Open Government Litigation

Below is a listing of cases that may affect access to government records or meetings in important areas.  It is meant to be a useful resource rather than a complete list.  Included are cases brought by NJFOG as part of our “affirmative litigation” initiative to improve governmental compliance with the State’s Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA) and Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

Clicking on a case title below (where a link is provided) will bring you to a summary of the case with additional information and documents.  Cases are organized by county / jurisdiction.  GRC complaints are listed at the bottom of the page.  Of the court cases below, the only ones that are binding on lower courts are Supreme Court opinions and published opinions of the Appellate Division. Unpublished Appellate Division decisions and trial court opinions are not binding but may be considered persuasive by other courts.

Also, be aware that the following bracketed sets of counties each share a specially designated judge who hears OPRA cases:  [Cape May and Atlantic], [Morris and Sussex], [Somerset, Warren, and Hunterdon] and [Gloucester, Cumberland, and Salem]. If, for example, you are considering contesting an OPRA denial by a custodian in Cumberland County, you may want to check the Gloucester and Salem cases as well because they may have been decided by the same judge who will be hearing your challenge.

 

April 8, 2017:  This page and the case summaries are under construction, and updates are ongoing. New information is being added daily.

 

 

New Jersey Supreme Court

Paff v. Galloway Township   (email log, electronic records)
North Jersey Media v. Township of Lyndhurst   (law enforcement records)
NJ State Firemen’s Association (NJSFA) v. Carter   (declaratory judgement actions, who can sue)
Gilleran v. Bloomfield Township   (14-hr security video)

 

Superior Court, Appellate Division

Nevin v. City of Asbury Park (developers not permitted in executive session)
North Jersey Media Group v. Bergen County Prosecutor’s Office  (“Glomar” response) 
Paff v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office  (law enforcement records, dashcam video)
Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law v. Atlantic City School District   (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)
Smith v. Swedesboro-Woolwich School District  (redactions to closed session minutes)
Paff v. Bergen County et al. (internal affairs complaints against corrections officers)

 

Superior Court, Law Division
(by county below)

 

Atlantic

Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law v. Atlantic City School District   (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)
Scheeler v. Atlantic County Municipal Joint Insurance Fund   (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)

Bergen

Paff v. Bergen County et al. (internal affairs complaints against corrections officers)

 

Burlington

Paff v. Township of Moorestown   (release of meeting minutes, challenges GRC’s Parave-Fogg decision)
Libertarians For Transparent Government v. Willingboro Twp.  (informal settlement documents)

 

Camden

Paff v. Bellmawr Borough Council   (minutes requirement for caucus or workshop meetings)

 

Cape May

Scheeler v. Cape May City  (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)

Cumberland

 

Essex

LFTG v. Borough of Caldwell   (draft settlement, settlement correspondence)
Gilleran v. Bloomfield Township   (14-hr security video)

 

Gloucester

Smith v. Swedesboro-Woolwich School District   (redactions to closed session minutes)
Heimlich v. Educational Information & Resource Center  (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)

Hudson

LFTG v. City of Jersey City  (handwritten settlement agreement, not yet adopted)

 

Hunterdon

Digital First Media v. Township of Readington, et al.  (police dash cam video)

Mercer

NJFOG v. Trenton Board of Education
NJFOG v. Lawrence Township Board of Education
NJFOG v. Lawrence Township Council
Richard Lord v. City of Trenton  (banned/blocked user list (Facebook), social media policy memo)
LFTG v. Mercer County Prosecutor’s Office  (“information as to the type of crime, time, location and type of weapon” following close of investigation)
NJFOG v. West Windsor-Plainsboro Regional Board of Education  (closed session minutes & resolutions, recording of adequate notice in minutes)

 

Middlesex

NJFOG v. Spotswood Board of Education
LFTG v. Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office  (police incident reports & use of force reports)
Paff v. Andrew C. Carey, Middlesex County Prosecutor (Promis Gavel custom reports)
Steven Wronko v. Township of Old Bridge  (police video of traffic stop)

 

Monmouth

LFTG v. Shore Regional High School District  (info v. documents, employment separation detail)
Nevin v. City of Asbury Park (developers not permitted in executive session)

 

Morris

Ocean

Paff v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office    (law enforcement records)
NJFOG v. Island Heights Board of Education
NJFOG v. Little Egg Harbor Fire District #3
NJFOG v. Long Beach Island Board of Education
Scheeler v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office  (OPRA rights of non-NJ residents)
LFTG v. Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office  (reason for separation of employment)

 

Passaic

Salem

 

Somerset

Sussex

Union

NJ State Firemen’s Association (NJSFA) v. Carter  (declaratory judgement actions, who can sue)
NJFOG v. Summit Housing Authority
LFTG v. Elizabeth School District  (release of settlement terms ahead of formal adoption)

 

Warren

 

 

Government Records Council (GRC)