CASE SUMMARY: LFTG v. Wall Township Board of Education

Case Name: Libertarians for Transparent Government (LFTG) v. Wall Township Board of Education and Brian J. Smyth
Docket Number: MON-L-2848-17
County: Monmouth
Filing Date: August 3, 2017
Presiding Judge: Not yet assigned (as of 8/10/17)
Status: Open


This case presents the issue of whether a custodian can deny access to an invoice under the deliberative process privilege.

On June 19, 2017, LTFG requested a copy of an invoice from a vendor, Jostens, regarding its production of the 2017 high school yearbook. The request was made because one of the student’s photographs in the 2017 high school yearbook was altered so as to remove references to Donald Trump. As a result, all of the yearbooks have been reprinted at a cost of $10,000. The school board has claimed that no public funds were used for the reprint. In response to LFTG’s records request, the school board confirmed that an invoice existed but denied access claiming that the invoice was protected by the deliberative process privilege. In its June 19, 2017 denial, Board Secretary Brian J. Smyth stated that “the invoice has not been reviewed and approved for payment [thus it] is exempt while the district deliberates as part of the review.”

The scheduling of the Order to Show Cause hearing is pending (as of 8/10/17).


Case Documents:

2017-08-03 Order to show cause, Complaint, Certification and Brief.


Press Release(s):


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