ACLU-NJ v. NJ Division of Criminal Justice

In October 2012, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed a complaint in Superior Court against the state’s Division of Criminal Justice to obtain the redacted portions of public records that the ACLU-NJ requested pursuant to the Open Public Records Act. DCJ redacted the documents because they determined that some of the information on them was “not relevant” to the request. The lawsuit asserts that OPRA requires the entire document to be released unless particular information is otherwise exempt. The ACLU-NJ argues that if a redaction is made, the government must show that the redaction was authorized by law. In February of 2013, the superior court ruled that the Division of Criminal Justice did not have to release the requested documents. The ACLU-NJ appealed this decision in March of 2013. In May of 2014 the appellate court ruled that the New Jersey Attorney General’s Division on Criminal Justice violated the Open Public Records Act when it blacked-out information from a state grant application requested by the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey.

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