Glenn Katon submitted his records request to the New Jersey Office of Attorney General on July 16, 2012 and, after being denied, appealed the denial to the Government Records Council (GRC) on September 17, 2012. On July 23, 2013, the GRC affirmed the denial.  See, Katon v. NJ Department of Law and Public Safety, GRC Complaint No. 2012-267.

Today, a three-judge Appellate Division panel, in a decision that is on-line here, rapped the GRC and its former Executive Director Brandon D. Minde for accepting the Attorney General’s “largely unresponsive, blanket and conclusionary assertion” as to the non-disclosability of 610 records that were responsive to Katon’s request.  The panel also criticized the GRC for holding that records created after a decision was made were “pre-decisional” and for not requiring the Attorney General to provide privilege indexes for the documents it claimed were exempt from disclosure.  The panel ruled that the GRC acted in manner “inconsistent with the GRC’s responsibilities.”

The panel vacated the bulk of the GRC’s July 23, 2013 order and remanded the matter back to it for a redo.

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