Thursday, October 13, 2016

Gloucester judge rules that OPRA can be used by all persons, not just New Jersey "citizens."

Update: On May 16, 2018, the Superior Court, Appellate Division ruled, in a published and thus precedential opinion, that non-residents of New Jersey have the same rights under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) as New Jersey residents.  The opinion is on-line here.
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Georgia M. Curio, Assignment Judge for the Cumberland/Salem/Gloucester Vicinage, ruled today that a Georgia-based investigative blogger is to use the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) to obtain records from New Jersey government agencies.  In the case,  Heimlich v. Educational Information & Resource Center, et al, Docket No. GLO-L-779-16, Curio rebuffed the Educational Information & Resource Center's claim that Hoffman was not entitled to use OPRA because he "provided no evidence that [he was] a citizen of New Jersey."

Curio, sitting in Woodbury, delivered her ruling orally from the bench and is unlikely to issue a written decision.  She did, however, sign a written order on October 24, 2016.  She is the fourth judge to weigh in on the issue.  Her opinion is in accord with decisions reached by Burlington County Assignment Judge Ronald E. Bookbinder and Ocean County Judge Mark A. Troncone.  It is at odds with two decisions issued by Atlantic/Cape May Judge Nelson C. Johnson.

Heimlich was represented by CJ Griffin of Hackensack.

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