In May 2014, the American Civil Liberties Union of New Jersey filed suit on behalf of an open government activist. For years, Harry Scheeler of Cape May County has been auditing local, county and state agencies to see if they are compliant with the Open Public Records Act (OPRA). Scheeler conducts his audits by requesting – and receiving – records of all Open Public Records Act requests submitted to various government agencies. Earlier this year, Mr. Scheeler asked for OPRA requests that sought information about the George Washington Bridge from the Office of the Governor as well as information about OPRA requests from seven other agencies for particular time periods. The agencies began denying access to the records, claiming that requests are confidential and t that releasing the information would give a competitive advantage to other requestors. The ACLU-NJ’s suit argued that the information requested are public records and that there are no valid reasons to keep the documents from public inspection. In July 2014, Judge Mary Jacobson ruled in favor of Mr. Scheeler, ordering the release of the records.
Status: The matter is now on appeal.