N.Y. Criminal Procedure Law Section 245.70
Protective orders


Any discovery subject to protective order. Upon a showing of good cause by either party, the court may at any time order that discovery or inspection of any kind of material or information under this article be denied, restricted, conditioned or deferred, or make such other order as is appropriate, including, for 911 calls, allowing the disclosure of a transcript of an audio recording in lieu of the recording. The court may impose as a condition on discovery to a defendant that the material or information to be discovered be available only to counsel for the defendant; or, alternatively, that counsel for the defendant, and persons employed by the attorney or appointed by the court to assist in the preparation of a defendant’s case, may not disclose physical copies of the discoverable documents to a defendant or to anyone else, provided that the prosecution affords the defendant access to inspect redacted copies of the discoverable documents at a supervised location that provides regular and reasonable hours for such access, such as a prosecutor’s office, police station, facility of detention, or court. Should the court impose as a condition that some material or information be available only to counsel for the defendant, the court shall inform the defendant on the record that his or her attorney is not permitted by law to disclose such material or information to the defendant. The court may permit a party seeking or opposing a protective order under this section, or another affected person, to submit papers or testify on the record ex parte or in camera. Any such papers and a transcript of such testimony may be sealed and shall constitute a part of the record on appeal. This section does not alter the allocation of the burden of proof with regard to matters at issue, including privilege.


Modification of time periods for discovery. Upon motion of a party in an individual case, the court may alter the time periods for discovery imposed by this article upon a showing of good cause.


Prompt hearing. Upon request for a protective order, unless the defendant voluntarily consents to the people’s request for a protective order, the court shall conduct an appropriate hearing within three business days to determine whether good cause has been shown and when practicable shall render a decision expeditiously. Any materials submitted and a transcript of the proceeding may be sealed and shall constitute a part of the record on appeal. When the defendant is charged with a violent felony offense as defined in section 70.02 of the penal law, or any class A felony other than those defined in article two hundred twenty of the penal law, the court may, at the prosecutor’s request, for good cause shown, conduct such hearing in camera and outside the presence of the defendant, provided however that this shall not affect the rights of the court to receive testimony or papers ex-parte or in camera as provided in subdivision one of this section.


Showing of good cause. In determining good cause under this section the court may consider: constitutional rights or limitations; danger to the integrity of physical evidence or the safety of a witness; risk of intimidation, economic reprisal, bribery, harassment or unjustified annoyance or embarrassment to any person, and the nature, severity and likelihood of that risk; a risk of an adverse effect upon the legitimate needs of law enforcement, including the protection of the confidentiality of informants, and the nature, severity and likelihood of that risk; the nature and circumstances of the factual allegations in the case; whether the defendant has a history of witness intimidation or tampering and the nature of that history; the nature of the stated reasons in support of a protective order; the nature of the witness identifying information that is sought to be addressed by a protective order, including the option of employing adequate alternative contact information; danger to any person stemming from factors such as a defendant’s substantiated affiliation with a criminal enterprise as defined in subdivision three of section 460.10 of the penal law; and other similar factors found to outweigh the usefulness of the discovery.


Successor counsel or pro se defendant. In cases in which the attorney-client relationship is terminated prior to trial for any reason, any material or information disclosed subject to a condition that it be available only to counsel for the defendant, or limited in dissemination by protective order or otherwise, shall be provided only to successor counsel for the defendant under the same condition or conditions or be returned to the prosecution, unless the court rules otherwise for good cause shown or the prosecutor gives written consent. Any work product derived from such material or information shall not be provided to the defendant, unless the court rules otherwise or the prosecutor gives written consent. If the defendant is acting as his or her own attorney, the court may regulate the time, place and manner of access to any discoverable material or information; and it may as appropriate appoint persons to assist the defendant in the investigation or preparation of the case. Upon motion or application of a defendant acting as his or her own attorney, the court may at any time modify or vacate any condition or restriction relating to access to discoverable material or information, for good cause shown.


Expedited review of adverse ruling.


A party that has unsuccessfully sought, or unsuccessfully opposed the granting of, a protective order under this section relating to the name, address, contact information or statements of a person may obtain expedited review of that ruling by an individual justice of the intermediate appellate court to which an appeal from a judgment of conviction in the case would be taken.


Such review shall be sought within two business days of the adverse or partially adverse ruling, by order to show cause filed with the intermediate appellate court. The order to show cause shall in addition be timely served on the lower court and on the opposing party, and shall be accompanied by a sworn affirmation stating in good faith (i) that the ruling affects substantial interests, and


that diligent efforts to reach an accommodation of the underlying discovery dispute with opposing counsel failed or that no accommodation was feasible; except that service on the opposing party, and a statement regarding efforts to reach an accommodation, are unnecessary where the opposing party was not made aware of the application for a protective order and good cause is shown for omitting service of the order to show cause on the opposing party. The lower court’s order subject to review shall be stayed until the appellate justice renders a determination.


The assignment of the individual appellate justice, and the mode of and procedure for the review, shall be determined by rules of the individual appellate courts. The appellate justice may consider any relevant and reliable information bearing on the issue, and may dispense with written briefs other than supporting and opposing materials previously submitted to the lower court. The appellate justice may dispense with the issuance of a written opinion in rendering his or her decision, and when practicable shall render decision and order expeditiously. Such review, decision and order shall not affect the right of a defendant, in a subsequent appeal from a judgment of conviction, to claim as error the ruling reviewed.


Compliance with protective order. Any protective order issued under this article is a mandate of the court for purposes of the offense of criminal contempt in subdivision three of section 215.50 of the penal law.

Source: Section 245.70 — Protective orders, https://www.­nysenate.­gov/legislation/laws/CPL/245.­70 (updated May 8, 2020; accessed Dec. 2, 2023).

Dec. 2, 2023

Last modified:
May 8, 2020

§ 245.70’s source at nysenate​.gov

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