On April 15, 2015, I visited the Superior Court’s Civil Division at the Middlesex County Courthouse in New Brunswick. As is my practice, I reviewed a listing of recently filed cases and came across an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) lawsuit bearing Docket No. MID-L-1217-15. My written notes indicate that the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office was the plaintiff in the suit, which is unusual because government agencies typically are OPRA defendants, not plaintiffs. Intrigued, I asked for a copy of the case file but was told that it was not immediately available because it was in Assignment Judge Travis Francis’ office.
When I checked the court’s on-line case searching system, a page appeared (click here) advising that the case is “sealed.” I have never seen an OPRA case file sealed. (For those who didn’t know that you could search Superior Court cases on-line, an explanation is provided here.)
I have submitted an OPRA request to the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office for all contents of the sealed case’s file. I will post the results when available.
By John Paff
Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project