Categories
NJ Open Government Notes

Unpublished trial court OPRA opinion.

Unpublished opinions” are not published in the law books and are not ordinarily written about in legal periodicals.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 I think that it’s important that court opinions, even if they are not precedential, are easily accessible for future use.

Carin Geiger v. Borough of Englewood Cliffs, et al, Docket No. BER-L-7240-17
Hon. Robert P. Contillo, P.J.Ch.
January 19, 2018
Click here for the court’s decision.

Summary:  An e-mail sent by the mayor to a newspaper reporter was not subject to the executive privilege because it does not seek advice that would help the mayor make an informed decision.  Rather, it was the mayor’s comment defending actions taken by the Borough Council.  Also, the mayor cannot invoke the Shield Law because that defense can only be invoked by the journalist, not the source.  The Borough was ordered to disclose the e-mail and pay the plaintiff’s attorney fees.

By John Paff

Chairman of the New Jersey Libertarian Party's Open Government Advocacy Project