The Legal Aid Society is arguing that records should be made public on whether New York police officers have been disciplined.
New York City lawyers say a state privacy law shields certain police records from public disclosure.
Until last year the records were accessible to the media. But NYPD lawyers halted their release, citing the need for stricter compliance with the privacy law.
A court hearing on the Legal Aid Society argument was held Tuesday. A judge will decide at a later date.
The society is seeking five years of police personnel orders.
Mayor Bill De Blasio has previously called for more police transparency. The society says he could release the information regardless of what the court rules.