Senator May’s Bill to Create Public Eviction Database Passes Senate

Syracuse, NY – Today, Senator Rachel May (D-Onondaga, Madison, Oneida) is pleased to announce that her bill (S.6170) requiring the office of the inspector general to establish a publicly searchable database on eviction proceedings in the state has passed the Senate.

The database shall include (but is not limited to) the following: the court index number, the docket number and the date the action was filed, whether the tenant had legal representation, whether an eviction has been ordered and on what date was it ordered, the reason for the eviction and nonpayment amount owed (if any), the name and address of the landlord, whether the property is commercial or residential, and the zip code of the property.

Tens of thousands of evictions occur every year in our state, but there is no easy, centralized way to access those records and information is often scant at the municipal level. Understanding trends in eviction rates — like where, why, and when evictions are happening — may help us prevent some evictions by shedding useful light on this important issue and, ultimately, keep more people in their homes and businesses.

“The first step toward solving any public issue is with information,” said Senator May. “Evictions occur on a regular basis for both households and businesses with very little public information available to understand the trends or the common challenges people are facing. This legislation will require the formation of a publicly searchable database so that we may begin to access the data and craft solutions to this problem so many are facing, especially in light of the pandemic.”