In a 25-page opinion issued on July 13, 2010, Union County Superior Court Judge Kathryn A. Brock ruled that while I am not entitled to a police surveillance video under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), I am entitled to it under the common law right of access.
At issue in the case is a surveillance video that shows former Garwood Police Officer Gennaro Mirabella trespassing after hours in Garwood Borough’s offices. Background on this case is available at my blog entry on-line here.
Judge Brock held “that the public interest in viewing the actions of the police officer which caused the Borough to issue a complaint against him for trespassing in that office, in context of how the Borough ultimately dealt with his conduct substantially outweighs the concerns raised by the Borough about the effect of the disclosure on the security of the Clerk’s office.”
Judge Brock ordered Garwood Borough to give me the requested surveillance video within 45 days. She also asked for briefs from both sides in order to determine whether my lawyer, Richard Gutman of Montclair, is entitled to have his attorney fees paid by the Borough.
Her order and opinion are on-line here. All the filings in the court, including Judge Brock’s order and opinion, are on-line here.