carried out on houses where lenders abandoned foreclosure efforts after determining that the house was not worth the cost of foreclosing and taking possession. The city also filed the suit to send a message to banks that they need to maintain a property after beginning a foreclosure.
New York State Supreme Court Justice John M. Curran ruled that the lenders were not legally in possession at the time of demolition of nine of 10 houses addressed in a request for summary judgment filed by the defendants. Three separate documents related to Curran’s judgment were sealed by court order. We requested access to those documents under Freedom of Information Law, arguing that the paper should be able to see all the documents related to the suit because city lawyers litigated the suit while being paid with taxpayer money, that they were taking the action on behalf of the public, and that any settlement would involve public funds.
We received the city’s response to the FOIL request last week: access denied. The city’s law department argues that to allow us access to these documents would put the city in contempt of court. We’ve filed an appeal to the denial.
—justin sondelblog comments powered by Disqus
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