Sunday, November 15, 2015

NJ Supreme Court to determine OPRA's applicability to security camera footage.

Stuart Rabner
Chief Justice
On November 6, 2015, the New Jersey Supreme Court agreed to hear Bloomfield Township's (Essex County) appeal of a May 13, 2015 Appellate Division ruling that required the Township to provide an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requestor with 14 hours of video taken by a stationary camera located on the back of Bloomfield's municipal building.

In its July 10, 2015 submission to the Supreme Court, Bloomfield argued that the Appellate Division's ruling would burden public agencies that have security cameras by requiring them to watch hours and hours of recorded videos in their entirety to determine whether they contain confidential or exempt material.  This burden, according to Bloomfield, "could result in governmental entities simply turning off their video surveillance equipment, or not increasing their security measures, simply to avoid" having to watch hours of recorded video requested under OPRA.

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