NJFOG agrees with the NJ Press Association and the Press of Atlantic City’s position against bill A-3626, which proposes an overly-broad exemption to the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) for the identities of violent crime victims and witnesses. The editorial points out that victims’ needs are already balanced against the needs of the public under OPRA. The bill would further erode access to criminal investigatory records in the state in the wake of the Lyndhurst decision and would in essence repeal a portion of OPRA (NJSA 47:1A-3(b)) that allows such access unless inimical to the public interest (with certain exceptions). Further, the bill casts such a wide net as to make OPRA unworkable in that it would require custodians to consider if any person named in any document had ever been a victim or witness of a violent crime.
Reject Assembly limit on public’s access to crime information
Press of Atlantic City
June 3, 2016