Until now, as it pertained to MVR recordings in most circumstances, the Appellate Division had found that none of those exemptions applied, and thus the video would be subject to disclosure. Jersey Media Grp. Township of Lyndhurst. However, the matter was remanded to the trial court to determine whether the requestor has a common-law right of access to the recordings. Finally, the Court also found that no specific privacy concerns supported withholding this record from disclosure.
Open Public Records Act (OPRA)
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Such access shall be through the custodian of department records. This policy will establish procedures for the receipt and processing of requests for access to department records.
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This policy and procedure is not applicable to any general rules of discovery under New Jersey Rules of Court; Rule , Pretrial Procedures. Frank Caruso, the communications specialist and resource manager at the GRC, said the growing number of unfilled staff positions has become a burden on the agency in recent years, making it a struggle for the current workers to clear their assigned cases at a reasonable pace.
Leading the Way in Shared Services
Lisa Ryan, a spokeswoman for the Department of Community Affairs, of which the Government Records Council is a part, said she could not speak to the decisions made under the prior administration of Republican Gov. Chris Christie. Phil Murphy when it comes to decisions about funding and staffing the council going forward. The GRC was created through the Open Public Records Act OPRA in , which endeavored to increase government transparency at the state and local level and to specify which records would be available to the public.
In theory, the GRC is supposed to be simpler and cheaper than enlisting an attorney and suing the government agency that denied your records request. To file an appeal with the GRC, you only have to fill out a seven-page form and send it in.
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The GRC does not even require appellants to appear and make oral arguments, like a judge might. But open records advocates and residents say the GRC has morphed into something more onerous than the court system, turning what was supposed to be the easy way of appealing a public records denial into the more headache-inducing option. Since , the GRC has received about 4, so-called denial of access complaints, the basic form required to file an appeal with the council. The oldest ones date back to For one public records requester, the wait to have her complaint ruled on surpassed two years.
Legislative Records Request Form
When she arrived at the school board office, Sadrakula made a verbal OPRA request for the contract and was shown a copy. But then, according to Sadrakula, an office staffer told her she could not have a copy of the contract or take a photo of it, and then tore the copy to shreds in front of Sadrakula. Sadrakula enlisted public records attorney C. Griffin, with the law firm Pashman Stein, to file an appeal with the GRC, alleging the Clifton officials broke the law.
Clifton education officials denied that an office worker ripped up a copy of the contract and according to GRC records said they were waiting for permission from their attorney to give out copies of the document. Currently the council has four staff members, but in the past it had as many as nine staff members, including five full-time case managers.