This is an HTML version of an attachment to the Open Public Records Act request 'NJ League of Municipalities Records Involving OPRA (Open Public Records Act)'.

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
RE: OPRA request
Date:
Monday, December 10, 2018 3:50:33 PM
Attachments:
2018 Registration List 12-10-18.pdf
2018 Draft League Conference Resolutions.pdf
Survey_Report - 2018 Conference Badge Scan.xls
2018 12 03 - Katie Sobko - OPRA Request.docx
Katie,
 
In response to your records request, please find attached to this email the following:
·         “2018 Registration List 12-10-18” (pdf)
·         “2018 Draft League Conference Resolutions” (pdf)
·         “Survey_Report – 2018 Conference Badge Scan” (Microsoft Excel Worksheet)
 
Please note that the 2018 Registration List is subject to changes.  While all individuals who registered
for the League’s 2018 Conference are included in the list their titles and affiliation may be corrected.
   
 
For your convenience, I have also attached your initial OPRA request with notations regarding the
sessions with badge scanners.  The notations indicate with additional detail why scanner log
information is not available for the particular conference sessions you have requested.  There are a
variety of reasons for no scanners being present during the sessions, the most common reason is
because the sessions are not League sessions and scanners were not requested or supplied by the
League to those hosting the session.  Please note that this is merely being provided as a courtesy to
you.  While best efforts were made to ensure the accuracy of notations each session should be
verified before being relied on.
 
You should also note that the scanner records do not necessarily indicate all of those in attendance
at particular conference sessions.  There is no requirement that all of those who attend a conference
session scan in and out.  Typically those that scan in do so in order to have a record for professional
credentialing purposes.  Often times, those that do not need professional credits do not scan in or
out of conference sessions.
 
With this response I now consider your document request to be fully satisfied and complete.  Please
respond to this email to confirm receipt of these documents and to confirm full satisfaction of your
request for documents made under OPRA and the common law right of access.
 
If you have any questions please do not hesitate to contact me.
 
Regards,
 
Frank Marshall, Esq., Staff Attorney
New Jersey State League of Municipalities
609-695-3481 extn 137
222 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608

This email is not confidential communication and is read by others.
 
Visit NJ Municipalities’ digital bookshelf at njmmagazine.org.
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The NJLM is subject to Open Public Records Act.  Any email sent or received by the League may be subject to a records
request.
 
 
From: Frank Marshall 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 9:13 AM
To: 'Sobko, Katie'
Subject: RE: OPRA request
 
Katie,
 
This message is to confirm receipt of your records request. 
 
Regards,
 
Frank Marshall, Esq., Staff Attorney
New Jersey State League of Municipalities
609-695-3481 extn 137
222 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
This email is not confidential communication and is read by others.
 
Visit NJ Municipalities’ digital bookshelf at njmmagazine.org.
Follow us 
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/njleague 
Follow us on Twitter @nj_league        
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/new-jersey-league-of-municipalities
YouTube: http://bit.ly/1P7GsVR
The NJLM is subject to Open Public Records Act.  Any email sent or received by the League may be subject to a records
request.
 
 
 
From: Sobko, Katie [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 9:06 AM
To: OPRA
Subject: OPRA request
 
Please confirm receipt of this request via response e-mail. Thanks for your help.
 
Katie
 
 
Katie Sobko

Reporter
 
NorthJersey.com | The Record

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
North Jersey Media Group
1 Garret Mountain Plaza
Woodland Park, NJ 07424
Office: 973-569-7111
Cell: 973-271-8867
Fax: 201-457-2520
[email protected]
www.NorthJersey.com
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Cc:
[email protected]
Subject:
RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
Date:
Monday, December 10, 2018 12:52:06 PM
Attachments:
2018 Registration List 12-10-18.pdf
Frank,
Attached is the conference registration list
Marie
 
From: Frank Marshall 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 2:37 PM
To: Marie Johnson
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
 
 
From: Marie Johnson 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 2:36 PM
To: Frank Marshall
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
What is the time frame for this report?
As we are today making corrections and changes
Marie
 
From: Frank Marshall 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 1:51 PM
To: Marie Johnson
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
Marie,
I
Thanks,
Frank
 
From: Marie Johnson 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 1:41 PM
To: Frank Marshall
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
Frank,
 

 
 
From: Frank Marshall 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 11:50 AM
To: Marie Johnson
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
Marie & Johnnifer,
 
We received an OPRA request asking for the, “Record including title and municipality of all
those registered to attend the 2018 Conference.”  Is this something that is easily available? 
Give me a call to discuss further.
 
Thanks!
Frank 
 
Frank Marshall, Esq., Staff Attorney
New Jersey State League of Municipalities
609-695-3481 extn 137
222 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
This email is not confidential communication and is read by others.
 
Visit NJ Municipalities’ digital bookshelf at njmmagazine.org.
Follow us 
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/njleague 
Follow us on Twitter @nj league        
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/new-jersey-league-of-municipalities
YouTube: http://bit.ly/1P7GsVR

The NJLM is subject to Open Public Records Act.  Any email sent or received by the League may be subject to a records
request.
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Cc:
[email protected]
Subject:
RE: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
Date:
Monday, December 3, 2018 1:40:34 PM
Attachments:
2018 Reg by Company #1.pdf
2018 Reg by Reg Type #2.pdf
Frank,
 
 
From: Frank Marshall 
Sent: Monday, December 03, 2018 11:50 AM
To: Marie Johnson
Cc: Johnnifer Harris
Subject: OPRA Request for Conference Registrants
 
Marie & Johnnifer,
 
We received an OPRA request asking for the, “Record including title and municipality of all
those registered to attend the 2018 Conference.”  Is this something that is easily available? 
Give me a call to discuss further.
 
Thanks!
Frank 
 
Frank Marshall, Esq., Staff Attorney
New Jersey State League of Municipalities

609-695-3481 extn 137
222 West State St.
Trenton, NJ 08608
This email is not confidential communication and is read by others.
 
Visit NJ Municipalities’ digital bookshelf at njmmagazine.org.
Follow us 
Like us on Facebook at facebook.com/njleague 
Follow us on Twitter @nj_league        
LinkedIn: linkedin.com/company/new-jersey-league-of-municipalities
YouTube: http://bit.ly/1P7GsVR
The NJLM is subject to Open Public Records Act.  Any email sent or received by the League may be subject to a records
request.
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Cc:
[email protected]
Subject:
FW: OPRA request
Date:
Monday, December 3, 2018 9:13:32 AM
Attachments:
SeminarOPRA.docx
Fyi.  
 
From: Sobko, Katie [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Monday, December 3, 2018 9:06 AM
To: OPRA <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA request
 
Please confirm receipt of this request via response e-mail. Thanks for your help.
 
Katie
 
 
Katie Sobko
Reporter
 
NorthJersey.com | The Record

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
North Jersey Media Group
1 Garret Mountain Plaza
Woodland Park, NJ 07424
Office: 973-569-7111
Cell: 973-271-8867
Fax: 201-457-2520
[email protected]
www.NorthJersey.com
 

From:
Sobko, Katie
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
OPRA request
Date:
Monday, December 3, 2018 9:06:10 AM
Attachments:
SeminarOPRA.docx
Please confirm receipt of this request via response e-mail. Thanks for your help.
 
Katie
 
 
Katie Sobko
Reporter
 
NorthJersey.com | The Record

PART OF THE USA TODAY NETWORK
North Jersey Media Group
1 Garret Mountain Plaza
Woodland Park, NJ 07424
Office: 973-569-7111
Cell: 973-271-8867
Fax: 201-457-2520
[email protected]
www.NorthJersey.com
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
OPRA Dog and Cat License and BYOB advertising
Date:
Wednesday, November 28, 2018 4:18:23 PM
Attachments:
OPRA Dog and Cat License and BYOB advertising.docx
Some suggestions in tracking

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
Conference Resoluion - 2018-xx OPRA Study Commission
Date:
Thursday, November 8, 2018 11:24:25 AM
Attachments:
2018-xx OPRA Study Commission.docx
Frank,
 
Attached is the final draft OPRA resolution for the conference.  It is on the pdrive
 
Lori

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Cc:
[email protected]
Subject:
Conference Resolution - 2018 OPRA and OPMA
Date:
Wednesday, November 7, 2018 3:51:20 PM
Attachments:
2018 OPRA and OPMA.docx
Mayor,
 
Attached is a draft copy of the conference resolution on a study commission for OPRA for your
review.
 
Lori

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
RE: Conference Resolution - 2018 OPRA and OPMA
Date:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 3:04:35 PM
Attachments:
2018 OPRA and OPMA.docx
Some comments and suggestion.  I noticed that the news media was not included in the list of those
to be placed on the proposed Commission.  Not sure if this was intentional or not.
 
From: Lori Buckelew 
Sent: Tuesday, November 06, 2018 2:02 PM
To: Jon Moran; Michael F. Cerra; Frank Marshall
Subject: Conference Resolution - 2018 OPRA and OPMA
 
Please review and advise
 
Thank you,
Lori

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected][email protected][email protected]
Subject:
Conference Resolution - 2018 OPRA and OPMA
Date:
Tuesday, November 6, 2018 2:01:32 PM
Attachments:
2018 OPRA and OPMA.docx
Please review and advise
 
Thank you,
Lori

From:
John Burns
To:
John Donnadio ([email protected]); Lori Buckelew
Subject:
FW: Latest OPRA/OPMA Amendments
Date:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:46:17 AM
Attachments:
N209_0002.docx
N209_0001.docx
See below.
 
John J. Burns, Esq.
Counsel
NJ School Boards Association
413 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08618-5697
[email protected]
609-278-5275
www.njsba.org
 
From: Mitchell, Shane <[email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:25 AM
To: John Burns <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: Latest OPRA/OPMA Amendments
 
Hey John,
 
Here are the amendments that would have been up yesterday. Will update you if there are any more
changes coming down the pike… but there are none planned as of right now.
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: John Burns [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:11 PM
To: Mitchell, Shane
Subject: RE: Latest OPRA/OPMA Amendments
 
Thanks!  Will review and get back to you.
 
John J. Burns, Esq.
Counsel
NJ School Boards Association
413 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08618-5697
[email protected]
609-278-5275
www.njsba.org
 

From: Mitchell, Shane <[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 2:09 PM
To: John Burns <[email protected]>
Subject: Latest OPRA/OPMA Amendments
 
Hey John,
 
Just got these back from the drafter a few minutes ago! Happy to discuss any issues NJSBA might
have with the latest changes.
 
Best,
--
Shane Mitchell
Legislative Director
Senator Loretta Weinberg
Senate Majority Leader
(201) 928-0100

From:
Mitchell, Shane
To:
Lori Buckelew
Subject:
RE: OPRA Amendments
Date:
Tuesday, October 16, 2018 11:26:13 AM
Attachments:
N209_0002.docx
N209_0001.docx
Hey Lori,
 
Here are the updated amendments. I’ll let you know if we get any new ideas from the Governor or
the members on SBA.
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: Mitchell, Shane 
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:54 PM
To: 'Lori Buckelew'
Subject: RE: OPRA Amendments
 
Hey Lori,
 
Instead of a list, I just have updated amendments. Everything is much the same, except we took out
the ACLU’s change on victim’s records (with the ACLU’s agreement). The Press Association pointed
out some technical items… but otherwise I think this matches what we discussed over the summer.
Please let me know if there are any issues or if we got something wrong vis-à-vis the agreed changes
from the summer.
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: Mitchell, Shane 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1:59 PM
To: 'Lori Buckelew'
Cc: Millsaps Wolfinger, Kate
Subject: RE: OPRA Amendments
 
Hey Lori,
 
I think I may have told you this in-person on Monday, but wanted to reiterate that we’re looking at
October 15th as a likely SBA date. Some of the other groups have identified issues in the
amendments, which I’m going to try to put in a list to circulate to everyone next week for comment.
If the League has something to add to that, please let me know!
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: Mitchell, Shane 

Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2018 11:04 AM
To: 'Lori Buckelew'
Cc: Millsaps Wolfinger, Kate
Subject: OPRA Amendments
 
Hey Lori,
 
Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend! I just received these draft amendments from OLS. Please
let me know if we missed something or added something that wasn’t agreed to! To my mind, there
are only two things here that were not discussed at the summer meeting.
 
First, we eliminated section 13 on the Office of Dispute Settlement. We mentioned at the meeting
that we were seeking a cost-neutral replacement for ODS, but none could be found! I’m talking now
with the Governor’s Office about additional funding for the GRC so they can handle their caseload in
a more expeditious fashion, but otherwise it looks like this is a problem NOT being addressed
through the bill.
 
Second, we added some language to the definition of criminal investigatory record to address the
recent Paff decision on mobile video recordings. The Senator wants to address the issue, but we’re
still thinking this one through. If the League has any suggestions, please let us know! As it stands, it
appears it will be incredibly rare for the public to ever have access to dashcam/bodycam footage;
whereas, the Senator believes that it would be appropriate for the public to have access if access
does not compromise an ongoing investigation or some privacy concern.
 
I’m sharing this with everyone else, too, so I imagine there will likely be a need for some tinkering
after everyone has a look. The Senator is still gunning for Senate Budget in September/October, so
hopefully we’ll all be on the same page by the end of the month!
 
Best,
Shane

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];
[email protected][email protected][email protected]
Subject:
OPRA/OPMA Amendments
Date:
Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:30:23 AM
Attachments:
N209_0001.docx
N209_0002.docx
Folks,
 
As you know on Monday (Oct 15) the Senate Budget Committee will be considering Senator
Weinberg’s OPRA and OPMA bills.  Attached are additional proposed amendments we received from
Senator Weinberg’s office.  Can you please provide me with your thoughts as soon as possible.  To
expedite the discussion here are the changes:
 
S-106 (OPMA)
 
·        
 
S-107 (OPRA)
 
·        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        

 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
 
         
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 

 
 
        
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected]
Cc:
[email protected]
Subject:
OPRA/OPMA Amendments
Date:
Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:27:53 AM
Attachments:
N209_0001.docx
N209_0002.docx
Sharing with you a summary of the proposed amendments.  I would note that I spoke with Shane
yesterday. The 3 business day requirement for electronic records was a drafting error and should be
removed.
 
 
S-106 (OPMA)
 
·        
 
S-107 (OPRA)
 
·        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 

·        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
 
         
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 

 
·        
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected][email protected][email protected][email protected];
[email protected]
Subject:
OPRA/OPMA Amendments
Date:
Thursday, October 11, 2018 11:25:07 AM
Attachments:
N209_0001.docx
N209_0002.docx
Folks,
 
It is that time again when Senator Weinberg bills are scheduled before the Senate Budget
Committee on Monday (Oct 15) and additional amendments will be made to the bills.  Attached are
a copy of the proposed amendments we received from Senator Weinberg’s office today.  Can you
please provide me with your thoughts as soon as possible.  To expedite the discussion here are the
changes:
 
S-106 (OPMA)
 
·        
 
S-107 (OPRA)
 
·        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 

·        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
 
         
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        
 
        

 
 
        
 

From:
John Burns
To:
Lori Buckelew; John Donnadio ([email protected]); Allen Weston
Cc:
Michael F. Cerra; Michael Vrancik
Subject:
RE: OPRA/OPMA Amendments
Date:
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 4:09:59 PM
Attachments:
N209_0001.docx
N209_0002.docx
Yes. Sorry.  I didn’t realize I was Weinberg’s point person for the loyal opposition.  Here are the
amendments.
 
I’m available all day Friday.  Perhaps Friday morning would work best?
 
John J. Burns, Esq.
Counsel
NJ School Boards Association
413 West State Street
Trenton, NJ 08618-5697
[email protected]
609-278-5275
www.njsba.org
 
From: Lori Buckelew <[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, October 10, 2018 4:05 PM
To: John Donnadio ([email protected]) <[email protected]>; Allen Weston <[email protected]>;
John Burns <[email protected]>
Cc: Michael F. Cerra <[email protected]>; Michael Vrancik <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA/OPMA Amendments
 
I understand that Senator Weinberg has sent you copies of the proposed amendments to the
OPRA/OPMA bills.  Do we want to schedule a quick conference call to discuss our game plan for
Monday?
 
Lori
 

From:
Mitchell, Shane
To:
Lori Buckelew
Subject:
RE: OPRA Amendments
Date:
Wednesday, October 10, 2018 1:53:50 PM
Attachments:
N209_0001.docx
N209_0002.docx
Hey Lori,
 
Instead of a list, I just have updated amendments. Everything is much the same, except we took out
the ACLU’s change on victim’s records (with the ACLU’s agreement). The Press Association pointed
out some technical items… but otherwise I think this matches what we discussed over the summer.
Please let me know if there are any issues or if we got something wrong vis-à-vis the agreed changes
from the summer.
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: Mitchell, Shane 
Sent: Wednesday, September 26, 2018 1:59 PM
To: 'Lori Buckelew'
Cc: Millsaps Wolfinger, Kate
Subject: RE: OPRA Amendments
 
Hey Lori,
 
I think I may have told you this in-person on Monday, but wanted to reiterate that we’re looking at
October 15th as a likely SBA date. Some of the other groups have identified issues in the
amendments, which I’m going to try to put in a list to circulate to everyone next week for comment.
If the League has something to add to that, please let me know!
 
Best,
Shane
 
From: Mitchell, Shane 
Sent: Tuesday, September 04, 2018 11:04 AM
To: 'Lori Buckelew'
Cc: Millsaps Wolfinger, Kate
Subject: OPRA Amendments
 
Hey Lori,
 
Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend! I just received these draft amendments from OLS. Please
let me know if we missed something or added something that wasn’t agreed to! To my mind, there
are only two things here that were not discussed at the summer meeting.
 
First, we eliminated section 13 on the Office of Dispute Settlement. We mentioned at the meeting
that we were seeking a cost-neutral replacement for ODS, but none could be found! I’m talking now

with the Governor’s Office about additional funding for the GRC so they can handle their caseload in
a more expeditious fashion, but otherwise it looks like this is a problem NOT being addressed
through the bill.
 
Second, we added some language to the definition of criminal investigatory record to address the
recent Paff decision on mobile video recordings. The Senator wants to address the issue, but we’re
still thinking this one through. If the League has any suggestions, please let us know! As it stands, it
appears it will be incredibly rare for the public to ever have access to dashcam/bodycam footage;
whereas, the Senator believes that it would be appropriate for the public to have access if access
does not compromise an ongoing investigation or some privacy concern.
 
I’m sharing this with everyone else, too, so I imagine there will likely be a need for some tinkering
after everyone has a look. The Senator is still gunning for Senate Budget in September/October, so
hopefully we’ll all be on the same page by the end of the month!
 
Best,
Shane

From:
Mitchell, Shane
To:
Lori Buckelew
Cc:
Millsaps Wolfinger, Kate
Subject:
OPRA Amendments
Date:
Tuesday, September 4, 2018 11:04:20 AM
Attachments:
N209_0003.pdf
Hey Lori,
 
Hope you had a good Labor Day weekend! I just received these draft amendments from OLS. Please
let me know if we missed something or added something that wasn’t agreed to! To my mind, there
are only two things here that were not discussed at the summer meeting.
 
First, we eliminated section 13 on the Office of Dispute Settlement. We mentioned at the meeting
that we were seeking a cost-neutral replacement for ODS, but none could be found! I’m talking now
with the Governor’s Office about additional funding for the GRC so they can handle their caseload in
a more expeditious fashion, but otherwise it looks like this is a problem NOT being addressed
through the bill.
 
Second, we added some language to the definition of criminal investigatory record to address the
recent Paff decision on mobile video recordings. The Senator wants to address the issue, but we’re
still thinking this one through. If the League has any suggestions, please let us know! As it stands, it
appears it will be incredibly rare for the public to ever have access to dashcam/bodycam footage;
whereas, the Senator believes that it would be appropriate for the public to have access if access
does not compromise an ongoing investigation or some privacy concern.
 
I’m sharing this with everyone else, too, so I imagine there will likely be a need for some tinkering
after everyone has a look. The Senator is still gunning for Senate Budget in September/October, so
hopefully we’ll all be on the same page by the end of the month!
 
Best,
Shane

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected][email protected][email protected]
Subject:
Amendments to OPRA/OPMA Bills
Date:
Thursday, June 14, 2018 9:47:14 AM
Attachments:
S107 Amendments.pdf
S106 Amendments.pdf
Attached are the proposed amendments to Senator Weinberg’s OPRA/OPMA bills and below is the
OLS description of the changes. 
 
Please review and provide your thoughts.
 
If you are so inclined you can listen to today’s 1pm Senate State Government Committee hearing at
http://www.njleg.state.nj.us/media/live_audio.asp. You will need to refresh the link, maybe several
times, until you see LISTEN. Click on Listen to for the hearing. There may be moments of silence.
 
Lori
 
From: Couture, Louis 
Sent: Wednesday, June 13, 2018 7:00 PM
To: Lori Buckelew
Subject: Amendments to S106 andS107
 
Hi Lori,
 
As promised, please find attached the draft amendments for tomorrow.
 
Here are the OLS descriptions:
 
S106 PROPOSED COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS :
                    The committee proposes to amend the bill to:
permit members of public bodies to communicate privately with independent consultants or
advisors about matters on an agenda;
require that the Legislature keep comprehensive, rather than reasonably comprehensible,
minutes of its meetings;
clarify that minutes shall be made available to the public within 15 business days after its next
meeting; 
provides municipalities with 5,000 or less inhabitants, boards of education with 500 or less
pupils, and public authorities with less than $10 million in assets will have 20 business days
after the next meeting to make the amendments available to the public;
permits a public body to vote in favor of a reasonable delay in making the minutes available
due to an emergency;
requires the Legislature to record its voting sessions;
requires subcommittees to prepare reports of meetings that are closed to the public;
removes language concerning a public body keeping reports of meetings of subcommittees.
 
 

S107 PROPOSED COMMITTEE AMENDMENTS:
                The committee proposes to amend the bill to:
remove a provision permitting volunteer fire companies or departments to contract with a
municipal governing body to have its clerk serve as the fire company’s records custodian;
exclude volunteer fire companies and departments from the definition of “public agency” and
“quasi-governmental agency”;
exempt from disclosure any portion of a document that discloses personal identifying
information of minors, except when permitted by law for the New Jersey Motor Vehicle
Commission, or when driver information is disclosed to insurance companies for use in
connection with claims investigation activities, antifraud activities, rating or underwriting;
remove a provision that would have included interns and volunteer employees in the
definition of “public employee”;
permit a public agency to charge a special service charge whenever a person requests a paper
copy of a record that is available electronically after  the person was advised that the record
may be emailed at no charge to the requestor or advised as to the specific location that the
record may be accessed online;
removes the requirement that the sole purpose of a requestor’s request must be harassment
in order to file a petition in court against the requestor;
incorporates into the “New Jersey Open Data Initiative” law, N.J.S.A.52:18A-234.1 et seq,
rather than creating a new section of law, the requirement that the State maintain a single,
searchable Internet website providing certain State agency information;
requires the Office of Information Technology to develop and maintain a searchable, online
database to which units of local government may submit any government record for retention
on the database;
updates certain provisions to current law and updates references to specific dates; and
makes a technical correction.
 
Let me know what you think. You can share the description with other groups, but please refrain
from sharing the documents with people outside the League.
 
Thanks,
 
Louis Couture
NJ Senate Democratic Office
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
Date:
Tuesday, April 24, 2018 4:16:41 PM
Attachments:
Tax Collector"s letter - OPRA.pdf
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:58 AM
To: 'Government Records Council' <[email protected]>
Cc: Tax Collector <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Mr. Caruso:
 
Thank you for replying to this very important inquiry.  I will forward your response to the township
Tax Collector. I believe this topic is worth pursuing with the Legislature. It is the obligation and
responsibility of State and Local Government to protect the privacy, safety and welfare of our
citizens, especially the most vulnerable.  
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 
 
From: Government Records Council <[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:30 PM
To: Clerk's Dept. <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Good evening Ms. Merkel,
 
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by
the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding
whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public
Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. The GRC
cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response
must depend on the specific facts of the records request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. There are 25 specific
exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or

that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also, OPRA
requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business
days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that custodians inform
requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your inquiry, the GRC first notes that it was unable to locate any prior cases addressing
the exact records to which you refer in your letter. Further, the GRC may not be aware of any
variables that impact the issue. Thus, guidance on this issue is difficult to provide.
 
Notwithstanding, the questions you raise are similar to those raised about the disclosure of accident
reports without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. In fact, the accident report issue could be
analogous to your situation. Specifically, the Council has previously ruled on whether redactions are
warranted on auto accident reports. Specifically, in Truland v. Borough of Madison, GRC Complaint
No. 2006-88 (September 2007), the Council held that “no redactions to the requested auto accident
reports are warranted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.” The New Jersey statute cited specifically states
that “information contained [in the report] shall not be privileged or held confidential.” See
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2006-88.pdf. The Council’s holding in Truland, has been
applied to another complaint in which accident reports were at issue. See
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2011-154.pdf. This is a departure from the normal OPRA
procedures since driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and unlisted telephone numbers
are specifically exempt under OPRA and are routinely redacted from records.
 
Now, as you can probably tell, this has caused citizens to become unsettled (and other various forms
of reaction) if they are contacted by attorneys, insurance companies, etc., after being in accident.
The GRC also receives phone calls from concerned custodians and citizens regarding the non-
confidential nature of accident reports. In each instance, the GRC is obligated to reply that it
understands that N.J.S.A. 39:4-131 and prevailing case law provides a stark conflict with the personal
information exemptions present in OPRA, which has led to some confusion across the State.
However, unless and until either the Legislature amends the statute and/or the courts/GRC decide
otherwise, accident reports are required to be disclosed without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
 
The GRC’s role in OPRA is to adjudicate complaints based on the plain reading of the OPRA, which
can sometimes lead to these types of decisions. Unfortunately, if it is the case that an agency is
required by law to disclose this information in its entirety, the appropriate avenue for change would
likely be the Legislature. This is, of course, in the absence of any statutes, regulations, or executive
orders making this information exempt in part or whole.
 
Additionally, if the disclosure issue comes down to a question of privacy interest as opposed to a
statutory requirement to disclose the information, the following may apply:
 
The GRC’s earliest decisions regarding privacy interest was in Bernstein v. Borough of Allendale, GRC
Complaint No. 2004-195 (July 2005). There, the requestor sought access to the names and addresses
of dog license owners. The Council dismissed the case on the basis that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
and Executive Order 21 the records should not be disclosed because of the unsolicited contact,
intrusion or potential harm that may result. You may view this decision on our website at

http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2004-195.html.
 
However, in an Appellate Division decision the Court held differently. In Atl. Cnty. SPCA v. City of
Absecon, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1370 (Jun 5, 2009), the Court held that the requested dog
license lists should be disclosed to the requestor, the ASPCA. It is important to note that both the
GRC and the Court conducted a balancing test to determine whether the records should be
disclosed. Thus, the answer is extremely fact specific. It is important to note that the Court discussed
the ASPCA’s need for this information because of its mission to investigate alleged animal abuse. See
also Renna v. Cnty. of Union, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 342 (February 17, 2012).
 
Additionally, in another court case, Bolkin v. Kwasniewski, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2641, (Law
Div. December 5, 2012), plaintiff sought the names and addresses of dog and cat license owners in
Fair Lawn for the purpose of sending political literature regarding candidates who support animal
friendly legislation. The Custodian denied access citing to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1, Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order No. 26, Doe v. Poritz, and the Council’s Bernstein
decisions regarding similar records. Using the balancing factors from Doe, the trial Judge found that
the release of just the names and addresses of the dog owners with all other information contained
on the license applications redacted is appropriate. Specifically, the Judge relied on the Supreme
Court’s decision in Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 198 N.J. 408 (2009), holding that names and addresses
alone, without any other identifiers, does not sufficiently implicate privacy concerns to warrant
nondisclosure under OPRA. I have attached this decision for your convenience. This decision was
affirmed on appeal. Please see attached the Appellate Division’s unpublished decision in Bolkin v.
Kwasniewski, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1409, (App. Div. 2014).
 
All the decisions are made on a case by case basis. More recently, the Council decided on two (2)
complaints with various outcomes regarding names, home addresses, etc. that highlight the fact
specific nature in which the GRC makes determinations on privacy interests. See Levitt v. Twp. of
Monclair (Essex), GRC Complaint No. 2012-150 (August 2013)(
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2012-150.pdf); Bean v. Borough of Belmar (Monmouth),
GRC Complaint No. 2013-39 (Interim Order dated December 20, 2013).
 
Please note, though, that in the following GRC decisions the Council upheld the redaction of home
addresses and telephone numbers as well:
 
Merino v. Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus, GRC Complaint No. 2003-110 (July 2004). The Complainant
sought access to “Copies of (1) all moving violations of Officer Michael Tuttle during career
with Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department, (2) training records of Officer Tuttle; and (3) records of
complaints or internal reprimands against Officer Tuttle.” After conducting a balancing test,
the Council found that the home addresses should be redacted from the records provided to
the Complainant. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2003-110.html#findings.
 
Paff v. Warren Cnty. Office of the Prosecutor, GRC Complaint No. 2007-167 (February 2008).
The Complainant requested various records pertaining to State v. Philip Gentile,
Indictment/Accusation No. 07-02-00060-A. After conducting a balancing test, the Council

held that the redacted portions of the requested records (name and address of victim) were
properly redacted due to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. You may view this
decision on our website at http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-167.pdf.
 
Faulkner v. Rutgers Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2007-149 (May 2008). The Complainant
requested names and addresses for Rutgers University football and basketball season ticket
holders for 2006. After conducting a balancing test, the Council held that “the Custodian did
not unlawfully deny the Complainant access to the requested season ticket holders’ lists
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, which states that a public agency has a responsibility and an
obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has
been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation
of privacy.” You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-149.pdf.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
_____________________________________________________
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Government Records Council <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
April 18, 2018
 
Please provide guidance on the attached question.
 
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 


From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
OPRA Question regarding tax records
Date:
Monday, April 23, 2018 4:06:56 PM
Attachments:
Tax Collector"s letter - OPRA.pdf
Shane,
 
As we discussed.
 
Lori
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:58 AM
To: 'Government Records Council' <[email protected]>
Cc: Tax Collector <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Mr. Caruso:
 
Thank you for replying to this very important inquiry.  I will forward your response to the township
Tax Collector. I believe this topic is worth pursuing with the Legislature. It is the obligation and
responsibility of State and Local Government to protect the privacy, safety and welfare of our
citizens, especially the most vulnerable.  
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 
 
From: Government Records Council <[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:30 PM
To: Clerk's Dept. <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Good evening Ms. Merkel,
 
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by
the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding
whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public
Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. The GRC
cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response
must depend on the specific facts of the records request.

 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. There are 25 specific
exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or
that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also, OPRA
requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business
days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that custodians inform
requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your inquiry, the GRC first notes that it was unable to locate any prior cases addressing
the exact records to which you refer in your letter. Further, the GRC may not be aware of any
variables that impact the issue. Thus, guidance on this issue is difficult to provide.
 
Notwithstanding, the questions you raise are similar to those raised about the disclosure of accident
reports without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. In fact, the accident report issue could be
analogous to your situation. Specifically, the Council has previously ruled on whether redactions are
warranted on auto accident reports. Specifically, in Truland v. Borough of Madison, GRC Complaint
No. 2006-88 (September 2007), the Council held that “no redactions to the requested auto accident
reports are warranted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.” The New Jersey statute cited specifically states
that “information contained [in the report] shall not be privileged or held confidential.” See
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2006-88.pdf. The Council’s holding in Truland, has been
applied to another complaint in which accident reports were at issue. See
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2011-154.pdf. This is a departure from the normal OPRA
procedures since driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and unlisted telephone numbers
are specifically exempt under OPRA and are routinely redacted from records.
 
Now, as you can probably tell, this has caused citizens to become unsettled (and other various forms
of reaction) if they are contacted by attorneys, insurance companies, etc., after being in accident.
The GRC also receives phone calls from concerned custodians and citizens regarding the non-
confidential nature of accident reports. In each instance, the GRC is obligated to reply that it
understands that N.J.S.A. 39:4-131 and prevailing case law provides a stark conflict with the personal
information exemptions present in OPRA, which has led to some confusion across the State.
However, unless and until either the Legislature amends the statute and/or the courts/GRC decide
otherwise, accident reports are required to be disclosed without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
 
The GRC’s role in OPRA is to adjudicate complaints based on the plain reading of the OPRA, which
can sometimes lead to these types of decisions. Unfortunately, if it is the case that an agency is
required by law to disclose this information in its entirety, the appropriate avenue for change would
likely be the Legislature. This is, of course, in the absence of any statutes, regulations, or executive
orders making this information exempt in part or whole.
 
Additionally, if the disclosure issue comes down to a question of privacy interest as opposed to a
statutory requirement to disclose the information, the following may apply:

 
The GRC’s earliest decisions regarding privacy interest was in Bernstein v. Borough of Allendale, GRC
Complaint No. 2004-195 (July 2005). There, the requestor sought access to the names and addresses
of dog license owners. The Council dismissed the case on the basis that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
and Executive Order 21 the records should not be disclosed because of the unsolicited contact,
intrusion or potential harm that may result. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2004-195.html.
 
However, in an Appellate Division decision the Court held differently. In Atl. Cnty. SPCA v. City of
Absecon, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1370 (Jun 5, 2009), the Court held that the requested dog
license lists should be disclosed to the requestor, the ASPCA. It is important to note that both the
GRC and the Court conducted a balancing test to determine whether the records should be
disclosed. Thus, the answer is extremely fact specific. It is important to note that the Court discussed
the ASPCA’s need for this information because of its mission to investigate alleged animal abuse. See
also Renna v. Cnty. of Union, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 342 (February 17, 2012).
 
Additionally, in another court case, Bolkin v. Kwasniewski, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2641, (Law
Div. December 5, 2012), plaintiff sought the names and addresses of dog and cat license owners in
Fair Lawn for the purpose of sending political literature regarding candidates who support animal
friendly legislation. The Custodian denied access citing to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1, Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order No. 26, Doe v. Poritz, and the Council’s Bernstein
decisions regarding similar records. Using the balancing factors from Doe, the trial Judge found that
the release of just the names and addresses of the dog owners with all other information contained
on the license applications redacted is appropriate. Specifically, the Judge relied on the Supreme
Court’s decision in Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 198 N.J. 408 (2009), holding that names and addresses
alone, without any other identifiers, does not sufficiently implicate privacy concerns to warrant
nondisclosure under OPRA. I have attached this decision for your convenience. This decision was
affirmed on appeal. Please see attached the Appellate Division’s unpublished decision in Bolkin v.
Kwasniewski, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1409, (App. Div. 2014).
 
All the decisions are made on a case by case basis. More recently, the Council decided on two (2)
complaints with various outcomes regarding names, home addresses, etc. that highlight the fact
specific nature in which the GRC makes determinations on privacy interests. See Levitt v. Twp. of
Monclair (Essex), GRC Complaint No. 2012-150 (August 2013)(
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2012-150.pdf); Bean v. Borough of Belmar (Monmouth),
GRC Complaint No. 2013-39 (Interim Order dated December 20, 2013).
 
Please note, though, that in the following GRC decisions the Council upheld the redaction of home
addresses and telephone numbers as well:
 
Merino v. Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus, GRC Complaint No. 2003-110 (July 2004). The Complainant
sought access to “Copies of (1) all moving violations of Officer Michael Tuttle during career
with Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department, (2) training records of Officer Tuttle; and (3) records of
complaints or internal reprimands against Officer Tuttle.” After conducting a balancing test,
the Council found that the home addresses should be redacted from the records provided to

the Complainant. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2003-110.html#findings.
 
Paff v. Warren Cnty. Office of the Prosecutor, GRC Complaint No. 2007-167 (February 2008).
The Complainant requested various records pertaining to State v. Philip Gentile,
Indictment/Accusation No. 07-02-00060-A. After conducting a balancing test, the Council
held that the redacted portions of the requested records (name and address of victim) were
properly redacted due to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. You may view this
decision on our website at http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-167.pdf.
 
Faulkner v. Rutgers Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2007-149 (May 2008). The Complainant
requested names and addresses for Rutgers University football and basketball season ticket
holders for 2006. After conducting a balancing test, the Council held that “the Custodian did
not unlawfully deny the Complainant access to the requested season ticket holders’ lists
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, which states that a public agency has a responsibility and an
obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has
been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation
of privacy.” You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-149.pdf.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
_____________________________________________________
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Government Records Council <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
April 18, 2018
 
Please provide guidance on the attached question.
 
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC

Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 

From:
Clerk"s Dept .
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
Date:
Friday, April 20, 2018 2:23:00 PM
Attachments:
Tax Collector"s letter - OPRA.pdf
April 20, 2018
 
Laurie,
 
I believe this issue is the reason you called. The GRC response appears below. I’ll be happy to
talk to you about this any time.
 
Edie
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 
 
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 1:39 PM
To: 'Joseph DeIorio' <[email protected]>
Subject: FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:32 AM
To: 'AJ Plainfield' <[email protected]>; 'Ana Minkoff - Berkeley Heights'
<[email protected]>; 'Andrew Casais' <[email protected]>; 'Bonnie Lacina - Scotch Plains'
<[email protected]>; 'Christina Ariemma - Garwood' <[email protected]>; 'Eileen
Birch - Union Twp.' <[email protected]>; 'Eleanor McGovern - Fanwood'
<[email protected]>; 'Joseph Bodek - Linden' <[email protected]>; 'June Planas -
Winfield' <[email protected]>; 'Laura Reinertsen - Kenilworth' <[email protected]>;
'Linda Donnelly' <[email protected]>; 'Martha Lopez - Mountainside'
<[email protected]>; 'Rayna Harris' <[email protected]>; 'Rosemary Licatese-
Summit' <[email protected]>; 'Wendi B. Barry - New Providence'
<[email protected]>; 'Yolanda M. Roberts - Elizabeth' <[email protected]>; Tara Rowley
<[email protected]>; '[email protected]' <[email protected]>
Subject: FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 

GRC response below
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:58 AM
To: 'Government Records Council' <[email protected]>
Cc: Tax Collector <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Mr. Caruso:
 
Thank you for replying to this very important inquiry.  I will forward your response to the township
Tax Collector. I believe this topic is worth pursuing with the Legislature. It is the obligation and
responsibility of State and Local Government to protect the privacy, safety and welfare of our
citizens, especially the most vulnerable.  
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
From: Government Records Council <[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:30 PM
To: Clerk's Dept. <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Good evening Ms. Merkel,
 
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by
the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding
whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public
Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. The GRC
cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response
must depend on the specific facts of the records request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. There are 25 specific
exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or
that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also, OPRA
requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business
days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that custodians inform
requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your inquiry, the GRC first notes that it was unable to locate any prior cases addressing

the exact records to which you refer in your letter. Further, the GRC may not be aware of any
variables that impact the issue. Thus, guidance on this issue is difficult to provide.
 
Notwithstanding, the questions you raise are similar to those raised about the disclosure of accident
reports without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. In fact, the accident report issue could be
analogous to your situation. Specifically, the Council has previously ruled on whether redactions are
warranted on auto accident reports. Specifically, in Truland v. Borough of Madison, GRC Complaint
No. 2006-88 (September 2007), the Council held that “no redactions to the requested auto accident
reports are warranted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.” The New Jersey statute cited specifically states
that “information contained [in the report] shall not be privileged or held confidential.” See
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2006-88.pdf. The Council’s holding in Truland, has been
applied to another complaint in which accident reports were at issue. See
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2011-154.pdf. This is a departure from the normal OPRA
procedures since driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and unlisted telephone numbers
are specifically exempt under OPRA and are routinely redacted from records.
 
Now, as you can probably tell, this has caused citizens to become unsettled (and other various forms
of reaction) if they are contacted by attorneys, insurance companies, etc., after being in accident.
The GRC also receives phone calls from concerned custodians and citizens regarding the non-
confidential nature of accident reports. In each instance, the GRC is obligated to reply that it
understands that N.J.S.A. 39:4-131 and prevailing case law provides a stark conflict with the personal
information exemptions present in OPRA, which has led to some confusion across the State.
However, unless and until either the Legislature amends the statute and/or the courts/GRC decide
otherwise, accident reports are required to be disclosed without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
 
The GRC’s role in OPRA is to adjudicate complaints based on the plain reading of the OPRA, which
can sometimes lead to these types of decisions. Unfortunately, if it is the case that an agency is
required by law to disclose this information in its entirety, the appropriate avenue for change would
likely be the Legislature. This is, of course, in the absence of any statutes, regulations, or executive
orders making this information exempt in part or whole.
 
Additionally, if the disclosure issue comes down to a question of privacy interest as opposed to a
statutory requirement to disclose the information, the following may apply:
 
The GRC’s earliest decisions regarding privacy interest was in Bernstein v. Borough of Allendale, GRC
Complaint No. 2004-195 (July 2005). There, the requestor sought access to the names and addresses
of dog license owners. The Council dismissed the case on the basis that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
and Executive Order 21 the records should not be disclosed because of the unsolicited contact,
intrusion or potential harm that may result. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2004-195.html.
 
However, in an Appellate Division decision the Court held differently. In Atl. Cnty. SPCA v. City of
Absecon, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1370 (Jun 5, 2009), the Court held that the requested dog
license lists should be disclosed to the requestor, the ASPCA. It is important to note that both the
GRC and the Court conducted a balancing test to determine whether the records should be

disclosed. Thus, the answer is extremely fact specific. It is important to note that the Court discussed
the ASPCA’s need for this information because of its mission to investigate alleged animal abuse. See
also Renna v. Cnty. of Union, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 342 (February 17, 2012).
 
Additionally, in another court case, Bolkin v. Kwasniewski, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2641, (Law
Div. December 5, 2012), plaintiff sought the names and addresses of dog and cat license owners in
Fair Lawn for the purpose of sending political literature regarding candidates who support animal
friendly legislation. The Custodian denied access citing to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1, Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order No. 26, Doe v. Poritz, and the Council’s Bernstein
decisions regarding similar records. Using the balancing factors from Doe, the trial Judge found that
the release of just the names and addresses of the dog owners with all other information contained
on the license applications redacted is appropriate. Specifically, the Judge relied on the Supreme
Court’s decision in Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 198 N.J. 408 (2009), holding that names and addresses
alone, without any other identifiers, does not sufficiently implicate privacy concerns to warrant
nondisclosure under OPRA. I have attached this decision for your convenience. This decision was
affirmed on appeal. Please see attached the Appellate Division’s unpublished decision in Bolkin v.
Kwasniewski, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1409, (App. Div. 2014).
 
All the decisions are made on a case by case basis. More recently, the Council decided on two (2)
complaints with various outcomes regarding names, home addresses, etc. that highlight the fact
specific nature in which the GRC makes determinations on privacy interests. See Levitt v. Twp. of
Monclair (Essex), GRC Complaint No. 2012-150 (August 2013)(
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2012-150.pdf); Bean v. Borough of Belmar (Monmouth),
GRC Complaint No. 2013-39 (Interim Order dated December 20, 2013).
 
Please note, though, that in the following GRC decisions the Council upheld the redaction of home
addresses and telephone numbers as well:
 
Merino v. Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus, GRC Complaint No. 2003-110 (July 2004). The Complainant
sought access to “Copies of (1) all moving violations of Officer Michael Tuttle during career
with Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department, (2) training records of Officer Tuttle; and (3) records of
complaints or internal reprimands against Officer Tuttle.” After conducting a balancing test,
the Council found that the home addresses should be redacted from the records provided to
the Complainant. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2003-110.html#findings.
 
Paff v. Warren Cnty. Office of the Prosecutor, GRC Complaint No. 2007-167 (February 2008).
The Complainant requested various records pertaining to State v. Philip Gentile,
Indictment/Accusation No. 07-02-00060-A. After conducting a balancing test, the Council
held that the redacted portions of the requested records (name and address of victim) were
properly redacted due to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. You may view this
decision on our website at http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-167.pdf.
 
Faulkner v. Rutgers Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2007-149 (May 2008). The Complainant
requested names and addresses for Rutgers University football and basketball season ticket

holders for 2006. After conducting a balancing test, the Council held that “the Custodian did
not unlawfully deny the Complainant access to the requested season ticket holders’ lists
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, which states that a public agency has a responsibility and an
obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has
been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation
of privacy.” You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-149.pdf.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
_____________________________________________________
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Government Records Council <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
April 18, 2018
 
Please provide guidance on the attached question.
 
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 

From:
[email protected]
To:
[email protected]
Subject:
FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
Date:
Friday, April 20, 2018 2:08:01 PM
Attachments:
Tax Collector"s letter - OPRA.pdf
FYI…
 
 
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:32 AM
To: 'AJ Plainfield' <[email protected]>; 'Ana Minkoff - Berkeley Heights'
<[email protected]>; 'Andrew Casais' <[email protected]>; 'Bonnie Lacina - Scotch Plains'
<[email protected]>; 'Christina Ariemma - Garwood' <[email protected]>; 'Eileen
Birch - Union Twp.' <[email protected]>; 'Eleanor McGovern - Fanwood'
<[email protected]>; 'Joseph Bodek - Linden' <[email protected]>; 'June Planas -
Winfield' <[email protected]>; 'Laura Reinertsen - Kenilworth' <[email protected]>;
'Linda Donnelly' <[email protected]>; 'Martha Lopez - Mountainside'
<[email protected]>; 'Rayna Harris' <[email protected]>; 'Rosemary Licatese-
Summit' <[email protected]>; 'Wendi B. Barry - New Providence'
<[email protected]>; 'Yolanda M. Roberts - Elizabeth' <[email protected]>; Tara Rowley
<[email protected]>; '[email protected]' <[email protected]>
Subject: FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
GRC response below
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:58 AM
To: 'Government Records Council' <[email protected]>
Cc: Tax Collector <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Mr. Caruso:
 
Thank you for replying to this very important inquiry.  I will forward your response to the township
Tax Collector. I believe this topic is worth pursuing with the Legislature. It is the obligation and
responsibility of State and Local Government to protect the privacy, safety and welfare of our
citizens, especially the most vulnerable.  
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.

 
 
From: Government Records Council <[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:30 PM
To: Clerk's Dept. <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Good evening Ms. Merkel,
 
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by
the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding
whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public
Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. The GRC
cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response
must depend on the specific facts of the records request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. There are 25 specific
exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or
that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also, OPRA
requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business
days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that custodians inform
requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your inquiry, the GRC first notes that it was unable to locate any prior cases addressing
the exact records to which you refer in your letter. Further, the GRC may not be aware of any
variables that impact the issue. Thus, guidance on this issue is difficult to provide.
 
Notwithstanding, the questions you raise are similar to those raised about the disclosure of accident
reports without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. In fact, the accident report issue could be
analogous to your situation. Specifically, the Council has previously ruled on whether redactions are
warranted on auto accident reports. Specifically, in Truland v. Borough of Madison, GRC Complaint
No. 2006-88 (September 2007), the Council held that “no redactions to the requested auto accident
reports are warranted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.” The New Jersey statute cited specifically states
that “information contained [in the report] shall not be privileged or held confidential.” See
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2006-88.pdf. The Council’s holding in Truland, has been
applied to another complaint in which accident reports were at issue. See
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2011-154.pdf. This is a departure from the normal OPRA
procedures since driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and unlisted telephone numbers
are specifically exempt under OPRA and are routinely redacted from records.
 
Now, as you can probably tell, this has caused citizens to become unsettled (and other various forms
of reaction) if they are contacted by attorneys, insurance companies, etc., after being in accident.

The GRC also receives phone calls from concerned custodians and citizens regarding the non-
confidential nature of accident reports. In each instance, the GRC is obligated to reply that it
understands that N.J.S.A. 39:4-131 and prevailing case law provides a stark conflict with the personal
information exemptions present in OPRA, which has led to some confusion across the State.
However, unless and until either the Legislature amends the statute and/or the courts/GRC decide
otherwise, accident reports are required to be disclosed without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
 
The GRC’s role in OPRA is to adjudicate complaints based on the plain reading of the OPRA, which
can sometimes lead to these types of decisions. Unfortunately, if it is the case that an agency is
required by law to disclose this information in its entirety, the appropriate avenue for change would
likely be the Legislature. This is, of course, in the absence of any statutes, regulations, or executive
orders making this information exempt in part or whole.
 
Additionally, if the disclosure issue comes down to a question of privacy interest as opposed to a
statutory requirement to disclose the information, the following may apply:
 
The GRC’s earliest decisions regarding privacy interest was in Bernstein v. Borough of Allendale, GRC
Complaint No. 2004-195 (July 2005). There, the requestor sought access to the names and addresses
of dog license owners. The Council dismissed the case on the basis that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
and Executive Order 21 the records should not be disclosed because of the unsolicited contact,
intrusion or potential harm that may result. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2004-195.html.
 
However, in an Appellate Division decision the Court held differently. In Atl. Cnty. SPCA v. City of
Absecon, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1370 (Jun 5, 2009), the Court held that the requested dog
license lists should be disclosed to the requestor, the ASPCA. It is important to note that both the
GRC and the Court conducted a balancing test to determine whether the records should be
disclosed. Thus, the answer is extremely fact specific. It is important to note that the Court discussed
the ASPCA’s need for this information because of its mission to investigate alleged animal abuse. See
also Renna v. Cnty. of Union, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 342 (February 17, 2012).
 
Additionally, in another court case, Bolkin v. Kwasniewski, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2641, (Law
Div. December 5, 2012), plaintiff sought the names and addresses of dog and cat license owners in
Fair Lawn for the purpose of sending political literature regarding candidates who support animal
friendly legislation. The Custodian denied access citing to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1, Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order No. 26, Doe v. Poritz, and the Council’s Bernstein
decisions regarding similar records. Using the balancing factors from Doe, the trial Judge found that
the release of just the names and addresses of the dog owners with all other information contained
on the license applications redacted is appropriate. Specifically, the Judge relied on the Supreme
Court’s decision in Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 198 N.J. 408 (2009), holding that names and addresses
alone, without any other identifiers, does not sufficiently implicate privacy concerns to warrant
nondisclosure under OPRA. I have attached this decision for your convenience. This decision was
affirmed on appeal. Please see attached the Appellate Division’s unpublished decision in Bolkin v.
Kwasniewski, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1409, (App. Div. 2014).
 

All the decisions are made on a case by case basis. More recently, the Council decided on two (2)
complaints with various outcomes regarding names, home addresses, etc. that highlight the fact
specific nature in which the GRC makes determinations on privacy interests. See Levitt v. Twp. of
Monclair (Essex), GRC Complaint No. 2012-150 (August 2013)(
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2012-150.pdf); Bean v. Borough of Belmar (Monmouth),
GRC Complaint No. 2013-39 (Interim Order dated December 20, 2013).
 
Please note, though, that in the following GRC decisions the Council upheld the redaction of home
addresses and telephone numbers as well:
 
Merino v. Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus, GRC Complaint No. 2003-110 (July 2004). The Complainant
sought access to “Copies of (1) all moving violations of Officer Michael Tuttle during career
with Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department, (2) training records of Officer Tuttle; and (3) records of
complaints or internal reprimands against Officer Tuttle.” After conducting a balancing test,
the Council found that the home addresses should be redacted from the records provided to
the Complainant. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2003-110.html#findings.
 
Paff v. Warren Cnty. Office of the Prosecutor, GRC Complaint No. 2007-167 (February 2008).
The Complainant requested various records pertaining to State v. Philip Gentile,
Indictment/Accusation No. 07-02-00060-A. After conducting a balancing test, the Council
held that the redacted portions of the requested records (name and address of victim) were
properly redacted due to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. You may view this
decision on our website at http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-167.pdf.
 
Faulkner v. Rutgers Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2007-149 (May 2008). The Complainant
requested names and addresses for Rutgers University football and basketball season ticket
holders for 2006. After conducting a balancing test, the Council held that “the Custodian did
not unlawfully deny the Complainant access to the requested season ticket holders’ lists
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, which states that a public agency has a responsibility and an
obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has
been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation
of privacy.” You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-149.pdf.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative

material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
_____________________________________________________
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Government Records Council <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
April 18, 2018
 
Please provide guidance on the attached question.
 
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 

From:
Joseph DeIorio
To:
"[email protected]"
Subject:
FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
Date:
Friday, April 20, 2018 1:54:45 PM
Attachments:
Tax Collector"s letter - OPRA.pdf
 
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 1:39 PM
To: Joseph DeIorio
Subject: FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
 
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 11:32 AM
To: 'AJ Plainfield' <[email protected]>; 'Ana Minkoff - Berkeley Heights'
<[email protected]>; 'Andrew Casais' <[email protected]>; 'Bonnie Lacina - Scotch Plains'
<[email protected]>; 'Christina Ariemma - Garwood' <[email protected]>; 'Eileen
Birch - Union Twp.' <[email protected]>; 'Eleanor McGovern - Fanwood'
<[email protected]>; 'Joseph Bodek - Linden' <[email protected]>; 'June Planas -
Winfield' <[email protected]>; 'Laura Reinertsen - Kenilworth' <[email protected]>;
'Linda Donnelly' <[email protected]>; 'Martha Lopez - Mountainside'
<[email protected]>; 'Rayna Harris' <[email protected]>; 'Rosemary Licatese-
Summit' <[email protected]>; 'Wendi B. Barry - New Providence'
<[email protected]>; 'Yolanda M. Roberts - Elizabeth' <[email protected]>; Tara Rowley
<[email protected]>; '[email protected]' <[email protected]>
Subject: FW: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
GRC response below
 
From: Clerk's Dept. 
Sent: Friday, April 20, 2018 10:58 AM
To: 'Government Records Council' <[email protected]>
Cc: Tax Collector <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Mr. Caruso:
 
Thank you for replying to this very important inquiry.  I will forward your response to the township
Tax Collector. I believe this topic is worth pursuing with the Legislature. It is the obligation and
responsibility of State and Local Government to protect the privacy, safety and welfare of our
citizens, especially the most vulnerable.  
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC 
Township Clerk

Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 
 
From: Government Records Council <[email protected]
Sent: Thursday, April 19, 2018 6:30 PM
To: Clerk's Dept. <[email protected]>
Subject: RE: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
Good evening Ms. Merkel,
 
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by
the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding
whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public
Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. The GRC
cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response
must depend on the specific facts of the records request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. There are 25 specific
exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or
that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also, OPRA
requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business
days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that custodians inform
requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your inquiry, the GRC first notes that it was unable to locate any prior cases addressing
the exact records to which you refer in your letter. Further, the GRC may not be aware of any
variables that impact the issue. Thus, guidance on this issue is difficult to provide.
 
Notwithstanding, the questions you raise are similar to those raised about the disclosure of accident
reports without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. In fact, the accident report issue could be
analogous to your situation. Specifically, the Council has previously ruled on whether redactions are
warranted on auto accident reports. Specifically, in Truland v. Borough of Madison, GRC Complaint
No. 2006-88 (September 2007), the Council held that “no redactions to the requested auto accident
reports are warranted pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.” The New Jersey statute cited specifically states
that “information contained [in the report] shall not be privileged or held confidential.” See
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2006-88.pdf. The Council’s holding in Truland, has been
applied to another complaint in which accident reports were at issue. See
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2011-154.pdf. This is a departure from the normal OPRA
procedures since driver’s license numbers, social security numbers and unlisted telephone numbers

are specifically exempt under OPRA and are routinely redacted from records.
 
Now, as you can probably tell, this has caused citizens to become unsettled (and other various forms
of reaction) if they are contacted by attorneys, insurance companies, etc., after being in accident.
The GRC also receives phone calls from concerned custodians and citizens regarding the non-
confidential nature of accident reports. In each instance, the GRC is obligated to reply that it
understands that N.J.S.A. 39:4-131 and prevailing case law provides a stark conflict with the personal
information exemptions present in OPRA, which has led to some confusion across the State.
However, unless and until either the Legislature amends the statute and/or the courts/GRC decide
otherwise, accident reports are required to be disclosed without redactions per N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
 
The GRC’s role in OPRA is to adjudicate complaints based on the plain reading of the OPRA, which
can sometimes lead to these types of decisions. Unfortunately, if it is the case that an agency is
required by law to disclose this information in its entirety, the appropriate avenue for change would
likely be the Legislature. This is, of course, in the absence of any statutes, regulations, or executive
orders making this information exempt in part or whole.
 
Additionally, if the disclosure issue comes down to a question of privacy interest as opposed to a
statutory requirement to disclose the information, the following may apply:
 
The GRC’s earliest decisions regarding privacy interest was in Bernstein v. Borough of Allendale, GRC
Complaint No. 2004-195 (July 2005). There, the requestor sought access to the names and addresses
of dog license owners. The Council dismissed the case on the basis that pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
and Executive Order 21 the records should not be disclosed because of the unsolicited contact,
intrusion or potential harm that may result. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2004-195.html.
 
However, in an Appellate Division decision the Court held differently. In Atl. Cnty. SPCA v. City of
Absecon, 2009 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1370 (Jun 5, 2009), the Court held that the requested dog
license lists should be disclosed to the requestor, the ASPCA. It is important to note that both the
GRC and the Court conducted a balancing test to determine whether the records should be
disclosed. Thus, the answer is extremely fact specific. It is important to note that the Court discussed
the ASPCA’s need for this information because of its mission to investigate alleged animal abuse. See
also Renna v. Cnty. of Union, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 342 (February 17, 2012).
 
Additionally, in another court case, Bolkin v. Kwasniewski, 2012 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 2641, (Law
Div. December 5, 2012), plaintiff sought the names and addresses of dog and cat license owners in
Fair Lawn for the purpose of sending political literature regarding candidates who support animal
friendly legislation. The Custodian denied access citing to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1, Governor McGreevey’s Executive Order No. 26, Doe v. Poritz, and the Council’s Bernstein
decisions regarding similar records. Using the balancing factors from Doe, the trial Judge found that
the release of just the names and addresses of the dog owners with all other information contained
on the license applications redacted is appropriate. Specifically, the Judge relied on the Supreme
Court’s decision in Burnett v. Cnty. of Bergen, 198 N.J. 408 (2009), holding that names and addresses
alone, without any other identifiers, does not sufficiently implicate privacy concerns to warrant

nondisclosure under OPRA. I have attached this decision for your convenience. This decision was
affirmed on appeal. Please see attached the Appellate Division’s unpublished decision in Bolkin v.
Kwasniewski, 2014 N.J. Super. Unpub. LEXIS 1409, (App. Div. 2014).
 
All the decisions are made on a case by case basis. More recently, the Council decided on two (2)
complaints with various outcomes regarding names, home addresses, etc. that highlight the fact
specific nature in which the GRC makes determinations on privacy interests. See Levitt v. Twp. of
Monclair (Essex), GRC Complaint No. 2012-150 (August 2013)(
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/decisions/pdf/2012-150.pdf); Bean v. Borough of Belmar (Monmouth),
GRC Complaint No. 2013-39 (Interim Order dated December 20, 2013).
 
Please note, though, that in the following GRC decisions the Council upheld the redaction of home
addresses and telephone numbers as well:
 
Merino v. Borough of Ho-Ho-Kus, GRC Complaint No. 2003-110 (July 2004). The Complainant
sought access to “Copies of (1) all moving violations of Officer Michael Tuttle during career
with Ho-Ho-Kus Police Department, (2) training records of Officer Tuttle; and (3) records of
complaints or internal reprimands against Officer Tuttle.” After conducting a balancing test,
the Council found that the home addresses should be redacted from the records provided to
the Complainant. You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/2003-110.html#findings.
 
Paff v. Warren Cnty. Office of the Prosecutor, GRC Complaint No. 2007-167 (February 2008).
The Complainant requested various records pertaining to State v. Philip Gentile,
Indictment/Accusation No. 07-02-00060-A. After conducting a balancing test, the Council
held that the redacted portions of the requested records (name and address of victim) were
properly redacted due to privacy concerns pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. You may view this
decision on our website at http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-167.pdf.
 
Faulkner v. Rutgers Univ., GRC Complaint No. 2007-149 (May 2008). The Complainant
requested names and addresses for Rutgers University football and basketball season ticket
holders for 2006. After conducting a balancing test, the Council held that “the Custodian did
not unlawfully deny the Complainant access to the requested season ticket holders’ lists
pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, which states that a public agency has a responsibility and an
obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has
been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation
of privacy.” You may view this decision on our website at
http://www.nj.gov/grc/decisions/pdf/2007-149.pdf.
 
 
 
Sincerely,
 
Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council

Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).
_____________________________________________________
 
From: Clerk's Dept. [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Wednesday, April 18, 2018 1:11 PM
To: Government Records Council <[email protected]>
Subject: OPRA Question regarding tax records
 
April 18, 2018
 
Please provide guidance on the attached question.
 
Thank you in advance for any help you can offer.
 
Edith L. Merkel, RMC
Township Clerk
Township of Clark
430 Westfield Ave.
Clark, NJ 07066
(732) 388-3669 ph.
(732) 388-1241 fx.
 






From:
Paul Tomasko
To:
[email protected][email protected]
Subject:
Fwd: Memorandum on proposed OPRA and OPMA legislation
Date:
Tuesday, February 6, 2018 4:02:15 PM
Attachments:
[1617806] Comments to S1045-217.pdf
Comments to S1046-217.pdf
Mike and Lori, 
FYI. 
Are the OPMA and OPRA bills still being pushed?
Thanks,
Paul
-----Original Message-----
From: Stephanie Wehmann <[email protected]>
To: Paul Tomasko <[email protected]>
Cc: Nancy Wehmann <[email protected]>
Sent: Tue, Feb 6, 2018 3:14 pm
Subject: FW: Memorandum on proposed OPRA and OPMA legislation
 
 
From: John L. Shahdanian II [mailto:[email protected]
Sent: Tuesday, February 06, 2018 2:35 PM
To: Stephanie Wehmann <[email protected]>; Boro Clerk <[email protected]>
Subject: Memorandum on proposed OPRA and OPMA legislation
 
Mayor Tomasko:
 
Attached please find the memoranda regarding the pending bills on OPRA/OPMA.
 
Regards,
 
John Shahdanian
 
JOHN L. SHAHDANIAN II
CHASAN LAMPARELLO MALLON & CAPPUZZO, PC 
300 LIGHTING WAY, SUITE 200  
SECAUCUS, NEW JERSEY 07094
201-809-6038
201-348-6633
[email protected]
DOWNLOAD VCARD
 
www.chasanlaw.com
 
Celebrating our 60th anniversary 1957-2017
 
THE INFORMATION CONTAINED IN THIS E-MAIL MESSAGE IS FOR THE SOLE USE OF THE INTENDED
RECIPIENT AND MAY CONTAIN ATTORNEY CONFIDENTIAL AND PRIVILEGED INFORMATION.  ANY
UNAUTHORIZED REVIEW, USE, DISCLOSURE OR DISTRIBUTION IS PROHIBITED.  IF YOU ARE NOT THE
INTENDED RECIPIENT, PLEASE CONTACT THE SENDER BY REPLY EMAIL AND DESTROY ALL COPIES OF THE
ORIGINAL MESSAGE.  THANK YOU.
 
 
 


From:
[email protected] on behalf of Richard Sheola
To:
Joseph Kostecki
Cc:
Maria K. MentoJohn Bussiculo; Munitalk ([email protected]); Lisa H. Hand
Subject:
Re: Opra machine
Date:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 5:48:18 PM
Seriously special. 
I’d nominate for an Emmy as Best Host of a Municipal Building Tour
Sent from my iPhone
On Jan 9, 2018, at 3:31 PM, Joseph Kostecki <[email protected]> wrote:
we receive requests weekly; a real pain. We questioned their ability to claim they did not have any convictions while also being
anonymous. The GRC responded as such:
I reached out to the GRC with regard to OPRA Machine and continual anonymous requests, specifically with stating "no convictions" while also being anonymous. This is their
response:
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of
the GRC regarding whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the
request and/or complaint. The GRC cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response must depend on the specific facts of the records
request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A.47:1A-1. There are
25 specific exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ."N.J.S.A. 47:1A-
1.1.  Also, OPRA requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA
further requires that custodians inform requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your first inquiry, OPRA permits a requestor to submit an OPRA request anonymously. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i). The procedure for requesting records anonymously under OPRA
does not generally depart from the typical way of requesting records under OPRA, with one exception. If a requestor were to request records anonymously and did not provide contact
information, “the custodian shall not be required to respond until the requestor reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request.” Id.
 
The real importance to the conviction question comes from N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2, which provides that:
 
[W]here it shall appear that a person who is convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United
States is seeking government records containing personal information pertaining to the person's victim or the victim's family, including
but not limited to a victim's home address, home telephone number, work or school address, work telephone number, social security
account number, medical history or any other identifying information, the right of access provided for in [OPRA] shall be denied . . . [A]
custodian shall not comply with an anonymous request for a government record which is protected under the provisions of this section.
Id.
 
Thus, the function of the question contained on the model request form relates directly back to this provision of OPRA.
 
OPRA also addresses how to handle anonymous requests when a convicted requestor seeks his/her victim’s information. Specifically, the statute provides that “a custodian shall not
comply with an anonymous request for a government record which is protected under the provisions of this section.” Id.
 
It should be noted that, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2, a convicted person cannot access records regarding the victim or victim’s family. However, convicted persons are able to
access all other types of records under OPRA just like everyone else.
 
Regarding your second inquiry, tracking and managing of OPRA requests is ultimately an internal agency question. How an agency chooses to track its OPRA requests will largely
depend on what is most effective for that agency.
 
Regarding your final inquiry, the GRC only provides the following limited guidance and refers you back to its first inquiry response. Ultimately, the goal of OPRA is “to maximize
public knowledge about public affairs in order to ensure an informed citizenry . . .” Asbury Park Press v. Ocean Cnty. Prosecutor’s Office, 374 N.J. Super.312 (Law Div. 2004). Because
the statute allows an individual to submit an OPRA request anonymously, that individual has no obligation to identify themselves
On Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:24 PM, Maria K. Mento <[email protected]> wrote:
Lisa,
Have you received anything?
 
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]On Behalf Of John Bussiculo
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 3:20 PM

To: Munitalk ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Subject: Opra machine
 
We received 3 request today from Opra Machine/ Ask NJ Media .com for info that will take us weeks to assemble. This is in our opinion
is an abuse of Opra. I was wondering how many of you have received something from them? And how did you handle it? If you look at
the website it looks like most if not all towns in NJ will eventually receive these requests. It maybe is time as a group to fight this. I have
limited resources and to spend weeks on this is just not right.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better
educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor,
NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
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-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better
educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor,
NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
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964E28A2E9%40Exchange-12.ventnorcity.org.
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-- 
Be well,
Joseph Kostecki, 
MPA,CMC,RMC,QPA,RPPS,CMR
Borough Administrator/Municipal Clerk
Borough of South Toms River
Office: 732.349.0403
Download the Smartphone App here
www.boroughofsouthtomsriver.com
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better
educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA,
or its executive board.
--- 
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-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better educated
membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive
board.
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From:
[email protected] on behalf of Joseph Kostecki
To:
Maria K. Mento
Cc:
John Bussiculo; Munitalk ([email protected]); Lisa H. Hand
Subject:
Re: Opra machine
Date:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:31:33 PM
we receive requests weekly; a real pain. We questioned their ability to claim they did not have any convictions while also being anonymous. The
GRC responded as such:
I reached out to the GRC with regard to OPRA Machine and continual anonymous requests, specifically with stating "no convictions" while also being anonymous. This is their response:
Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC").  The information provided by the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of
the GRC regarding whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request
and/or complaint. The GRC cannot tell you exactly how to respond to an official OPRA records request because your response must depend on the specific facts of the records request.
 
Generally, OPRA provides that ". . . government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination . . . with certain exceptions . . ." N.J.S.A.47:1A-1. There are 25
specific exemptions from disclosure included in OPRA. 
 
Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file . . . or that has been received in the course of . . . official business . . ."N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1.  Also,
OPRA requires a custodian to grant or deny access as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business days from receipt of the request.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i).  OPRA further requires that
custodians inform requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records.  N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.
 
Regarding your first inquiry, OPRA permits a requestor to submit an OPRA request anonymously. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i). The procedure for requesting records anonymously under OPRA does not
generally depart from the typical way of requesting records under OPRA, with one exception. If a requestor were to request records anonymously and did not provide contact information, “the
custodian shall not be required to respond until the requestor reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request.” Id.
 
The real importance to the conviction question comes from N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2, which provides that:
 
[W]here it shall appear that a person who is convicted of any indictable offense under the laws of this State, any other state or the United
States is seeking government records containing personal information pertaining to the person's victim or the victim's family, including
but not limited to a victim's home address, home telephone number, work or school address, work telephone number, social security
account number, medical history or any other identifying information, the right of access provided for in [OPRA] shall be denied . . . [A]
custodian shall not comply with an anonymous request for a government record which is protected under the provisions of this section.
Id.
 
Thus, the function of the question contained on the model request form relates directly back to this provision of OPRA.
 
OPRA also addresses how to handle anonymous requests when a convicted requestor seeks his/her victim’s information. Specifically, the statute provides that “a custodian shall not comply with
an anonymous request for a government record which is protected under the provisions of this section.” Id.
 
It should be noted that, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2.2, a convicted person cannot access records regarding the victim or victim’s family. However, convicted persons are able to access
all other types of records under OPRA just like everyone else.
 
Regarding your second inquiry, tracking and managing of OPRA requests is ultimately an internal agency question. How an agency chooses to track its OPRA requests will largely depend on
what is most effective for that agency.
 
Regarding your final inquiry, the GRC only provides the following limited guidance and refers you back to its first inquiry response. Ultimately, the goal of OPRA is “to maximize public
knowledge about public affairs in order to ensure an informed citizenry . . .” Asbury Park Press v. Ocean Cnty. Prosecutor’s Office, 374 N.J. Super.312 (Law Div. 2004). Because the statute
allows an individual to submit an OPRA request anonymously, that individual has no obligation to identify themselves
On Tue, Jan 9, 2018 at 3:24 PM, Maria K. Mento <[email protected]> wrote:
Lisa,
Have you received anything?
 
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]On Behalf Of John Bussiculo
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 3:20 PM
To: Munitalk ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Subject: Opra machine
 
We received 3 request today from Opra Machine/ Ask NJ Media .com for info that will take us weeks to assemble. This is in our opinion is an
abuse of Opra. I was wondering how many of you have received something from them? And how did you handle it? If you look at the website

it looks like most if not all towns in NJ will eventually receive these requests. It maybe is time as a group to fight this. I have limited resources
and to spend weeks on this is just not right.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better educated
membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its
executive board.
--- 
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74BCD100%40CY1PR19MB0646.namprd19.prod.outlook.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better educated
membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its
executive board.
--- 
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964E28A2E9%40Exchange-12.ventnorcity.org.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
-- 
Be well,
Joseph Kostecki, 
MPA,CMC,RMC,QPA,RPPS,CMR
Borough Administrator/Municipal Clerk
Borough of South Toms River
Office: 732.349.0403
Download the Smartphone App here
www.boroughofsouthtomsriver.com
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded discussion and a better educated
membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive
board.
--- 
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From:
[email protected] on behalf of Gregory Bonin
To:
John Bussiculo; Munitalk([email protected])
Subject:
RE: Opra machine
Date:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:30:05 PM
I just had a visit from that special person yesterday.
 
Please enjoy my YouTube debut…
 
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=h0TFKSNNvLE
 
Gregory J. Bonin
 
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]On Behalf Of John Bussiculo
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 3:20 PM
To: Munitalk ([email protected])
Subject: Opra machine
 
We received 3 request today from Opra Machine/ Ask NJ Media .com for info that will take us weeks to assemble. This
is in our opinion is an abuse of Opra. I was wondering how many of you have received something from them? And how
did you handle it? If you look at the website it looks like most if not all towns in NJ will eventually receive these
requests. It maybe is time as a group to fight this. I have limited resources and to spend weeks on this is just not right.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded
discussion and a better educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual
writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
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[email protected].
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mt/CY1PR19MB0646349ABACB9992A5C2974BCD100%40CY1PR19MB0646.namprd19.prod.outlook.com.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded
discussion and a better educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual
writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
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From:
[email protected] on behalf of Maria K. Mento
To:
John Bussiculo; Munitalk([email protected])
Cc:
Lisa H. Hand
Subject:
RE: Opra machine
Date:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:25:54 PM
Lisa,
Have you received anything?
 
From: [email protected] [mailto:[email protected]On Behalf Of John
Bussiculo
Sent: Tuesday, January 09, 2018 3:20 PM
To: Munitalk ([email protected]) <[email protected]>
Subject: Opra machine
 
We received 3 request today from Opra Machine/ Ask NJ Media .com for info that will take us weeks to
assemble. This is in our opinion is an abuse of Opra. I was wondering how many of you have received
something from them? And how did you handle it? If you look at the website it looks like most if not all
towns in NJ will eventually receive these requests. It maybe is time as a group to fight this. I have limited
resources and to spend weeks on this is just not right.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-
rounded discussion and a better educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of
the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
You received this message because you are subscribed to the Google Groups "NJMMA Municipaltalk"
group.
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[email protected]
.
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mt/CY1PR19MB0646349ABACB9992A5C2974BCD100%40CY1PR19MB0646.namprd19.prod.outlook.com
.
For more options, visit https://groups.google.com/d/optout.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more
well-rounded discussion and a better educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are
those of the individual writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive
board.
--- 
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Municipaltalk" group.
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From:
[email protected] on behalf of John Bussiculo
To:
Munitalk ([email protected])
Subject:
Opra machine
Date:
Tuesday, January 9, 2018 3:20:08 PM
We received 3 request today from Opra Machine/ Ask NJ Media .com for info that will take us weeks to assemble.
This is in our opinion is an abuse of Opra. I was wondering how many of you have received something from them?
And how did you handle it? If you look at the website it looks like most if not all towns in NJ will eventually receive
these requests. It maybe is time as a group to fight this. I have limited resources and to spend weeks on this is just
not right.
-- 
The NJMMA encourages the sharing of varied opinions and perspectives as they add to a more well-rounded
discussion and a better educated membership. It is understood that the opinions are those of the individual
writer and not necessarily those of the editor, NJMMA, or its executive board.
--- 
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