Sunshine Week, which runs from March 15 to March 21, 2020, is an annual nationwide celebration of access to public information. There are many ways that you can get involved--from filing OPRA requests, to writing a letter to the editor, to attending a public meeting. On this blog, we will write several times this week about transparency topics and success we have had recently shedding light on New Jersey government!
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The New Jersey Supreme Court has granted an OPRA requestor's Petition for Certification and agreed to hear an appeal in Libertarians for Transparent Government v. New Jersey State Police.
The question the Court certified is:
"Does section ten of the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10, require disclosure of the name of a state trooper listed in the Office of Professional Standard’s annual report to the Legislature as having been terminated for misconduct?"
For background, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10 states that personnel records are generally exempt under OPRA, but provides ...
According to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6, a records requestor who prevails in any proceeding shall be entitled to an award of reasonable attorneys' fees. We have written about OPRA's fee-shifting provision before, noting that without the fee-shift most requestors would not have the funds to challenge denials of access. As a result, the state would be far less transparent.
On August 14, 2019, the United States Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit issued an important published opinion relating to OPRA's mandatory fee-shifting provision.
The case, titled Golden v. New Jersey Institute for ...
Last week we discussed Exception 1 to OPRA’s personnel records exemption, which permits you to file an OPRA request for a public employee’s “name, title, position, salary, payroll record, length of service, date of separation and the reason therefor, and the amount and type of any pension received shall be a government record.” This week, we explore Exception 2.
Exception 2 provides that: “personnel or pension records of any individual shall be accessible when required to be disclosed by another law, when disclosure is essential to the performance of official duties of a ...