Justice Alice Schlesinger
Under the Freedom of Information Law, Carvel made eight separate requests to the New York attorney general for documents relating to the state of her aunt and uncle, the founder of the Carvel soft-serve ice cream company. She claimed the estate and related charities were mismanaged and money was misappropriated. The A.G. claimed it produced many documents, but denied several requests citing some documents were exempt from disclosure as they were confidential attorney-work product. The A.G. now asserted it produced all of the non-exempt documents located after a diligent search after Carvel appealed the prior partial denials, yet Carvel still alleged she was entitled to receive more documents. The court found Carvel was required to exhaust her administrative remedies before filing an administrative appeal regarding each of her FOIL requests, ruling the A.G.’s response to five of the eight document requests was not subject to judicial review. Further, as the records access officer for the A.G.’s officer certified that a diligent search was performed and not further requested documents were located, the A.G.’s motion for dismissal was granted, denying Carvel’s Article 78 petition.