Tuesday, November 23, 2010

OPRA lawsuit to determine amount of cash seized by police

On September 8, 2010, I read a newspaper article informing me that a drug arrest was made after a motor vehicle stop in Readington Township (Hunterdon County) on September 2, 2010 and that a "large amount of U.S. Currency" was seized from the arrestee's vehicle. This prompted me to file a records request to determine exactly how much currency was seized.

(Note: I became interested in cash seizures in Readington after learning that the Readington Police, along with the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office and the State Attorney General Office, split $100,000 seized from a vehicle despite a later finding that the search that resulted in the seizure was unconstitutional. For more information, click here.)

Readington, however, refused to provide me with any records disclosing the exact amount of currency seized. The Township claimed that disclosing the amount might compromise a criminal investigation.

With Richard Gutman of Montclair as my attorney, I filed suit against the Township on October 12, 2010. The suit is on-line here.

The matter is scheduled to be heard on Tuesday, January 18, 2011, 9 a.m. before Hon. Yolanda Ciccone, A.J.S.C. at the courthouse at 20 N. Bridge St, Somerville. The public is invited to attend the hearing, but should call 908-231-7068 the day before to ensure that it has not been postponed. Refer to Paff v. Township of Readington, Docket No. HNT-L-673-10.

No comments:

Post a Comment