Investment in County's Transportation for People with Disabilities, years 2018, 2019, 2020

The request was refused by Atlantic County.

Dear Atlantic County,

This is a request for public records made under OPRA and the common law right of access. I am not required to fill out an official form. Please acknowledge receipt of this message.
Records requested:

- Amount invested for the improvement of paratransit and transportation of people with disabilities in the county for the years 2018, 2019 and 2020.

Yours faithfully,

Dr. Anderson

Goloff_Rachel, Atlantic County

CUSTODIAN CLARIFICATION TO OPRA REQUEST 572-2020
November 25, 2020
You have submitted an Open Public Records Request and indicated your
preferred method of delivery is email.
You request seeks: Amount invested for the improvement of paratransit and
transportation of people with disabilities in the county for the years
2018, 2019 and 2020.
MAG Entm’t, LLC v. Div. of Alcohol Beverage Control, 375 N.J. Super. 534
(App. Div. 2005): The Court held that "[w]hile OPRA provides an
alternative means of access to government documents not otherwise exempted
from its reach, it is not intended as a research tool litigants may use to
force government officials to identify and siphon useful information.
Rather, OPRA simply operates to make identifiable government records
‘readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination.’ N.J.S.A.
47:1A-1."  The Court further held that "[u]nder OPRA, agencies are
required to disclose only ‘identifiable’ government records not otherwise
exempt . . . In short, OPRA does not countenance open-ended searches of an
agency's files." Id. at 549. 
Please provide clarification regarding what documents you are requesting
on or before December 7, 2020.
Sincerely,
Rachel K. Goloff, Esq.
Assistant County Counsel
Atlantic County Department of Law
1333 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
P: 609-345-6700 Ext. 2464
F: 609-343-2373

Dear Goloff_Rachel,
I am looking for the specific budget lines in the 2018, 2019 and 2020 budgets allocating money for improvement of the Paratransit system or transportation for people with disabilities: purchase of fleet, maintenance, increase of routes, investment in the system.
I think it is clear enough.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Anderson

Goloff_Rachel, Atlantic County

Dear Dr. Anderson,
At this time, your request is overly broad and unclear and I am therefore
requesting further clarification. The department of Human Services has
informed me that the County provides transportation for persons age 60 or
older, not specifically disabled persons.  Please identify with reasonable
clarity the documents that you are seeking on or before 12/14/20.
Sincerely,
Rachel K. Goloff, Esq.
Assistant County Counsel
Atlantic County Department of Law
1333 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
P: 609-345-6700 Ext. 2464
F: 609-343-2373

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From: Dr. Anderson <[OPRA #18610 email]>
Sent: Wednesday, December 2, 2020 9:36 PM
To: Goloff_Rachel <[email address]>
Subject: Internal review of OPRA request - Investment in County's
Transportation for People with Disabilities, years 2018, 2019, 2020
 
Dear Goloff_Rachel,
I am looking for the specific budget lines in the 2018, 2019 and 2020
budgets allocating money for improvement of the Paratransit system or
transportation for people with disabilities: purchase of fleet,
maintenance, increase of routes, investment in the system.
I think it is clear enough.

Yours sincerely,

Dr. Anderson

show quoted sections

Goloff_Rachel, Atlantic County

CUSTODIAN RESPONSE TO OPRA REQUEST 572-2020
December 16, 2020
You have submitted an Open Public Records Request and have indicated your
preferred method of delivery is email.
Your request seeks: Amount invested for the improvement of paratransit and
transportation of people with disabilities in the county for the years
2018, 2019 and 2020. 

Please be advised that your request is being denied as overly broad and
for failure to provide clarification.  We were unable to process your
request because you failed to provide the clarification that was requested
on December 3, 2020.  As explained in the December 3, 2020 email, your
request is broad, unclear and fails to specify the documents you are
seeking with particularity and would require the custodian to research
which documents are responsive. Your request fails to identify with
reasonable clarity the specific government records sought, as is required
by Bent v. Stafford Police Department, 381 N.J.Super. 30, 37 (App. Div. 
2005). The New Jersey Superior Court has held that “OPRA … is not intended
as a research tool litigants may use to force government officials to
identify and siphon useful information.  Rather, OPRA simply operates to
make identifiable government records ‘readily accessible for inspection,
copying, or examination.’  N.J.S.A. § 47:1A-1.” MAG Entertainment, LLC v.
Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 375 N.J. Super. 534, 546 (App.
Div. 2005).  In short, OPRA does not countenance open-ended searches of an
agency’s files.”  (Emphasis added.)  Id. at 549.  Further, in Bent, the
Appellate Division held that a proper request under OPRA must identify
with reasonable clarity those documents that are desired, and a party
cannot satisfy this requirement by simply requesting all of an agency’s
documents.”  

Sincerely,
Rachel K. Goloff, Esq.
Assistant County Counsel
Atlantic County Department of Law
1333 Atlantic Avenue, 8th Floor
Atlantic City, NJ 08401
P: 609-345-6700 Ext. 2464
F: 609-343-2373