Dear Middlesex 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:
All reports, notes. Emails, documents from 2014 to 2021 where Middlesex Sheriff Lt. SCzczesny allowed arrestees to swallow CDS Pills to prevent sending them to a lab

Middlesex County OPRA Center,

--- Please respond above this line ---

Dear Sam:  
 
We received your request for "All reports, notes. Emails,  documents from
2014 to 2021 where Middlesex Sheriff Lt. SCzczesny allowed arrestees to
swallow CDS Pills to prevent sending them to a lab."  
 
First, with regard to requests for e-mail communications, the GRC has
established criteria deemed necessary under OPRA to request them. In
Elcavage v. West Milford Twp. (Passaic), GRC Complaint No. 2009-07 (April
2010), the Council determined that to be valid, such requests must
contain: (1) the content and/or subject of the e-mail, (2) the specific
date or range of dates during which the e-mail(s) were transmitted, and
(3) the identity of the sender and/or the recipient thereof. See also
Sandoval v. N.J. State Parole Bd., GRC Complaint No. 2006-167 (Interim
Order March 28, 2007). The Council has also applied the criteria set forth
in Elcavage to other forms of correspondence, such as letters. See Armenti
v. Robbinsville Bd. of Educ. (Mercer), GRC Complaint No. 2009-154 (Interim
Order May 24, 2011).  
 
As such, this request is defective as you have failed to identify the
sender and recipient of such emails.  
 
As to your request for reports, the New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate
Division has 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." (Emphasis added.)
MAG Entertainment, LLC v. Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control, 375 N.J.
Super. 534, 546 (App. Div. 2005). 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." (Emphasis added.) Id. at 549.
Your request for all documents from 2014 to 2021 regarding arrestees
swallowing CDS pills does not request an identifiable government record as
arrest reports are not categorized based on whether an arrestee swallowed
CDS pills. Instead, the custodian would need to comb through every report
over a seven year period to determine if it made reference to an arrestee
swallowing pills.  As such, this request is defective under OPRA as it
does not seek an identifiable government record.
 
Very truly yours,
Michael Williams