Attorney invoices & litigation settlement agreements

Time to Change- Jersey Style made this OPRA request to Monmouth County

This request has been closed to new correspondence from the public body. Contact us if you think it ought be re-opened.

Response to this request is long overdue. By law, under all circumstances, Monmouth County should have responded by now (details). You can complain by requesting an internal review.

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Monmouth County,

This is a request for public records made under OPRA and the common law right of access. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.
Records requested:

1. I'm requesting copies of all attorney invoices for Monmouth County from January 1, 2016 through May 21, 2018.

2. I'm requesting copies of all litigation settlement agreements from January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2017.

Yours faithfully,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Masnick, Marion, Monmouth County

Got it

Marion Masnick
Clerk of the Board
County of Monmouth
732-431-7380
[email address]

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Patricia Quelch,

Time to Change-Jersey Style:

 

Your OPRA request has been forwarded to me as Special County Counsel for
response. In Item 1 you request copies of all attorney invoices from
January 1, 2016 through May 21, 2018. I assume that by attorney you are
referring to Special County Counsels? There are 28 different reports that
have to be run from the system, one for each firm appointed as Special
County Counsel. Then, it is necessary to retrieve and print a copy of
those invoices from the system. Next, the invoices must be reviewed for
redaction. The initial report takes little time, but the other steps are
time consuming. During this time period, only one vender submitted 1,315
invoices. Printing out these invoices alone will consume over 100 hours at
a rate of $28/hour. Redaction will take at least the same amount of time
or more at the same hourly cost. This same process must be repeated for
the other 27 attorneys. Of course, there may not be as many vouchers, but
there may be even more. Therefore, a special fee will be required before
this request can be filled, due to the disruption to the normal working
process of the office.

 

The County will not be able to comply with this request in the time
allotted by statute. Before, any work is done, you need to indicate your
willingness to pay the special fee. If you wish to narrow your request,
either by time or attorney, or limit it to only the computer printout,
please let me know.

 

As an aside, any invoices originating with me or my firm, will come to you
directly from County Counsel’s Office.

 

Please let me know at your earliest convenience your decision as to how
you wish to proceed with Item 1 of this request. County Counsel’s Office
is compiling the documents for Item 2.

 

Sincerely,

 

Patricia B. Quelch, Esq.

Special County Counsel

Patricia Quelch,

The email below is incorrect in that the 1315 invoices are for all 28
firms. Printing out these invoices will take approximately 100 hours and
approximately the same for review and redaction. The information is
otherwise correct.

 

Please advise of your decision.

 

From: Patricia Quelch
Sent: Thursday, May 24, 2018 2:54 PM
To: '[OPRA #1732 email]'
<[1][OPRA #1732 email]>
Subject: OPRA request dated May 21, 2018

 

Time to Change-Jersey Style:

 

Your OPRA request has been forwarded to me as Special County Counsel for
response. In Item 1 you request copies of all attorney invoices from
January 1, 2016 through May 21, 2018. I assume that by attorney you are
referring to Special County Counsels? There are 28 different reports that
have to be run from the system, one for each firm appointed as Special
County Counsel. Then, it is necessary to retrieve and print a copy of
those invoices from the system. Next, the invoices must be reviewed for
redaction. The initial report takes little time, but the other steps are
time consuming. During this time period, only one vender submitted 1,315
invoices. Printing out these invoices alone will consume over 100 hours at
a rate of $28/hour. Redaction will take at least the same amount of time
or more at the same hourly cost. This same process must be repeated for
the other 27 attorneys. Of course, there may not be as many vouchers, but
there may be even more. Therefore, a special fee will be required before
this request can be filled, due to the disruption to the normal working
process of the office.

 

The County will not be able to comply with this request in the time
allotted by statute. Before, any work is done, you need to indicate your
willingness to pay the special fee. If you wish to narrow your request,
either by time or attorney, or limit it to only the computer printout,
please let me know.

 

As an aside, any invoices originating with me or my firm, will come to you
directly from County Counsel’s Office.

 

Please let me know at your earliest convenience your decision as to how
you wish to proceed with Item 1 of this request. County Counsel’s Office
is compiling the documents for Item 2.

 

Sincerely,

 

Patricia B. Quelch, Esq.

Special County Counsel

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[OPRA #1732 email]

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Patricia Quelch,

I'm withdrawing part of my OPRA request as of 5-25-2017. I will be breaking up my OPRA request into smaller ones in order to make it easier for the agency. This addresses documents in item #1.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Patricia Quelch,

Thank you for your prompt reply. I will inform the County of your decision. County Counsel's Office is still compiling the documents requested in Item 2.

Enjoy your long weekend.

Patricia Quelch

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Patricia Quelch,

Time to Change—Jersey Style:

 

The seventh working day for this OPRA request is May 31, 2018. However,
due to the short work week and an unusually large volume of OPRA requests
in a short time, County Counsel’s Office needs an extension of time until
next Friday, June 8, 2018, to compile the settlements agreements for the
requested time period. Thank you for your patience.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Patricia B. Quelch, Esq.

Special County Counsel

Patricia Quelch,

Time to Change—Jersey Style:

 

Your OPRA request was extended until today, June 8, 2018, to provide the
litigation settlement agreements. Unfortunately, not all of the agreements
for the ten-year period requested have been compiled. The County
anticipates that the information/documents will be available by June 12,
2018. Thank you for your cooperation.

 

Very truly yours,

 

Patricia B. Quelch, Esq.

Special County Counsel

Lisi, Allyce, Monmouth County

Dear Time to Change – Jersey Style:

 

            The County of Monmouth received your Open Public Records Act
(“OPRA”) request on May 21, 2018.  As such, the seven business day
deadline to respond to your request was May 31, 2018.  You advised in your
May 25, 2018 email to Special Counsel Patricia Quelch that you were
rescinding item 1 of your request. 

 

            On May 29, 2018, Special Counsel Patricia Quelch, Esq.,
advised that the County required additional time to compile the responsive
documents to item 2 of your request and that a response would be
forthcoming on or before Friday, June 8, 2018.  On June 8, 2018, Special
Counsel further advised that she anticipated the response would be
available on Tuesday, June 12, 2018.  Please be advised that due to the
significant amount of responsive records and the required review and
redactions to same, the County will provide the response on or before
Friday, June 29, 2018.    

 

            Thank you for your cooperation.  If you should have any
questions, please do not hesitate to contact our office. 

 

Sincerely,

 

Allyce Lisi,

Office of Monmouth County Counsel

 

Hall of Records, Room 236

One East Main Street

Freehold, New Jersey 07728

(P) 732-683-8641

(F) 732-431-0437

Email: [1][email address]

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Catherine Kim,

Good afternoon,

 

Please be advised this office represents the County of Monmouth (“County”)
in the above-referenced matter. In the next coming days, the County will
be implementing a new policy when handling Open Public Records Act
(“OPRA”) requests. As part of the new policy, the County will be modifying
the processing mechanism for certain OPRA requests. In its continuing
efforts to work along with the public, the County respectfully requests an
extension until the new policy is implemented and available for review on
the Monmouth County website. Should your request be affected by the new
policy, the County will promptly notify you and respond accordingly.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or
concerns.

 

We appreciate your cooperation and apologize for the inconvenience. Your
future assistance is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Catherine Kim, Esq., Associate

Cleary I Giacobbe I Alfieri I Jacobs LLC

955 State Route 34

Suite 200

Matawan, NJ 07747

(732) 583-7474 ext 151 Office

(732) 290-0753 Fax

email address:  [1][email address]

This message, including attachments, is covered by the Electronic
Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., sections 2510-2521, is CONFIDENTIAL
and may also be protected by ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you believe you
received this e-mail in error, do not read it. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination,
distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If
the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, I did not intend
to waive and do not waive any privileges or confidentiality of this
message or the attachments. Please reply to the sender that you have
received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you.

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Catherine Kim,

It has been past the due date of June 29, 2018 since this OPRA request was filed. Please advise as to the status of this request.

*On May 29, 2018, Special Counsel Patricia Quelch, Esq.,
advised that the County required additional time to compile the responsive
documents to item 2 of your request and that a response would be
forthcoming on or before Friday, June 8, 2018. On June 8, 2018, Special
Counsel further advised that she anticipated the response would be
available on Tuesday, June 12, 2018. Please be advised that due to the
significant amount of responsive records and the required review and
redactions to same, the County will provide the response on or before
Friday, June 29, 2018.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Catherine Kim,

1 Attachment

Good morning Ms. Coombs,

 

Please be advised this office represents the County of Monmouth (“County”)
in the above-referenced matter. Attached hereto is a statement regarding
the new County OPRA policy that modifies the processing mechanism for
certain OPRA requests. Please review carefully and return the filled-out
statement. Once I am in receipt of the statement, the County will proceed
with processing your OPRA request.

 

Should you have any questions or concerns, please do not hesitate to
contact me.

 

Thank you for your cooperation.

 

 

 

Catherine Kim, Esq., Associate

Cleary I Giacobbe I Alfieri I Jacobs LLC

955 State Route 34

Suite 200

Matawan, NJ 07747

(732) 583-7474 ext 151 Office

(732) 290-0753 Fax

email address:  [1][email address]

This message, including attachments, is covered by the Electronic
Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., sections 2510-2521, is CONFIDENTIAL
and may also be protected by ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you believe you
received this e-mail in error, do not read it. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination,
distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If
the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, I did not intend
to waive and do not waive any privileges or confidentiality of this
message or the attachments. Please reply to the sender that you have
received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you.

 

From: Catherine Kim
Sent: Friday, June 29, 2018 5:56 PM
To: [OPRA #1732 email]
Subject: OPRA Request Received May 21, 2018 - Time to Change - Jersey
Style

 

Good afternoon,

 

Please be advised this office represents the County of Monmouth (“County”)
in the above-referenced matter. In the next coming days, the County will
be implementing a new policy when handling Open Public Records Act
(“OPRA”) requests. As part of the new policy, the County will be modifying
the processing mechanism for certain OPRA requests. In its continuing
efforts to work along with the public, the County respectfully requests an
extension until the new policy is implemented and available for review on
the Monmouth County website. Should your request be affected by the new
policy, the County will promptly notify you and respond accordingly.

 

Please do not hesitate to contact me should you have any questions or
concerns.

 

We appreciate your cooperation and apologize for the inconvenience. Your
future assistance is greatly appreciated.

 

 

Catherine Kim, Esq., Associate

Cleary I Giacobbe I Alfieri I Jacobs LLC

955 State Route 34

Suite 200

Matawan, NJ 07747

(732) 583-7474 ext 151 Office

(732) 290-0753 Fax

email address:  [2][email address]

This message, including attachments, is covered by the Electronic
Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., sections 2510-2521, is CONFIDENTIAL
and may also be protected by ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you believe you
received this e-mail in error, do not read it. If you are not the intended
recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination,
distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If
the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, I did not intend
to waive and do not waive any privileges or confidentiality of this
message or the attachments. Please reply to the sender that you have
received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you.

 

References

Visible links
1. mailto:[email address]
2. mailto:[email address]

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Catherine Kim,

I'm not legally required to fill out the agency's form and that my email request
is legally valid. Please comply with my legally valid OPRA request within the legal time period
of 7 business days. Pursuant to Renna v. County of Union (App. Div. 2009),
OPRA requests should be on the agency’s official OPRA request form.
However, a written request that is not on the agency’s official OPRA
request form cannot be denied solely because the request is not on the
request form. Written requests which are not on the form must mention
OPRA. Therefore, if a requestor elects not to use an agency’s official
OPRA request form, he/she must submit an otherwise written request that
clearly identifies itself as an OPRA request.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Catherine Kim,

Ms. Coombs,

If you read the policy carefully, the County is not denying your OPRA on grounds that the OPRA request itself is invalid. The County reserves its discretion to partake on websites like OPRA Machine. The County is required to take specific steps to protect individual privacy whenever it uses third-party websites and applications to engage with the public. Upon examination of OPRA Machine's privacy policy, the County has determined that the third party website is not appropriate for the County's use.

If you wish to move forward with the request, the County will require a secondary e-mail address.

Thank you,

Catherine Kim, Esq., Associate
Cleary I Giacobbe I Alfieri I Jacobs LLC
955 State Route 34
Suite 200
Matawan, NJ 07747
(732) 583-7474 ext 151 Office
(732) 290-0753 Fax
email address:  [email address]
This message, including attachments, is covered by the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., sections 2510-2521, is CONFIDENTIAL and may also be protected by ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you believe you received this e-mail in error, do not read it. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, I did not intend to waive and do not waive any privileges or confidentiality of this message or the attachments. Please reply to the sender that you have received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you.

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Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Catherine Kim,

The county cannot discriminate against which email addresses that it will respond to. There is nothing in the OPRA statute or New Jersey case law that authorizes the County to exercise any "discretion" over whether or not these requests are valid. The e-mail address that I already provided is legally valid. Please comply with my legally valid OPRA request within 6 business days.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Catherine Kim,

Ms. Coombs,

Despite the County's attempt to cooperate with you, you continue to refuse to provide an alternative e-mail address. As a result, your OPRA request is denied.

If your request for access to a government record has been denied or unfilled within the seven (7) business days required by law, you have a right to challenge the decision by the County of Monmouth to deny access. At your option, you may either institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey or file a complaint with the Government Records Council (“GRC”) by completing the Denial of Access Complaint Form. You may contact the GRC by toll-free telephone at 866-850-0511, by mail at P.O. Box 819, Trenton, NJ, 08625, by e-mail at [email address], or at their web site at www.state.nj.us/grc. The Council can also answer other questions about the law. All questions regarding complaints filed in Superior Court should be directed to the Court Clerk in your County.

Thank you,

Catherine Kim, Esq., Associate
Cleary I Giacobbe I Alfieri I Jacobs LLC
955 State Route 34
Suite 200
Matawan, NJ 07747
(732) 583-7474 ext 151 Office
(732) 290-0753 Fax
email address:  [email address]
This message, including attachments, is covered by the Electronic Communication Privacy Act, 18 U.S.C., sections 2510-2521, is CONFIDENTIAL and may also be protected by ATTORNEY/CLIENT PRIVILEGE. If you believe you received this e-mail in error, do not read it. If you are not the intended recipient, you are hereby notified that any retention, dissemination, distribution, or copying of this communication is strictly prohibited. If the reader of this message is not the intended recipient, I did not intend to waive and do not waive any privileges or confidentiality of this message or the attachments. Please reply to the sender that you have received the message in error, then delete it. Thank you.

show quoted sections