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Buffalo Public Records

What are Buffalo Public Records?

According to the New York Freedom of Information Laws, Buffalo City records are any documents created or stored by government entities. These records may include police reports, court records, criminal histories, and vital records. These records are usually created as these entities perform government business and can be written, typed, digital, video, pictures, or audio. Although most of these records are open to the public some records may be exempt from public view by law. Records in New York exempt from public view include:

  • Preliminary drafts
  • Records about pending litigation to which the city is a party
  • Documents covered by the attorney-client privilege
  • Personnel, medical records, and similar records, the disclosure of which would constitute an unnecessary invasion of personal privacy.
  • Confidential informant and law enforcement files
  • Documents revealing ongoing union and contract negotiations

Buffalo Crime Statistics

The Buffalo Police Department keeps records on the crime statistics for the city and submits them to the FBI Uniform Crime Reporting system (UCR). According to the UCR data for 2019 and 2018, Buffalo reported a reduction in a lot of the coming crimes that occur in the city. In 2019, violent crime, murder, rape, robbery, burglary, and car theft reduced by 5.9%, 17.5%, 27.5%, 11.6%, 29.1%, and 22.3% respectively. Assaults on the other hand showed a slight increase of 0.1%.

Are Buffalo’s criminal records public?

Not all records are open to the public. The request of an individual’s criminal records is restricted to the individual on record, law enforcement, and employers. The New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services performs criminal record checks for personal requests, employment, and licensing purposes. The Erie County Sheriff’s Office also provides a fingerprint-based local criminal history service. This requires a notarized application form and fingerprint card for each record requested and must be performed in person at the

Erie County Sheriff's Office
Identification Bureau
1st floor of 134 West Eagle Street
10 Delaware Ave.
Buffalo, NY 14202

Fingerprint cards cost $25 and the criminal history check costs $25 and $1 for each additional copy.

How to Obtain Police Reports and Arrest Records

Copies of records like police incident reports and arrest records can be obtained by calling the Erie County Sheriff's Office ID Bureau at (716) 858-7618. Arrest warrants and information can be viewed at no charge in the warrants section of the county sheriff’s office website

How to Find Sex Offender Information in Buffalo

The Buffalo Police Department website provides a link to the state sex offender registry operated by the New York State Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS). The search tool on the registry allows users to search for offenders by name, county, and zip codes. Members of the public may also call the Sex Offender Registry Deputy Alicia Gordon at (716) 858-3285 for sex offender information. The sex offender registry provides information about level 2 and level 3 offenders, to obtain information on level offenders, requesters must call the DCJS at (800) 262-3257. The caller must provide the following information for an accurate search:

  • The offender’s name and address
  • The offender’s date of birth
  • The offender’s driver’s license number or social security number

How to Find Buffalo Inmate Records

Information on inmates from Buffalo city and a full inmate list can be found in the inmate information section of the Erie County Sheriff's website. The information includes the inmate name, inmate number, holding facility, and the booking date.

How Do I Visit an inmate in Buffalo City Jail?

Offenders arrested in Buffalo are housed in any of two facilities, the Erie County Holding Centre(ECHC) and the Erie County Correctional Facility(ECCF). Visiting schedules and instructions for visitors can be found on the visitation section on the sheriff’s office website. The facilities provide onsite and off-site video visitation facilities.

Court Records

The Erie County Clerk provides access to a variety of court records. These records can be accessed and obtained in person at the Actions & Proceedings Office of the Erie County Clerk at 92 Franklin St. Buffalo, NY. The records can also be viewed online using the search tools on the county public search portal. Though descriptions of most records can be viewed online some records live divorce records and criminal records can only be requested in person. These records can also be obtained by mail by downloading and filling the appropriate application and mailing it with the appropriate fees to:

Erie County Clerk’s Office,
92 Franklin Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

Locations of Courts in Buffalo

The name and location of the courts in Buffalo are listed below:

Erie County Supreme Court
25 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 845-9301
Fax: (716) 851-3293

Erie County Supreme Court
92 Franklin Street, Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 845-9301
Fax: (716) 851-3293

_Erie County Supreme Court
50 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 845-9301
Fax: (716) 851-3293

County Courts in Erie County
Erie County Court
25 Delaware Avenue, Buffalo, NY 14202
Phone: (716) 845-9301
Fax: (716) 851-3293

Are Buffalo Court Records Public?

Not every Buffalo court record is open to public view. Under the New York Public Record Laws, some types of court records may be classified as confidential and the public would be refused access to these records. Court records barred from public view include juvenile cases, child custody cases, probate and family court cases, juror records, and adoption records.

Can you look up a Buffalo court case online?

Some Buffalo court records are accessible and can be accessed online through a public search portal on the Erie County Clerk’s website. Users will be able to see the names of the documents and obtain substantial information about the records. A user will not be able to view or read the actual document online unless they become a registered user by paying some fees.

How to Obtain Buffalo Civil Court Case Records

Buffalo civil court records are obtained by contacting the Erie County Clerk who serves as the clerk of court for both the supreme and county courts. This makes them the custodians for all court-related documents and records. These records can be obtained in person or by mail by contacting the County Clerk at

The Erie County Clerk’s Office,
Actions and Proceedings office,
92 Franklin Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

Mailed requests should include a filled copy of the appropriate request form available on the information request rules page of the county clerk website. Requesters should also include the appropriate fee and a self-addressed and stamped envelope for returning the records. The fees should be in a check or money order made payable to the Erie County Clerk.

The records can also be obtained online by filling and submitting the online request form available on the County Clerk website.

How to Obtain Buffalo Criminal Court Records

Criminal court records for Buffalo can be obtained from the Erie County clerk. These records can be obtained by mail, in person, or online. To request the records by mail a requester will need to download the appropriate record request from the county clerk website. The rules for information requests page on the county clerk website has a variety of downloadable and printable record application forms. The required form should be filled and mailed along with the appropriate fee and a self-addressed and stamped envelope to:

The Erie County Clerk’s Office,
Actions and Proceedings office,
92 Franklin Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

Requests in person are made by coming in person to the basement records department at the Actions and proceeding office of the Erie County Clerk. The basement records department contains public access computers that can be used for a records search. Fees for mailed-in requests must be in either checks or money orders made payable to the Erie County Clerk.

What are Buffalo Vital Records?

Buffalo vital records refer to documents created by their respective government agencies that record the life events that have taken place within the city. These include records of births, marriages, divorces, and deaths. These records can be obtained from their respective custodians at the local and state levels.

Where and How to Obtain Buffalo Divorce Records

Divorce records in New York may only be requested by the couple involved in the divorce or their legal representatives. Buffalo City divorce records are obtained by contacting the Erie County Clerk who is the custodian of these records. The records can be obtained in person or by mail. Requesters will need to fill the divorce record request form available on the county clerk's website. The form will need to be printed and notarized and then returned in person or by mail to the county clerk’s office at:

The Erie County Clerk’s Office,
Actions and Proceedings office,
92 Franklin Street,
Buffalo, NY 14202

The requester will also be required to provide identification to show they are authorized to request the record. If a case index number is not given in the form then requesters will be charged a search fee to locate the record. The fees for the records should be in money order or check payable to the Erie County Clerk. Cash is only accepted if the request is made in person.

Where and How to Get Confidential Marriage Records in Buffalo

Buffalo confidential marriage records are not subject to freedom of information laws and so they can not be accessed by the general public. They are only issued to any of the married couple, their legal representatives, or someone legally authorized by the court or the couple to receive one. Marriage records are available at the Buffalo City Clerk's Office located on the 13th floor of City Hall in Room 1302. The requests can either be made in person, by mail or online.

To request a Buffalo marriage record in person the requester should bring a valid ID and the record fees to the clerk’s office. To request by mail the requester will be required to send in a written request containing the following:

  • Groom's Full Name, Bride's First Name and Maiden Name, Date of Marriage, and contact phone number.
  • Copy of government-issued photo identification
  • A form of Proof of address if your address on your identification is not current

The request should also include a self-addressed and stamped envelope and the appropriate fee and should be mailed to:

Vital Records
Room 1302, City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202

The fee is $10 per certificate and can be in cash or card payment if the request is in person. Mailed requests should include the fee in a money order payable to the city clerk.

Where and How to Find Buffalo Birth Records

Buffalo birth certificates can be obtained from the Buffalo City Clerk's Office. Birth records are not subject to freedom of information laws so they will only be issued to the following:

  • The individual named on the certificate
  • Parents of the individual who are also named on the record
  • A spouse, child, or other siblings may obtain a birth record for legal or proper use under a New York State court order.
  • The legal custodian of a child under 18 years old

Obtaining Copies of Buffalo Birth Certificates

Buffalo city birth records can be obtained either in person, by mail, or online. Birth records for Buffalo can be obtained by contacting the vital records office on the 13th floor of City Hall in room 1302. Requesters in person will need to show a valid photo identification and pay the required fee. The fee for the record is $10 per certificate and can be paid in cash or credit and debit cards. Requesters in person may also obtain a wallet-sized photo birth certificate for a fee of $25. Mail requests to the city clerk must include:

  • A written request containing the name on the birth certificate, date of birth, hospital, father's name, mother's maiden name, a contact phone number.
  • A copy of a valid government-issued photo ID
  • A proof of address if it is not on the ID
  • The fee of $10 per certificate in a money order payable to the city clerk.
  • A self-addressed and stamped envelope for returning the record

Requests by mail are usually processed between 7 and 10 days after receiving the request. The request should be mailed to the vital records office at:

Vital Records
Room 1302, City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202

Where and How to Find Buffalo Death Records

Buffalo City Death certificates and records are not subject to freedom of information laws and so can only be obtained by the following persons:

  • Surviving spouse of the deceased
  • Parents of the deceased
  • Surviving children or siblings of the deceased

The Buffalo City death records can be obtained in person or by mail from the Buffalo City Clerk's Office in person or by mail. To request in person, the requester needs to visit the clerk’s office at city hall. The requester needs to bring along a valid government-issued photo ID and a fee of $10 per certificate. The fee when the request is in-person can be paid in cash, credit or debit card, or money order made payable to the Buffalo City Clerk.

Buffalo death record requests by mail involve mailing a request to the vital records office containing the following:

  • a written request containing the following information: name on the death certificate, date of death, place where the death occurred, and a contact phone number for the requester.
  • A copy of a valid government-issued photo ID
  • A proof of address if not on your ID or the Address on it is not current
  • The fee of $10 per certificate in a money order payable to The Buffalo City Clerk
  • A self-addressed and stamped envelope for returning the record

The information should be mailed to the City Clerk’s vital records office at:

Vital Records
Room 1302, City Hall
65 Niagara Square
Buffalo, NY 14202

If any requested records are not found a “No record” certification will be issued but the fees will not be refunded. Records are usually processed and returned 7 to 10 days after the receipt of mailed requests.

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