CJ Griffin Quoted in Law 360 discussing NJ Supreme Court Ruling Ordering Public Disclosure of Police Internal Affairs Reports
CJ Griffin, Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden, was quoted in the Law 360 article, “NJ Justices Clear Release Of Internal Affairs Records.” The article discusses the recent New Jersey Supreme Court victory in which Griffin represented the plaintiff seeking the internal affairs records of the director of the Elizabeth Police Department who had been found to violate Elizabeth’s anti-discrimination and anti-harassment policies. While acknowledging that police internal affairs reports are not subject to the Open Public Records Act, the NJ Supreme Court held that such reports should be released under the common law right of access. The Court also set forth factors that public agencies and trial courts should consider when deciding whether to release internal affairs reports. The Court reversed the Appellate Court decision and ordered the trial court to release the records, with appropriate redactions.
Rivera's attorney, CJ Griffin of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC, hailed Monday's decision as "a landmark police transparency ruling."
"Police internal affairs records in New Jersey have been shrouded in complete secrecy for decades, even though they are public in both red and blue states across the country," Griffin said in a statement. "Now, the court has set a path to access IA records under the common law and made it clear that there is a significant public interest in disclosure. Going forward, police departments should release IA records that relate to serious misconduct and if they don't, I think we'll be able to convince trial courts to release them."
Rivera is represented by CJ Griffin and Joshua P. Law of Pashman Stein Walder Hayden PC.
To view the full article, click here.