Appeals Court Grants Developer’s Requests for Public Records

September 2012Articles In the Zone

A New Jersey developer succeeded in his efforts to compel Jersey City to produce records related to his companies’ ownership and proposed development of land known as the former Pennsylvania Railroad Stem Embankment. In awarding the plaintiff access to numerous categories of public records sought to be protected by Jersey City, whose position was upheld by the Government Records Counsel, which, in some instances, unilaterally reclassified the protective designation proffered by the city, the Appellate Division engaged in a detailed analysis of sections of the Open Public Records Act, known as “OPRA,” N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to – 13 and, in particular, those provisions concerning Jersey City’s position that certain requests were overbroad or were otherwise protected on the basis of the attorney-client privilege or the advisory, consultative, or deliberative exception to disclosure.

For a more detailed discussion of this case, Hyman v. City of Jersey City, et al., decided by the Superior Court of New Jersey, Appellate Division, on August 27, 2012, please contact me.