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Monday, July 27, 2009

N.J. Government Records Council loses open records suit

The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government won its case against the New Jersey Government Records Council. The council, designed to help enforce open records laws, violated the law itself by refusing to release the e-mail addresses of those who had filed complaints with the council. The foundation had requested acknowledgment notices sent to each person who filed a complaint; the council had released the records but redacted the e-mail addresses on the grounds of privacy.
The New Jersey Foundation for Open Government (NJFOG) announced today that it
has won a lawsuit against the New Jersey Government Records Council (GRC) for violating the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), the very statute the GRC was created to enforce.

NJFOG had requested from the GRC complaint acknowledgement notices that the GRC emails to complainants. In response, the GRC had withheld the individual complainants’ email addresses. On July 17, Mercer County Superior Court Judge Douglas H. Hurd, J.S.C. “ordered that the defendant GRC grants Plaintiff NJFOG access in unredacted form to the requested GRC acknowledgement
notices. GRC shall comply with this Order by August 14, 2009.”
More here.

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