NJ Supreme Court to hear case that cut access to police records

UPDATE (7/11/2017):  On July 11, 2017, the New Jersey Supreme Court released its decision in North Jersey Media v. Twp of Lyndhurst. The mixed ruling reverses the Appellate Court in part but also allows agencies to withhold some records under certain conditions. Read our summary here for more detail.


UPDATE (11/9/16):  The NJ Supreme Court heard oral argument on this case on Wednesday, November 9, 2016.   Attorney Walter Luers argued the case on NJFOG’s behalf in Richard Gutman’s absence.


UPDATE (9/16/16):  Oral argument before the State Supreme Court has been tentatively scheduled for either Tuesday, Oct. 11, 2016 or Thursday, Oct. 13, 2016  (see UPDATE above) in the Courtroom of the Supreme Court, Richard J. Hughes Justice Complex, 25 Market Street, 8th floor, North Wing, Trenton, NJ. NJFOG is being represented by Montclair-based attorney Richard Gutman, who will argue our interest on our behalf.  The proceedings are open to the public and are recorded. The recording is then made available on the Court’s website, usually fairly quickly.


UPDATE (2/8/16):  We are pleased to report that NJFOG’s motion to act as an amicus in the Lyndhurst case has been approved.  Our participation in oral argument has also been approved.


UPDATE (2/2/16):  NJFOG has filed an amicus brief with the NJ Supreme Court in this matter.  Many thanks to Montclair attorney Richard Gutman for preparing the brief pro bono on NJFOG’s behalf.


The NJ Supreme Court has agreed to hear North Jersey Media Group’s appeal of the Appellate Court’s Lyndhurst decision, which severely limited access to many law enforcement records that lower courts had previously ruled are public.

From the NJ Judiciary’s website:

A-35-15 North Jersey Media Group, Inc. v. Township of Lyndhurst (076184)

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



See related posts on this site:
Lawsuit cites conflicting Appellate decisions on access to police records











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NJFOG’s John Paff is quoted in this article that calls attention to the public’s inability to access police videos. It highlights the stakes in the NJ Supreme Court appeal that could overturn the North Jersey Media v. Lyndhurst decision that cut access to police records.
NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
By Brian Amaral
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NJ Advance Media for NJ.com
By S.P. Sullivan
March 06, 2016