DATE: NOVEMBER 28, 2017 TO: MEMBERS OF THE PUBLIC FROM: CHIEF MARK TINITIGAN RE: PUBLIC ACCESS TO GOVERNMENT RECORDS
Members of the public are hereby advised that the provisions of the New Jersey Public Records Act, NJ.S.A. 47:1A-1, et seq., allow for public access to government records with several exceptions listed below.
Members of the public who are requesting copies of records must complete the Open Public Records Act Request Form (PDF), which is available at the South River Police Department Records Bureau. The form must be sent to the South River Police Department, Records Bureau, 61 Main Street, South River, NJ 08882.
The statute provides for a right to appeal any denial or failure to provide access to a government record as follows:
A person who is denied access to a government record by the custodian of the record, at the option of the requestor, may:
Institute a proceeding to challenge the custodian's decision by filing an action in Superior Court which shall be heard in the vicinage where it is filed by a Superior Court Judge who has been designated to hear such cases because of that judge's knowledge and expertise in matters relating to access to government records; or
In lieu of filing an action in Superior Court, file a complaint with the Government Records Council established pursuant to section 8 of P.L. 2001, c.404 (C.47:1A-7).
The right to institute any proceeding under this section shall be solely that of the requestor. Any such proceeding shall proceed in a summary or expedited manner. The public agency shall have the burden of proving that the denial of access is authorized by law. If it is determined that access has been improperly denied, the court or agency head shall order that access be allowed. A requestor who prevails in any proceeding shall be entitled to a reasonable attorney's fee.