Friday, July 3, 2015

New OPRA lawsuit tests redactions to special education litigation documents.

On Tuesday, August 18, 2015, 9 a.m., Essex County Superior Court Judge Stephanie Ann Mitterhoff will hear argument in my Open Public Records Act (OPRA) lawsuit against the Millburn Township Board of Education.  The lawsuit, exhibits, briefs and other documents in Paff v. Millburn Township Board of Education, et al, Docket No. ESX-L-3607-15 are on-line here.

The main purpose of this suit is to bring some attention, and hopefully spur some consistency, to the ways in which school records custodians apply redactions to special education litigation documents.  (Another post, posted earlier today, explains the Petition for Rulemaking that I filed similarly seeking redaction consistency.)

The lawsuit reveals how haphazardly redactions are applied to special education settlement agreements.  Exhibit C to my lawsuit shows how heavily the originally produced agreements were redacted and Exhibit F shows that much of the redacted material was disclosed after I sent in a letter of complaint.  Since Millburn's custodian continued to redact material that I felt should be disclosed, CJ Griffin filed suit on my behalf.

Hopefully, this case will result in a written decision that will help school districts across the state.


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