Unfortunately, Buchsbaum did not award the pro se plaintiff, Marie Bailey, her costs resulting in her being reimbursed the $250 or so that she paid in filing fees to bring this action. In so ruling, Buchsbaum held that "[u]nlike the Open Public Records Act, OPMA provides no provision for attorney’s fees. Compare N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6. Plaintiff cites to no rule which provides any basis for said reimbursement." With all due respect, I believe that the judge erred. I have been awarded costs in many of my pro se OPMA lawsuits under the authority of Gallo v. Salesian Soc., Inc., 290 N.J. Super. 616, 660 (App. Div. 1996) in which the Appellate Division stated:
R 4:42-8(a) provides: “Unless otherwise provided by law, these rules or court order, costs shall be allowed as of course to the prevailing party.” The judge here expressly found that plaintiff was a prevailing party. He should have awarded her costs “as of course” under the rule.