New York Official Reports

Frequently Asked Questions

Contents:

  1. How do I contact the Law Reporting Bureau?
  2. What is the Law Reporting Bureau?
    • The Law Reporting Bureau is an agency of the New York Court of Appeals and is under the direction and control of the State Reporter, who is appointed by the Court of Appeals. The Law Reporting Bureau publishes in the New York Official Reports every cause determined in the Court of Appeals and in the four Appellate Divisions of the Supreme Court, unless otherwise directed by the deciding Court. In addition, any cause determined in any other court that the State Reporter, with the approval of the Court of Appeals, considers worthy of being reported because of its usefulness as a precedent or its importance as a matter of public interest may also be published: About the Law Reporting Bureau
    • We do not offer legal advice, recommend or discipline attorneys, or perform legal research. We neither draft nor formulate legislation for the State of New York.
  3. Is there a fee for accessing decisions?
    • There is no charge for access to the New York Slip Opinion Service or Official Reports Service. If you link out of the Official Reports Service to access Thomson Reuters Westlaw's fee-based services (e.g., by clicking on a blue-underlined hyperlink), a subscription or credit card payment is required.
  4. Besides the authoring Judge, who may submit a trial court decision for publication in the Official Reports?
    • Any interested party or counsel may bring a decision to the attention of the State Reporter by forwarding him a print or electronic copy.
    • If, in the opinion of the State Reporter, the decision meets the criteria for selection, permission to publish the decision will be requested from the Judge who wrote the opinion.
    • Mail print copies to 17 Lodge Street, Albany, NY 12207 and email electronic copies to reporter@nycourts.gov.
  5. How is a trial court decision published in the Official Reports?
    • The criteria regarding selection of New York State trial level decisions for publication are listed in Selection of Opinions.
    • Decisions submitted for publication should be emailed directly to the Law Reporting Bureau.
  6. Are decisions edited for publication?
    • All decisions published in the Official Reports are edited: Editing the Official Reports.
    • Editorial guidance is provided by the New York Law Reports Style Manual, whose purpose is to guide New York Judges and their clerks in the preparation of court decisions, in order to provide uniformity for key elements of all New York decisions, resulting in a more cohesive, easier to understand body of decisional law to be used by the bench, the bar and the public at large.
    • Selected cases in the Miscellaneous Reports may be followed by the language "Portions of opinion omitted for purposes of publication." When a decision is edited for publication pursuant to our partial publication rule, it is the Trial Judge—not the State Reporter—who determines which portions are omitted for purposes of publication, and it is the Trial Judge who approves the decision for publication in its edited form.
    • Under a program approved by the Court of Appeals, a limited number of opinions are selected exclusively for publication in the New York Slip Opinion Service and the New York Official Reports content category on Thomson Reuters Westlaw. These opinions are not edited for publication, and no headnotes are provided, but the opinions are classified by subject to the Official Reports Digest classification scheme. Each opinion is assigned a unique slip opinion citation and pagination to permit pinpoint citations. An abstract of each opinion—providing the case name, authoring judge or justice name, jurisdiction, decision date, and slip opinion citation—will be published in the Advance Sheets. (Abstracts are not prepared for opinions published in PDF format, and these opinions are not classified to the Digest.)
  7. How are decisions cited?
    • The Official Reports are divided into three levels: the New York Reports (e.g., 26 NY3d 196), containing the decisions of the state's High Court, the Court of Appeals; the Appellate Division Reports (e.g., 135 AD3d 196), containing the decisions of the state's four intermediate appellate level departments; and the Miscellaneous Reports (e.g., 45 Misc 3d 274), containing the decisions of trial level courts and the Appellate Term of the Supreme Court.
    • All decisions published in the Official Reports are also assigned an official slip opinion citation number, in the form, e.g., 2001 NY Slip Op 00001. The initial number denotes the year of decision. The second is a unique serial number assigned to each decision for that particular year. Citations for unreported opinions have a "(U)" suffix, e.g., 2001 NY Slip Op 40001(U). Use this slip opinion citation for officially published cases that have not been assigned a permanent citation in the traditional "volume-report-page" form. To determine the slip opinion citation for a case, or to access a case electronically using its slip opinion citation, use the New York Slip Opinion Service.
    • Decisions should be cited using the official case name, which can be found in the Official Case Name and Citation Locator, in the Table of Cases of the bound volume in which the decision appears, or in the "Cite Title As" field in the New York Official Reports content category on Thomson Reuters Westlaw. Where the case is officially reported, the case name should be followed by citation to the Official Reports (e.g., 26 NY3d 196). For more information on how to cite decisions, see the Law Reports Style Manual.
  8. Who do I contact regarding a subscription to the Official Reports?
    • For Judges, correspondence regarding subscriptions should be addressed to:
    • For everyone else, correspondence regarding subscriptions should be addressed to:
      • West Group™
      • 610 Opperman Drive
      • Eagan, MN 55123
  9. How do I get a copy of the Official Edition of the Law Reports Style Manual?
    • The Law Reports Style Manual is available for use and download electronically and information concerning the availability of print copies may be obtained from the Law Reporting Bureau by email (LRBpublications@nycourts.gov), phone (518-453-6900) or mail (17 Lodge Street, Albany, NY 12207).
  10. How do I get a certified copy of an opinion?
    • Provide the Official Reports citation for the opinion to the address listed in question I., above.
    • You will be invoiced for a photocopying fee of 50¢ per page and a certification fee of 25¢ per opinion.
    • Since certification requires coordination among several officials, please allow as much time as possible. For expedited delivery, provide your Federal Express or similar delivery service billing number with your request.
    • If you intend to use the certified opinions in a foreign country, you may need an apostille from the Department of State. We can obtain the apostille for you if you send us a check payable to the Department of State for the applicable fee.
  11. How do I get permission to copy an opinion?
    • Judiciary Law § 438 (Copyright of notes prepared by Law Reporting Bureau) provides:
      • "The copyright of the statement of facts, of the head notes and of all other notes or references prepared by the law reporting bureau must be taken by and shall be vested in the secretary of state for the benefit of the people of the state. The secretary of state is authorized by a writing filed in his office to grant to any person, firm or corporation, under such terms and conditions as he and the chief judge of the state of New York may determine to be for the best interests of the state, the right to publish the above mentioned copyrighted matter."
    • Provide the Official Reports citation for the opinion to the address listed in question I., above.
      Your request should include the following information:
      • The purpose for which the copies will be used.
      • The number of copies to be made.
      • The time period in which the copies will be used.
  12. Should personal information about the parties in decisions be redacted?
    • Decisions submitted for publication should adhere to the Privacy Guidelines derived from various statutes and Unified Court System policy.