This blog regularly summarizes the final decisions issued by the GRC at its meetings. The following are the final decisions issued at the GRC’s most recent meeting. For summaries of decisions from prior meetings, see here.
-Zahler v. Ocean County College: The custodian made several errors in responding to the lengthy OPRA request–she did not respond to each part of the request, did not provide a basis for some of the redactions made, did not give a date certain for responding to the requestor’s amended request, and did not disclose all responsive information. The GRC also upheld the imposition of a special service charge, but reduced the fee by a few hundred dollars, on the basis that the proposed charge did not represent the actual time and effort needed to produce the record. Finally, the custodian’s violations were not knowing and willful.
-Scheeler v. NJ Attorney General’s Office: The custodian violated the “immediate access” provision by disclosing attorney invoices 3 days after receipt of the request. The custodian also erred in not providing a detailed basis for each redaction in the response. The custodian’s violations were not knowing and willful.
-Kemery v. Gloucester Tp. Fire Dist. 4: The custodian’s violation, in not initially providing the requested report, was not knowing and willful. The GRC also upheld the redaction of the personal email address of an official.
-Scheeler v. Galloway Tp.: The request for a settlement agreement was properly denied because at the time of the request, the agreement had not been finalized.
-Kleiner v. Ventnor: The custodian’s failure to provide the requested resume was not a knowing and willful violation. The custodian eventually disclosed the resume, with proper redactions made for the individual’s home address and for salary information concerning a non-public job.
-Mawhinney v. Egg Harbor Police Dept.: The custodian properly denied a request for various criminal investigatory records, but should have disclosed certain information from an arrest report. Traffic tickets also were incorrectly withheld. The failure to disclose these items was not knowing and willful.
-George v. NJ Div. of Consumer Affairs: The request was improperly submitted by email. The agency’s policy of declining to accept emailed requests was reasonable.
-Steelman v. Summit Parking Services Agency: The requested report was still in draft form and was therefore exempt as deliberative material. Although the custodian did not answer the request in a timely fashion, this was not a knowing and willful violation.
-Merritt v. NJDOC: The request was properly denied because the agency did not have possession of the requested records.
Scheeler v. NJ State Police: The requestor unreasonably rejected the custodian’s request for a brief additional extension of time to provide the records. Also, there was no basis to redact State Police firearm serial numbers from the records; however, these numbers were subsequently disclosed by the custodian, so this aspect of the complaint was moot. The initial failure to disclose was not a knowing and willful violation.