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PBA Shield

John Nuthall


March 7, 2003

Court upholds privacy rights of PBA membership mailing list

An attempt by unofficial candidates for elective offices in the PBA to obtain a confidential mailing list of members has been denied in a decision by State Supreme Court Justice Harold B. Beeler.

In his decision, Justice Beeler wrote that the PBA is not required to disclose its mailing list and that PBA President Patrick Lynch’s offer to make the list available through bonded mailing companies once candidates become official “strikes a reasonable balance between protecting the privacy interests of the PBA membership, assuring an orderly election and allowing official candidates for office access to the membership to promote their candidacy.”

Justice Beeler also noted “nothing in this ruling prevents petitioner or any other expected candidate from presently campaigning by distributing literature at the station houses, conducting rallies or otherwise communicating with the members of the union.”

PBA President Pat Lynch said:

“I was elected to make the PBA more responsive to the needs of our members, to open up communications between this union and its members and to ensure that the PBA conducts its business in an honest and fair manner and I am proud to say that we have done that. Having been a victim of unfair election practices when I ran against the old guard in 1999, it is clear that the only fair way to provide mailing access to our members is through a protected mailing house when all candidates are declared and certified under the PBA’s bylaws. This will ensure all candidates will have fair and equal access while protecting the critical confidentiality of police officers' addresses. This court decision validates the fairness of that plan.”


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The Police Benevolent Association of the City of New York (PBA) is the largest municipal police union in the nation and represents nearly 50,000 active and retired NYC police officers.