Settlement letter ruled not to be exempt under OPRA. Caldwell ordered to pay $5,200 in attorney fees and costs.
On September 14, 2016, Essex County Superior Court Judge Frank Covello issued a verbal ruling that a June 22, 2016 settlement confirmation letter exchanged between the Borough of Caldwell (Essex County) and the plaintiff in a lawsuit against the Borough was disclosable under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) even though the settlement had not been formally approved. On September 27, 2016, Judge Covello ordered Caldwell to pay the plaintiff’s attorney, CJ Griffin of Hackensack, $5,199.84 in court costs and attorney fees.
Background on the case, Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG) v. Borough of Caldwell, et al, Docket No. ESX-L-5197-16, is on-line here.
By John Paff
Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project. Please send all comments to email@example.com