CJ Griffin Quoted in New Jersey Law Journal
CJ Griffin, Partner and Director of the Justice Gary S. Stein Public Interest Center at Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C., was quoted in a New Jersey Law Journal article titled, “Is CPANJ a Public Agency? ACLU, County Prosecutors Face Off at NJ Supreme Court Arguments.” The article discusses how the New Jersey Supreme Court considered whether the County Prosecutors Association of New Jersey is a public agency and therefore subject to the Open Public Records Act.
CJ Griffin, who argued the cause for amicus Libertarians for Transparent Government, said that CPANJ is a public agency. However, she opened by explaining the implications of a decision finding that CPANJ is not a public agency.
“If CPANJ is not a public agency, then we have serious concerns about the extensive use of public resources, particularly the use of assistant prosecutors in … more than three dozen cases arguing and entering court appearances on behalf of CPANJ,” Griffin said. “That is in direct violation of … 2A:158-15.1b.”
Griffin said that the county prosecutor’s offices and CPANJ are essentially one and the same.
“If CPANJ is a private entity, its communications with the government, most likely the attorney general, would not be subject to any privilege,” Griffin said. “The deliberative process privilege is probably the privilege that the attorney general would likely use the most.”
Griffin said that, for that privilege to apply, it must be intra- or interagency. As an example, Griffin said that communications between colleagues at the ACLU and the Attorney General’s Office would not have any applicable privilege.
“I think Verry is … factually different because you don’t have constitutional officers that are the sole members of the organization and there is not that extra level,” Griffin said.
To read the full article, click here.