Legal Requests - SUNY Cortland

Legal Requests

Requesting Student Information

The information contained here applies only to the Registrar's Office processes, and identifies the Registrar's requirements as the receiver of subpoenas and legal requests for student records. Subpoenas and legal requests must be reviewed by the Office of University Counsel for validity and scope. Accordingly, SUNY Cortland requests that subpoenas and legal requests be made at least 5 business days in advance of a deadline or date of need.  

Legal Requests and Subpoenas

According to NYS law, a subpoena requires the attendance of a person to give testimony (ad testificandum). A subpoena duces tecum requires production of books, papers and other things. A trial subpoena duces tecum shall state on its face that all papers or other items delivered to the court pursuant to such subpoena shall be accompanied by a copy of such subpoena. (N.Y. CVP. LAW § 2301 : NY Code - Section 2301: Scope of subpoena)

Subpoenas must be verified by the Office of University Counsel.

Charges for Preparation

In accord with the Regulations of the State University of New York Board of Trustees, and New York State law; charges for preparation may charged, but shall exceed the actual cost of preparation (photocopying, mailing and personnel). SUNY Cortland may require that the fee for copying or reproducing a record be paid in advance of preparation. Requesters will be informed of the estimated cost of preparing a copy of a record if more than two hours of an employee’s time is needed, or if it is necessary to retain an outside professional service to prepare a copy of the record. Current duplicating costs are:

  • Copying: Standard: 8.5 x 11 - .06 per page, Color: 8.5 x 11 - .16 per page
  • Mailing: Prevailing USPS Postage Rate (Info)
  • Expedited Mailing: Prevailing FEDEX Rates (Info)
  • Personnel charges for research, obtaining or preparing records are only incurred if more than two hours of an employee’s time is needed, or if it is necessary to retain outside services.

Deceased Students

The loss of a student is felt across our campus.  If you are faculty member or student needing guidance, support or help following the death of a student, we strongly encourage you to review the resources and information available to you at the Counseling Center:

Records and Transcripts

FERPA rights end upon a student's death. According to the United States Department of Education's Family Policy Compliance Office (FPCO), the decision to release the transcript of a deceased student is a matter of institutional policy. SUNY Cortland has defined all student records with personally identifiable information (PII) as protected under the campus security policy. The release of protected education records of a deceased student made be performed when: 

  • the release is requested or authorized by the executor/executrix of the deceased student's estate.
  • the release is to the student's parents or next of kin if the person(s) are listed as emergency contacts, identified as guardians, or if the student provided a release previously, in the case of recently deceased students.
  • records are released in fulfillment of a lawfully executed subpoena or order and/or the release is in support of a law enforcement investigation.
  • records are released in fulfillment of SUNY Cortland's obligations to organizations, governments and agencies as provided for under federal and/or state law.
  • a deceased student's educational records must be shared with school officials who have a legitimate educational interest as defined in the SUNY Cortland FERPA policy.

Requesting Other Information 

  • Subpoenas for employee records should be directed to the Human Resources Office.
  • Freedom of Information requests must be requested through Communications Office.
  • Solomon Act requests must be requested through Communications Office.

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