Tuesday, November 17, 2015

OPRA lawsuit seeks police Internal Affairs "Index Files."

Mitchell A. Little
Toms River Police Chief
On Friday, December 11, 2015, 2:30 p.m., Ocean County Superior Court Robert E. Brenner will hear argument on a pair of cases that challenge the Toms River's and Seaside Park's refusal to disclose their police departments' Internal Affairs "Index Files" to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requestor.

Police Index Files, examples of which are on-line here, are tables that list factual information, such as the complainant's name, the officer's name, nature of the conduct complained about and a unique control number, for each Internal Affairs complaint that a police department receives.  CJ Griffin of Hackensack, who is representing plaintiff Richard Rivera in the case, has submitted a brief that clearly outlines the issued in the case and argues that at least redacted versions of the Index Files should be disclosed.

The New Jersey Attorney General has entered into this as an amicus curiae (friend of the court) and has joined Toms River and Seaside Park in arguing that records should be suppressed.

The hearing, which is open to the public, will be held in Courtroom #4 at the Courthouse at 100 Hooper Avenue, Toms River.  Those who wish to attend are cautioned to telephone the court at 732-506-5300 the day prior to the hearing to confirm that the hearing hasn't been cancelled or adjourned.  Refer to Docket Nos OCN-L-225-15 and OCN-L-452-15

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