Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear Ocean County Sheriff's Department,

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) Any and all information and/or records generated since 6/1/2016 in reference to "First (1st) Amendment Audits", "Police Accountability", "Copwatching", "Copblocking", "Citizens Video Recording" and/or any other activities addressing persons who video-record and/or photograph local, municipal, county, state, federal, and/or military personnel and/or property for the purposes of accountability, education, and/or public awareness of law enforcement/government conduct, including but not limited to documents, emails, memos, bulletins, notices, letters, directives, "bolos", videos, slideshows, presentations, etc.

2) Any and all records and/or documents generated since 6/1/2016 referring to "Matt Tim", "POLICE STATE: NEW JERSEY", "PSNJ", "Gunnison Undercover", "Time to Change, Jersey Style", "NJ Wandering News", "Ironbound Media", and/or "ASK NJ Media Co." in reference to the above described activities.

Yours faithfully,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

OpraRequests OCSheriff, Ocean County Sheriff's Department

1 Attachment

Please see the attached, as it pertains to your OPRA request.

Lt. Joseph Greene
Ocean County Sheriff’s Office
120 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 506-5138

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Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear OpraRequests OCSheriff,

I have used the exact same wording in other requests to many other agencies and have never received a response stating that the request was too broad. ANY request for records is going to require research on the part of the records custodian. If I requested OPRA information regarding public funds spent on firearms training and a roster of officers who are certified in performing maintenance on tactical rifles, that would require research. Any request will require research.
I asked very specifically for documentation pertaining to memos, training bulletins, emails, etc., in reference to very specific subject matter. The request is for a very specific time frame. If an extension to respond is required, please ask and I will be more than happy to grant it. Otherwise, the request is perfectly reasonable.
Everyone is required to do research to do their jobs properly, effectively, and efficiently. I'm sorry if this request puts a burden on public employees to apply some effort into their duties, but it is a request that is enforced by law. Please comply. Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

OpraRequests OCSheriff, Ocean County Sheriff's Department

Good Morning,

After consultation with the Sheriff and the counsel for Ocean County, the Ocean county Sheriff's Office stands by its original denial of the request. I have included the case law used to form our decision.

This Request as written would require extensive research and analysis to be performed by administrative employees, which is beyond the scope of OPRA and would disrupt the operations of the Ocean County Sheriff's Department. As recognized by the Court, an OPRA request is not intended as a research tool, but rather as an avenue for citizens to obtain specific government records. MAG Entertainment, LLC v. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 375 N.J.Super. 534, 550 (2005). OPRA simply operates to make identifiable government records readily accessible for copying, inspection, or examination. Also, the Appellate Division, Elizabeth Mason v. City of Hoboken, Docket No. A-0508-06T5, held that “OPRA is not intended to be used a fishing expedition or as a research tool to compile unknown documents.”

Please respond in writing and identify the specific government records sought or narrow the scope of the request so that we may process your request. Failure to provide written clarification of your request will result in the closure of this OPRA request.

Respectfully,

Lt. Joseph Greene
Ocean County Sheriff’s Office
120 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 506-5138

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Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear OpraRequests OCSheriff,

How do you suggest I narrow my request, as I have already given a specific time frame, specific names, and specific subject matter? I cannot give specific document types, as I do not know what documents you have. That is the reason for the request... I want to know what records you have. If I already knew which records you had, I would not have to ask for different types of documents.

I'm assuming the Ocean County Sheriff's Office has some sort of organized filing system. If a government agency gave you the same information I gave you, and asked for assistance gathering information, you would comply with them. I'm sure you'd have no problem locating the information requested with minimal effort.
I don't have more information to give you to narrow the request. Again, if you have a suggestion to narrow the request, please do so.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

OpraRequests OCSheriff, Ocean County Sheriff's Department

Time to Change - Jersey Style,

It is not the responsibility of the Ocean County Sheriff's Office to research and compile unknown documents. I have sent you the case law governing this exact scenario twice. If a government agency submitted the same OPRA, our response would be the same.

Lt. Joseph Greene
Ocean County Sheriff’s Office
120 Hooper Avenue
Toms River, NJ 08753
(732) 506-5138

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Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear OpraRequests OCSheriff,

Your average citizen wouldn't know what type nor the name of a lot of the government documents that a sheriff's department would have in their possession though. I even don't know all of them myself either. That's why I'm asking for different types of documents. How would your average citizen request public documents if they don't know the specific names. Plus, each governmental agency is different.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Time to Change- Jersey Style

Dear OpraRequests OCSheriff,

Requestors must be as specific as possible when requesting records. For example, requestors must identify types of records, dates, parties to correspondence, subject matter, etc. However, requestors may not know the names of certain records. The spirit of OPRA implies that custodians assist requestors with identifying the records they are seeking, although a custodian’s failure to do so is not a violation of OPRA.

Yours sincerely,

Time to Change- Jersey Style