ACLU-NJ vs. 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. The trial court ruled that Division of Criminal Justice could redact the irrelevant information from the OPRA response. The ACLU-NJ filed an appeal arguing that OPRA requires disclosure of all portions of a record unless it was exempt from disclosure and that under the common law right of access, redacting information from records would not be beneficial to the public.

Status: This case is currently on appeal.

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