Wednesday, March 2, 2016

Public not allowed to know anything about State Police investigation into Cape May Sheriff.

Sheriff Gary G. Schaffer
On November 14, 2015, I blogged about my common law right of access lawsuit against the New Jersey State Police that challenged that agency's decision to suppress all information concerning a State Police investigation into Cape May County Sheriff Gary G. Schaffer.

In her February 5, 2016 order, Mercer County Assignment Judge Mary C. Jacobson dismissed my complaint.

At oral argument, Judge Jacobson focused on two areas in reaching her conclusion: First, she considered the sensitive nature of the records (the Judge stated that these types of records were “cloaked in sensitivity”).  Second, she considered the potentially significant effect on the people who gave information over the course of the investigation into the allegations.

Ultimately, the Judge stated that the public's interest in disclosure was outweighed by the need to keep the records confidential because of the effect on victims and any witnesses/individuals who gave information over the course of the investigation.

I was represented in the matter by CJ Griffin of Hackensack.

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