It's Sunshine Week and this year it kicks off in New Jersey with oral arguments before our Supreme Court in an important Open Public Records Act (OPRA) case.
On March 15, 2021, the Supreme Court will hear Bozzi v. City of Jersey City, a case that asks whether a list of names and addresses of dog license holders are accessible under OPRA. The plaintiff seeks the list for commercial purposes--he intends to mail dog owners information about his invisible fences. The case is listed as the second case of the day, which means arguments will begin sometime after 11:00 a.m. You can watch it here.
Happy New Year! The year 2020 was a year unlike any other. As we look back at transparency issues that arose over the past year, we hope that this blog finds our readers healthy and well.
Pandemic Creates Transparency Hurdles
Transparency was front and center in New Jersey in 2020, although sometimes it was the lack of transparency that was the focus.
On March 9, 2020, Governor Murphy issued Executive Order No. 103 to declare a Public Health Emergency in New Jersey. Days later, the Legislature rushed to amend the Open Public Meetings Act (OPRA) so that public agencies would not have to comply ...
On Nov. 20, 2020, Governor Murphy signed A-1649 into law. Among other things, the bill amends OPRA to render certain home addresses exempt from public access.
Specifically, the new law immediately exempts from access "that portion of any document which discloses the home address, whether a primary or secondary residence, of any active, formerly active, or retired judicial officer or prosecutor." A "judicial officer" is defined as an "active, formerly active, or retired federal, state, county, or municipal judge, including a judge of the Tax Court and any other court of limited ...