Erie County Arrest, Court and Public Records
Arrest records for Erie County can be found online at the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services (NYS DCJS). These include records that cover up to 2017. Arrest records for Erie County are online and available for download. These records provide a detailed breakdown of arrest rates for violent and property crimes. The NYS DCJS also provides a 10-year trend data of parolee and probationer arrests in Erie County.
The NYS DCJS collates juvenile arrests records for those between ages 16 and 17 for all counties. Their five-year record for Erie County covers the period between 2013 and 2017. For the most recent data, check the statewide juvenile arrest records, which provides details for the months between January and June 2018.
Erie County recorded a total of 23,371 crimes in 2017. Out of these, there were 3,463 violent crimes and 19,908 property crimes. The most frequent violent crime was aggravated assault with 2,055 incidents. In the same year, there were 1,111 robberies, 251 rapes, and 46 murders. The property crime with the highest incidence was larceny with 15,013 cases. This was followed by burglary with 3,755 incidents and 1,140 cases of motor vehicle theft.
Crime trends in Erie County over the last five years show that overall reported cases fell by 20%. A full breakdown of crime data shows a reduction in robbery (26%), murder (16%), aggravated assault (12%), burglary (28%), larceny (20%), and motor vehicle theft (9%). The only crime to experience an increase in the period is rape (20%).
Most Dangerous Areas
The Buffalo City area is the largest and most dangerous community in Erie County. The Buffalo City Police Department recorded 12,437 crimes in 2017. The town of Tonawanda was a distant second with the police department recording 1,012 crimes in the same period.
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Access to public records is available online, and search results often include information on criminal arrests, criminal court trials, and civil court proceedings.
Those seeking offline records must download the CHRS application forms and send them by mail to the Criminal History Record Search, NYS Office of Court Administration, Office of Administrative Services, Criminal History Record Search at 25 Beaver Street (Room 840 - Front Desk), New York, NY 10004. Applications can also be hand-delivered to the address between 9:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. from Monday to Friday.
Section CPLR § 8019(f) of the Judiciary Law stipulates that there are specific fees that a county clerk may charge for copying and certifying records, and a court clerk similarly may charge the same fees to copy and certify court records. In accordance with this provision, using the statewide Criminal History Record Search attracts a nominal fee of $65 paid by check or money order to the NYS Office of Court Administration.
Interested parties can find and retrieve court records for Erie County on the website of the New York State Unified Court System. Users can search the file proceedings of appellate, civil, and supreme courts as well as the surrogate court and court of claims. To find records for specific cases, access the search page as a guest or public user and then input case numbers and the year the case took place in. Make sure to narrow the statewide search by selecting Erie County as well as case type.
The state keeps a central sex offender registry that is available on the website of the New York Division of Criminal Justice Services. By law, this public directory only provides public information about Level 2 and Level 3 offenders. Search the sex offender registry by providing a name, county, or zip code. To get a list of sex offenders in Erie County, simply select it in the dropdown list of New York counties. The search tool also allows visitors to exclude offenders in police custody, in ICE custody, and in prison.
Inmate records for all the counties in the state are available on the website of the New York State Department of Corrections and Community Supervision. Use the inmate lookup/locator tool to find individual inmates. For other inmate records for Erie County, fill the Open FOIL NY form. It’s also possible to send a completed FOIL (Freedom of Information Law) request form by email. Alternatively, submit the request form at the FOIL Unit of the Office of Counsel at the NYS Department of Corrections and Community Supervision, Building 2, 1220 Washington Ave, Albany, NY.
Use the New York Real Estate Property System to find property records for Erie County. This search portal is available on the website of Erie County Office. To find the right records, simply search by property owner’s name or property address. Narrow the search result by choosing a city or town in the drop-down menu of communities in Erie County.
Adoption records in Erie County are sealed and maintained by the Erie County Surrogate Court. The court is on the 2nd floor of Erie County Hall located at 92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, and can be reached at (716) 845-2560. Parties interested in adoption records will need to obtain relevant court orders.
Birth records are kept in the office of the Registrar of Vital Statistics in each town and city in the county. For example, birth records for Buffalo city may be requested from the Vital Records Office of the City of Buffalo. It’s located at City Hall, 65 Niagara Square, Buffalo and can be reached at (716) 851-5432. All requests must be written and mailed to the City Clerk in a self-addressed stamped envelope with a $10 money order included.