Cattonar v. Jackson Township

Mr. Cattonar, a resident of Jackson Township, submitted a public records request in 2011 for Uniform Crime Reports (UCR), which are required to be provided to the New Jersey State Police on a monthly basis. Mr. Cattonar was informed that the UCR monthly crime reports were exempt from disclosure. Mr. Cattonar filed a complaint with the Government Records Council to appeal the denial of access to the information. The Government Records Council affirmed the denial of Mr. Cattonar’s OPRA request, relying on Executive Order 26, which exempted UCR reports from disclosure. However, Executive Order 26 contradicts N.J.S.A 52:17B-5.4a, which makes UCR records available to the public. The GRC determined that they did not have the authority to resolve that conflict. In February 2014, the ACLU-NJ filed an appeal on Mr. Cattonar’s behalf requesting that the Appellate Division resolve the conflict between the statute and the executive order in favor of releasing the UCR records.

Status: This case is pending before the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

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