New Jersey Government Records Council
What To Do If Your Request for a Record Has Been Denied
The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.) permit
person who believes he or she has been illegally denied access to a public record to
file a complaint with the Government Records Council (GRC), or file suit in Superior
Court to challenge the decision and compel disclosure. This poster describes the
procedures for taking these actions.
To file a complaint with the Government Records Council:
• Contact the GRC by phone at: 1-866-850-0511
, by e-mail at
email@example.com, or review the GRC web site at www.nj.gov/grc for
information and to register your complaint.
• The GRC staff may be able to help resolve the problem over the phone. If not,
you can receive a complaint form through the mail or from the web site.
• When you file the written complaint, the GRC will offer you and the public agency
non-adversarial, impartial mediation.
• If mediation is not agreed to or fails, the GRC will investigate the complaint.
• The investigation may result in findings or a formal decision by the GRC, which
may include a hearing by the Council.
• In some cases, the Council can award attorneys fees or fine a records custodian
for failing to provide records.
• Details of this process are available from the GRC.
• There is no fee to file a complaint with the GRC.
To file a complaint in Superior Court:
• A requester may start a summary (expedited) lawsuit in the Superior Court. A
written complaint and order to show cause must be filed with the court.
• The court requires a $200 filing fee, and you must serve the lawsuit papers on
the appropriate public officials.
• The court will schedule a hearing and resolve the dispute.
• If you disagree with the court’s decision, you may appeal the
decision to the Appellate Division of Superior Court.
• If you are successful, you may be entitled to reasonable
• You may wish to consult with an attorney to learn about
initiating and pursuing a summary lawsuit in the Superior Court.
For more information, contact the Government Records Council
toll-free at 866-850-0511 or
PO Box 819, Trenton, New Jersey, 08625-0819