Thursday, August 20, 2015

OPRA case seeks job applications filed by eight Camden County cops.

Update: In a January 8, 2016 Order, Judge Michael J. Kassel denied Hardwick's request for relief and dismissed his complaint.
On Thursday, September 24, 2015 at 9 a.m., Camden County Superior Court Judge Michael J. Kassel will hear argument in the case of Darnell Hardwick v. County of Camden, et al, Docket No. CAM-L-3039-15.  At issue is Hardwick's request for job applications filed by Camden County Police Officers Anthony Adair, Stephen Knatz, Lucas Murray, Anthony Rossner, Michael Swangler, Nicole Berry, Lance Carrington and Diana Deren, all of whom were hired in 2013.

While "personnel records" are typically confidential, Walter M. Luers, Hardwick's attorney, argues that the personnel exception in the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) contains an "exception to the exception" which requires disclosure of "data contained in information which disclose conformity with specific experiential, educational or medical qualifications required for government employment."  Thus, Luers argues, while the County may provide Hardwick with redacted job applications, the officers' applications must be disclosed to the extent that they reveal whether or not the officers satisfied training courses and met other job requirements.

Media and the public are invited to attend this hearing which will be held in the County Courthouse at 101 South 5th Street, Camden.  Those who plan to attend are cautioned to call the court at 856-379-2366 the day prior to hearing to ensure that the hearing hasn't been postponed.

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