On October 16, 2014, a local woman filed a civil lawsuit against the Borough of Kinnelon (Morris County) seeking to compel the Borough Council and Interim Borough Clerk Karen M. Iuele to approve and make the Council’s executive and “workshop” meeting minutes “promptly available” as required by the Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA).

In her lawsuit, Donna Dixon claims that the Kinnelon Council had not, as of this summer, created any written minutes of its nonpublic (closed or executive) meetings since January 1, 2009.  The lawsuit also alleges that the Borough has not created, since 2009, any minutes of its “workshop” meetings that are held on the second Thursday of each month.  The only minutes the Borough has maintained are those of the Council’s “regular” meetings held on the third Thursday of each month.

Dixon claims that when she made an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request for the delinquent minutes in August, Iuele needed a thirty day extension to handle the request. Then, Dixon and the Borough Council released seven sets of closed minutes on September 18, 2014.  According to Dixon, several closed meetings occurred between 2009 and 2014 for which no minutes have yet been released.  She seeks an order compelling the Borough to make all its past minutes available and to develop an enforceable procedure to ensure that future meeting minutes are made promptly available.  She also seeks an order compelling the Borough Council to make its meeting agenda publicly available at least two days prior to each meeting.

Her suit, filed by Walter M. Luers of Clinton, is captioned Dixon v. Borough of Kinnelon, et al, Docket No. MRS-L-2480-14.  No court proceedings are yet scheduled.  A copy of Dixon’s lawsuit is on-line here.

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