NJFOG wins a major victory over the Island Heights Board of Education.
UPDATE: The following are two recent opinions of Judge Grasso on NJFOG and Paff v. Island Heights Board of Education…
Island Heights Opinion from Judge Grasso April 25, 2014
Island Heights Opinion from Judge Grasso August 26, 2014
The matter in question pertained to the lack of specifics when record custodians choose to redact information from requested documents. Click here for an example that shows the difference between the redactions closed session minutes (highlighted) originally sent and the less restricted, post-court order redactions (in black).
Judge Grasso noted as follows…
…the Board fell short of meeting its obligations under OPRA by asserting only that the redacted items in the minutes dealt with “legal, student or personnel issues.” This blanket statement does not allow members of the public to know or discern with any reasonable clarity what the Board discussed in the nonpublic meetings or what actions the Board took. Nor does it suggest what specific privilege the Board seeks to invoke because it lists three different potential privileges. In sum, the Board’s redaction can only be viewed as overly broad as it does not identify a specific privilege the Board seeks to invoke but rather it lists three different potential privileges.