OPRA Primer

Walter Luers, Esq. of NJFOG provided some valuable information on the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the Open Public Meeting Act (OPMA) at a seminar tonight in Cranford and here, separately by topic, are the main points covered:


1] Making an OPRA request
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2] What public entities are covered
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3] Where to send your OPRA
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4] If the record does not exist
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5] Can you make repeated OPRA requests
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6] Fringe entities
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7] Delays/Denials
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8] Options if denied: GRC; lawsuit
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9] Fee shifting
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10] Options if no response
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11] Criminal investigatory records
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12] Common law and OPRA
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13] OPMA Sunshine law
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14] Executive sessions
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15] Meeting minutes
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16] OPMA remedies – no fee shifting
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17] Updating OPRA and OPMA
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2 responses to this post.

  1. Posted by bpaterson on April 27, 2016 at 8:06 am

    Thanks JB1 and UCWA for bringing an understanding to the process of this important tool for the public’s use. The government rarely volunteers anything of substance if its negative, unless its something that they did that actually turned out well then they readily give it out. Everything else they will bury to avoid the exposure of incompetence and/or possible corruption.

    As we readers of this site all know, the union county government is a perfect example of hiding everything. Example is sheriff cryan getting into a Saturday morning accident driving a county car. The resolution the freeholders voted in august of 2015 was to pay out $350,000 in direct taxmoney to some person, but no reason why. Multiple people asked multiple times what was the reason of the payout, they simply avoided to answer why and avoided to answer who was involved…research, questions, the media and opra found it was sheriff cryan who did the costly transgression so it was simply a coverup, info wrenched from the county by the public. This is chronicled on the UCWA watchdog site from last august, 2015. (Sidenote, 2 months later they give him a raise of a couple thousand dollars. Dumbasses self-serving buffoons on the taxpayer dime). This watchdog site is pretty much built on OPRA exposing so much incompetence, waste fraud and abuse on the county.

    From this anecdote above, something similar just could be happening in your town or in any other govt entity or public authority. Look at the Washington bridge coverup as another example at the state level and the port authority. We must be vigilant, sadly the media is slowly phasing out its investigatory work, unless they have some agenda of their own.

    The taxpayers pay millions, billions, trillions in tax money, we don’t want just fluff handed to us by press releases, the money we pay is at least 10,000 times the cost of these fluff programs that they tout. Its our money, it is supposed to be our government to serve us. It seems to be the other way around. OPRA is a good tool to uncover these deleterious actions in the hopes that daylight cleanses.

    Reply

  2. Posted by ReadsLikeAMafiaBook on May 3, 2016 at 9:40 pm

    Thank you CW’s. Tina, the badass, most of all. You all deserve “Citizens of the People” awards.

    You do more for us over-burdened taxpayers than our over-paid elected officials could ever do.

    Thanks to attorney Luers, who, as an attorney in NJ, probably takes an unfavorable position in NJ in his advocacy … most lawyers want to HIDE things.

    Reply

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