NJ Open Government Notes

Fire District found to have violated Meetings Act, ordered to pay attorney fees

On November 15, 2012, a Superior Court judge declared that the Franklin Township (Somerset County) Fire District No. 2 Board of Commissioners violated the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) by failing to prepare public work-session meeting minutes from April 13, 2011 through August 2, 2012. 

In Carroll v. Fire District No. 2, Docket No. SOM-L-1274-12, Assignment Judge Yolanda Ciccone declared that the Board’s failure to prepare or produce these minutes violated the OPMA, but declined to order the Board to comply with the OPMA going forward.  Ciccone also ordered the Fire District to give the plaintiff audio tapes it had on file for six of the meetings for which minutes were not produced, and held that the plaintiff was the “prevailing party” under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and ordered the Fire District to pay her court costs and attorney fees.

A copy of Ciccone’s order is on-line here.

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to