• Posts by CJ Griffin

    CJ Griffin is the director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden (Stein Public Interest Center). Established in 2019, the Stein Public Interest Center is dedicated to a broad range of ...

CJ Griffin, partner and director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., successfully represented the Trentonian newspaper in an appeal relating to three Ewing Township officers who were indicted by the U.S. Department of Justice for violating the civil rights of a teenager during a use of force incident. A copy of the opinion can be found here.

The Trentonian had sought internal affairs (IA) reports relating to the incident, as well as copies of all IA reports for each officer dating back to 2010. The trial court granted access to the IA ...

CJ Griffin, Partner and Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, participated in an interview by the ACLU-New Jersey titled “What Is The Open Public Records Act And How Does It Impact New Jersey?” Griffin, who is Vice President of the ACLU-NJ Board of Trustees, discussed the importance of the Open Public Records Act and holding those in power accountable. OPRA remains important today and for the future.

To view the article, click here.

To watch the video of the interview, click here

On November 16, 2022, Governor Murphy signed Executive Order (EO) No. 311, which exempts all name change orders filed with the New Jersey Department of the Treasury after 1948 from the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). The EO aligns the Treasury Department’s records system with the Judiciary’s, which amended court rules in 2021 to ensure that all name changes records are confidential and that name changes do not need to be publicized. The goal of both the court rule change and EO 311 is to protect the privacy of those seeking gender-affirming change changes.

On March 2, 2021 at 10:00 A.M., the New Jersey Supreme Court will hear oral argument in the case In re Attorney General Law Enforcement Directive Nos. 2020-05 and 2020-06.  The argument will be streamed live on the Judiciary's website, which you can view live on March 2nd.

We previously wrote about this case while it was pending in the Appellate Division:

In mid-June 2020, the Attorney General of New Jersey issued two important police transparency directives, both of which have been challenged and were before the Appellate Division this week.

The first directive, Law Enforcement ...

As our readers may recall, Governor Murphy recently signed "Daniel's Law" into law, which exempts the home addresses of current and former judges, prosecutors, and law enforcement officers from access under OPRA. A bill pending in the New Jersey Legislature would expand those exemptions to include two additional categories of persons.

Among other things, Senate Bill 3209 exempts from OPRA "that portion of any document which discloses the home address, whether a primary or secondary residence, of any active, formerly active, or retired probation officer or member of the ...

Our client, Reclaim the Records, just published a newsletter explaining how PSWH partner CJ Griffin helped the organization gain access to New Jersey's Death Index.

Reclaim The Records is a not-for-profit activist group of genealogists, historians, researchers, and journalists. It works to identify important genealogical record sets that are not online anywhere and not broadly available to the public. Through public records laws, it works to obtain copies of the records and then digitizes them and puts them online for free use.

What did Reclaim the Records do with the Death ...

Posted in Articles, OPRA Q&As

Pursuant to Section 5 of OPRA, a public agency must state the “specific basis” for denying access to government records.  Those who request records frequently, however, know that it is not uncommon for a public agency to issue a blanket denial when you’ve requested a volume of records, rather than telling you specifically why each requested record is being withheld.  Yesterday, a court awarded attorneys fees to Pashman Stein in litigation against a public agency who had refused to tell Plaintiff John Paff whether there were records responsive to his request and instead kept ...

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