Saturday, September 29, 2012

OPRA lawsuit filed over "sealed" settlement agreement

Through attorney Richard Gutman of Montclair, I recently filed an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) lawsuit against Lawrence Township (Mercer County) for denying me access to a settlement agreement arising out of a Township police officer's race discrimination lawsuit against the Township.  The position taken by the Township is that the settlement agreement, which arose out of the officer's federal court action, was "sealed" by a May 4, 2012 order of the Mercer County Surrogate.  When I asked Lawrence for a copy of the Surrogate's Order that allegedly sealed access to the settlement,  I received an almost completely redacted version of the Surrogate's order.

My case was assigned to Mercer County Superior Court Mary C. Jacobson, the same judge who entered the May 4, 2012 sealing order.  Judge Jacobson has scheduled an Order to Show Cause hearing for my case on Friday, November 16, 2012, 2 p.m., at the Mercer County Courthouse in Trenton.  Case documents are on-line here.

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