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NJ Open Government Notes

Township to charge 7c per copy

Andover Township’s willingness to lower its per-page record cost from 75c to 7c might help convince other local public bodies do the same. Please consider sending the following article to your local mayor and/or school board.New Jersey Herald – Newton, New JerseyJanuary 27, 2009 Andover to cut cost of public records By SETH AUGENSTEIN ANDOVER […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

Seminar on e-mail retention for municipalities

On February 24, 2009 (in Holmdel) and February 26, 2009 (in Mount Laurel) an organization that is apparently affiliated with the New Jersey League of Municipalities will be holding a seminar entitled “Managing Government E-Mail Risks: OPRA, E-Discovery, and Retention ­ and Developing Solutions.” The half-day seminar costs $75 for League members and $150 for […]

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NJ Open Government Notes

How do I report the Mayor for doing something unethical?

I am often asked how, exactly, one goes about reporting a municipal official to the proper authorities when that official has done something unethical. The object of this article is the explain the process the best that I can. FIRST STEP: DETERMINE THE APPROPRIATE ENFORCEMENT AGENCY For the vast majority municipalities, the enforcement agency is […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

Bogota pays $115,000 to settle police assault case.

On September 29, 2008, Bogota Borough in Bergen County and/or its insurer paid $115,000 to three men who claimed the Bogota police assaulted them after a May 2005 bar fight that involved an off-duty officer. The settlement agreement, which contains a confidentiality clause, is on-line here and the lawsuit is described in a May 15, […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

Paterson pays $10,000 to settle vaguely worded police abuse case.

On May 28, 2008, the City of Paterson paid $10,000 to a local man who had sued the City and Paterson Police officers John Plelan and Frank Motta in August 2007 for an alleged police “assault” occurring on October 6, 2005. In his cryptically worded civil lawsuit, Alex Lopez claimed that the officers, along with […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

Readington paid out $45,000 and $200,000 to settle two police abuse cases.

Although Thomas Wachendorf’s and Christopher Strobel’s brutality lawsuits against the Readington Township police have received a fair amount of publicity (see, e.g. the January 4, 2007 Star Ledger article, which is set forth at the foot of this posting), the amount of their settlements with Readington have not been publicly disclosed until now. WACHENDORF In […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

Rutgers-Camden pays pro se litigant $4,000 to settle false arrest case

On October 7, 2008, Rutgers University agreed to pay a pro litigant (i.e. a plaintiff who sued without using a lawyer) $4,000 to settle his false arrest claim. On February 23, 2005, Rutgers Police received a report that a black male was in the Rutgers-Camden campus law school library with a baby stroller and that […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

East Brunswick pays $7,500 to woman after euthanizing her Rottweiler

In October 2008, East Brunswick Township officials agreed to pay a local woman $7,500 to settle her civil suit claiming that the Township’s Animal Control Officer used “duress and coercion” to get her consent to euthanize Turbo, her pet Rottweiler. In her lawsuit, the woman, Lillian Passaro of East Brunswick claimed that she was injured […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

Paterson settles police beating allegations for $190,000

In June 2008, Paterson city officials agreed to pay a local man $190,000 to settle a federal civil rights lawsuit that originated from alleged police beating on September 3, 2001. According to the federal complaint, plaintiff Terry Hanna, of East 24th Street, left his house and walked toward his mother’s home after having an argument […]

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NJ Civil Settlements

East Brunswick settles police abuse and racial discrimination suit for $10,000

On September 8, 2008, East Brunswick Township and Board of Education officials agreed to pay a former East Brunswick High School student $10,000 to settle his federal civil rights lawsuit. According to his lawsuit, High School senior Herbert Stevenson was sent to the principal’s office on May 24, 2005 after having had an argument with […]