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Sunshine Law & Open Public Records Act

The Sunshine Law

In accordance with N.J.S.A. 10:4-12(a), commonly known as the “Sunshine Law” all meetings must be open to the public at all times except for those meetings at which certain exempted matters are discussed. Such items include;

  1. A matter which, by express provision of Federal law or State statute or rule of court, shall be rendered confidential.
  2. Any matter in which the release of information would impair a right to receive funds from the US Government.
  3. Any material the disclosure of which constitutes an unwarranted invasion of individual privacy.
  4. Any collective bargaining agreement or the terms and conditions which are proposed for inclusion in any collective bargaining agreement.
  5. Any matter involving the purchase, lease or acquisition of real property with public funds.
  6. Any tactics and techniques utilized in protecting the safety and property of the public provided that their disclosure could impair such h protection.
  7. Any pending or anticipated litigation or contact negotiation in which the public body is or may become a party.
  8. Any matter involving the employment, appointment, termination of employment, evaluation, promotion or discipline of a public officer or employee.

Open Public Records Act

Government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination by the citizens of this State, with certain exceptions, for the protection of the public interest, and any limitations on the right of access accorded by P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1 et seq.) as amended and supplemented, shall be construed in favor of the public’s right of access;

All government records shall be subject to public access unless exempt form such access by:

P.L.1963, c.73 (C.47:1A-1et seq.) as amended and supplemented; any other statute; resolution of either or both houses of the Legislature; regulation promulgated under the authority of any statute or Executive Order of the Governor; executive Order of the Governor; Rules of Court; any federal law, federal regulation, or federal order;

A public agency has a responsibility and an obligation to safeguard from public access a citizen’s personal information with which it has been entrusted when disclosure thereof would violate the citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy; and nothing contained in P.L. 1963, c.73(C.47:1A-1 et seq.), as amended and supplemented, shall be construed as affecting in any way the common law right of access to any record, including but not limited to criminal investigator records of any law enforcement agency.

*** The information contained above is only a summary of the OPRAH law; it is not intended to be a complete analysis of the law and should not be relied upon as such. The information contained herein is not to intended to be, nor should it be construed as legal advice for the reader.