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NJ Open Government Notes

Lawsuit seeks CDR filed against Bridgeton police detective.

Update: 11/03/18: In an October 30, 2018 order, Assignment Judge Benjamin C. Telsey ordered Bridgeton to disclose the CDR-1 Summons and Complaint against Detective Acevedo and to pay my non-profit’s attorneys fees and court costs.——————————————————-On July 20, 2018, Libertarians for Transparent Government, a New Jersey Non-Profit Corporation (LFTG) (for which I serve as executive director) […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Judge: OPRA requires disclosure of golf club’s bid to provide recreational amenities at Liberty State Park.

On July 25, 2018, Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson ordered the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) to disclose the sole bid that it received in response to its Request for Proposal (RFP) for recreational amenities in the Caven Point area of Liberty State Park in Jersey City. The NJDEP and the […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Names of fired public employees, identified only by their employee numbers, can be obtained through OPRA.

The minutes of some public agencies, often school districts, refer to agency employees by number rather than by name.  For example, the Perth Amboy (Middlesex County) school board’s November 2, 2017 meeting minutes state that a majority of the Board (Board members Obdulia Gonzalez and Anton Massopust voted “no”) voted to terminate “employee #XXX671” and […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Appeals court rules that Union County jail’s inmate suicide and overdose fatality incident reports are disclosable under OPRA.

On June 4, 2018, a two-judge panel of the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division affirmed a Union County trial judge’s January 3, 2017 ruling that incident reports of Union County Correctional Facility inmate deaths caused by suicides and drug overdoses are, subject to appropriate redactions, subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Supreme Court orders disclosure of names and addresses of auction purchasers of confiscated sports memorabilia.

Chief Justice Stuart Rabner On May 23, 2018, the New Jersey Supreme Court, in a unanimous decision, reversed a July 6, 2016 Appellate Division ruling that held that bidders who successfully purchased confiscated items at a county prosecutor’s auction had a reasonable expectation that their names and addresses would be withheld from the public. In […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

GRC holds that it was OK for a records custodian to unilaterally grant himself a two-week extension.

In a March 27, 2018 decision, the Government Records Council (GRC) held that the Summit (Union County) school district did not violate the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) by unilaterally granting itself a two-week extension to fulfill a records request. The request, submitted on June 27, 2016, was for a civil complaint and a settlement […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Local Finance Board will start posting ethics minutes on-line but will continue to obscure case docket numbers in those minutes.

Among the first orders of business at the Local Finance Board’s (LFB) meetings is the consideration of complaints filed against local government officials for alleged violations of the Local Government Ethics Law (LGEL).  While the Board keeps minutes of the portions of its meetings where LGEL complaints are discussed, it has not posted them on […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Five members of Borough Council say that they lack an annual source of income in excess of $2,000.

As required by the Local Government Ethics Law, Woodlynne Borough (Camden County) Councilwoman Sharon Earley and her husband, Planning Board Member Robert Earley, both filed Financial Disclosure Statements (FDSs) in 2017.  These filings are intended to disclose basic information regarding public officials’ and their family members’ sources of income, business interests and real estate holdings.  […]

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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 […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Court to hear OPRA case where school board denied access to documents that are publicly available at the courthouse.

On Monday, February 26, 2018 at 10 a.m., Bergen County Assignment Judge Bonnie J. Mizdol will hear argument on whether laws that accord confidentiality to certain student records justify a local school board’s decision to deny access to a civil lawsuit that a student filed against the school board. On October 17, 2017, Libertarians for […]