“Unpublished opinions” are not published in the law books and are not ordinarily written about in legal periodicals. Unless somebody puts them on-line and calls attention to them, they are likely not to be located by people who may want to search for them. I think that it’s important that court opinions, even if they are not precedential, are easily accessible for future use.

Brian E. Johnson v. City of Estell Manor
Atlantic County, Docket No. ATL-L-7617-12
Hon. Nelson C. Johnson, J.S.C.
October 22, 2013 and March 14, 2014
Click here for the opinions.
Click here for the transcript of the September 5, 2013 plenary hearing.


1. Employee who was, without proper legal authority, compelled by subpoena to appeared before an ad hoc committee of the City Council, was entitled to a copy of the audio-disk of the proceeding at which he was compelled to attend under the common law right of access.  Employee was not, however, entitled to the audio-disk under the Open Public Records Act. 

2. Having prevailed on common law right claim, employee is entitled to recover from the City his costs and counsel fees totaling $21,167.92.

Note: The City has appealed from both orders.  The Appellate Division docket number is A-3864-13.

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