CASE SUMMARY: NJFOG v. Lawrence Township Board of Education

 

Case Name:  NJFOG v. Lawrence Township Board of Education
Docket Number:  MER-L-1831-16
County / Vicinage:  Mercer
Filing Date:  September 12, 2016
Presiding Judge:   Jacobson, Mary C.
Status:  open

 

Overview:

The complaint alleges multiple violations of the OPMA and OPRA.

Records Act (OPRA) counts were settled in November 2016 (see documents below), and the Board has paid $2,500 to cover NJFOG’s attorney fees.

Judge Jacobson required the parties to mediate the Meetings Act (OPMA) counts. Mediation failed, however, so the matter will be decided by the Court. NJFOG’s summary judgment motion (see documents below) places the following OPMA counts before the court:  1) Do the Board’s motions or resolutions that authorize its nonpublic (closed or executive) sessions provide enough detail about the topics to be privately discussed?;  2) Are the Board’s nonpublic meeting minutes sufficiently “comprehensible” to satisfy the OPMA? The hearing is currently scheduled for June 20, 2017.

 

Case Documents:

Complaint, Brief, Order to Show Cause – NJFOG v. Lawrence Twp BOE:
http://njfog.org/files/2016/10/NJFOG-v-Lawrence-Twp-BOE-complaint-exhs-brief-and-Order-10-3-2016.pdf

Minutes comparison – redacted vs. unredacted – Lawrence Twp BOE:
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62zIy-MpCRoNTFQUDVaUkU0Yk0/view?usp=sharing

20161130 Order resolving OPRA counts – NJFOG v. Lawrence Twp BOE :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62zIy-MpCRoTE5OQlZKb1hnSXM/view?usp=sharing

20170228 NJFOG’s Motion for Summary Judgment – NJFOG v. Lawrence Twp BOE :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62zIy-MpCRoVnhrTDBZTlRDWGc/view?usp=sharing

20170405 Defendant’s Opposition to Motion for Summary Judgment – NJFOG v. Lawrence Twp BOE :
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62zIy-MpCRodllnM2czbWx0YWc/view?usp=sharing

20170408 NJFOG’s Reply to Opposition – NJFOG v. Lawrence BOE
https://drive.google.com/file/d/0B62zIy-MpCRoa0x3eDRMTEFHS0U/view?usp=sharing

 

Press Release(s):

Lawrence Twp. Council and Board of Ed. charged with OPMA and OPRA violations
http://njfog.org/2016/10/05/lawrence-twp-council-board-ed-charged-opma-opra-violations/

 

Articles / Posts:

Lawrence School Board over-redacted its closed meeting minutes (includes link to the minutes comparison under the documents section above)
http://njfog.org/2016/11/17/lawrence-school-board-redacted-closed-meeting-minutes/

 

Judge dings Lawrence school board for violating sunshine laws
http://www.trentonian.com/general-news/20161130/judge-dings-lawrence-school-board-for-violating-sunshine-laws