NJFOG previously posted an article about the June 11 Appellate Court ruling in North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst. The decision, available here, severely restricts access to a wide range of law enforcement records that many trial courts had previously opined are public. The inevitable fallout of the Lyndhurst decision is now being felt across the state. Open records activist John Paff blogged about one such impact, an Ocean County OPRA case that he lost because the trial judge relied heavily on the Appellate ruling. Paff’s blog entry is re-posted below. -NJFOG
UPDATE (12/15/2015): The NJ Supreme Court has agreed to hear North Jersey Media Group’s appeal of the Appellate Court’s Lyndhurst decision. From the NJ Judiciary’s website:
A-35-15 North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst (076184)
Case summary: Are these law enforcement agencies required to release their records relating to this high-speed police chase and shooting under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to -13, or the common law?
Leave to appeal granted: 12/15/15
Appellate Division’s Lyndhurst ruling claims its first casualty.
by John Paff
NJ Open Government Notes blog
July 1, 2015
On June 11, 2015, the New Jersey Superior Court’s Appellate Division issued an opinion in North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst which drastically restricted public access to law enforcement records. On June 25, 2015, Ocean County Superior Court Judge Mark A. Troncone, relying heavily on the Lyndhurst ruling, denied my right to obtain records regarding a police investigation into a former elementary school principal. Troncone’s ruling in Paff v. Coronato, Docket No. OCN-L-252-15 is on-line here.
Continue reading here.