||New Jersey Libertarian Party
Open Government Advocacy Project:
OPRA request misunderstood--lawsuit averted
- Ms. Spohn:
Please accept this e-mail as my request for government records in accordance with the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the common law right of access. Please respond and send all responsive documents to me via e-mail at email@example.com. If e-mail is not possible, please fax responses and responsive records to me at 908-325-0129. Also, I would appreciate it if you would acknowledge your receipt of this e-mail.
I am in receipt of your March 5, 2012 response to my January 27, 2012 records request. I have posted my request, your response and fifty-four pages of records you sent me on the Internet at
Unfortunately, you have misapprehended at least part of my January 27, 2012 records request. Paragraph 1 of that request was for \"[t]he minutes of three most recently held nonpublic (i.e. \"closed\" or \"executive\") municipal governing body meetings for which minutes are available for public disclosure in either full or redacted form.\" Suppose that the Borough Council has not prepared minutes of any of the closed meetings held during 2011 and that the the most recent closed meetings for which minutes exist occurred on December 8, 2010, November 10, 2010 and October 13, 2010. Suppose further that the Borough attorney has determined that the minutes of the December 8, 2010 and November 10, 2010 closed meetings could be disclosed in full but that the minutes of the October 13, 2010 closed meeting needed redaction. Then, the records that would be properly responsive to paragraph 1 of my request would be the minutes of those three closed meetings, redacted as necessary.
I recognize that the Borough Council is behind in production and disclosure of its minutes. The main object of paragraph 1 of my request was to gauge the extent of the problem. At this point, I am not sure whether Borough\'s closed session minutes are six months behind, two years behind or perhaps even further behind. Below I have repeated paragraph 1 of my request and ask that you respond to it within seven business days.
Paragraph 2 of my request is simple and is repeated below. It merely asks for the resolutions that were passed authorizing the three closed meetings for which minutes were provided in response to paragraph 1. I want to compare the matters that the Council said that it was going to discuss in closed session to the matters that it actually discussed in private to see if there is a one to one correspondence.
Paragraph 3 of my request was similar to paragraph 1, in that it attempted to find out how far behind the Borough is in production of its public meeting minutes. Note that the version of paragraph 3 set forth below differs a bit from the previous version. Finally, note that I have also added a new paragraph 4.
1. The minutes of the three most recently held nonpublic (i.e. \"closed\" or \"executive\") municipal governing body meetings for which minutes are available for public disclosure in either full or redacted form.
2. The resolutions, as required by N.J.S.A. 10:4-13, that authorized the three nonpublic meetings for which minutes were provided in response to #1 above. (If the resolutions are spread out in full in the public meeting minutes (as opposed to \"free standing\" resolutions), please furnish only those pages of the public meeting minutes that contain the resolutions.)
3. The minutes of three most recently held public municipal governing body meetings that have been approved by the Borough Council.
4. The \"2012 bylaws\" that were unanimously approved at the most recent reorganization meeting.
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