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The Office of General Counsel issued the following opinion on February 13, 2007, representing the position of the New York State Insurance Department.

Re: Private Opinion Letters

The inqurier asked whether he may request that an opinion of this office to him be kept private and not made public or published.

The procedures for issuing opinions are governed by § 2.5(a) of N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit.11, Pt. 2.5 (Reg. 1) (2007). Opinions are available to the public for inspection and copying under the Freedom of Information Law (“FOIL”) unless of a confidential nature as defined by FOIL, and then only to the extent so required. Where a person requests that documents be withheld from public disclosure, the Insurance Department will inform the submitting party that such a blanket request is not acceptable. The submitting party must make a separate request for each document submitted to the Department, specifying why the documents should be treated as exempt under Pub. Off. Law § 87(2)(d) (i.e., FOIL) and also § 241.6(a) of N.Y. Comp. Codes R. & Regs. tit. 11, Pt. 241.6 (Reg. 71) (1998).

In short, it is not the usual practice of this office to issue private opinion letters.

For further information you may contact Principal Attorney Paul A. Zuckerman at the New York City Office.


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