OPRA – Open Public Records Act
Please click the link above to access the OPRA form. Form is in PDF format and can be filled out online and printed.
Directions and Procedures for Requesting Access to Government Records
All requests for access to government records will be processed in accordance with the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-l et seq. [hereinafter “OPRA”]. All requests for access to, or copies of, government records must be submitted in writing. The County strongly recommends use of the attached form entitled “Part B – Request for Access to Government Records” (within the link above) Requestors will be notified in writing that their OPRA request has been received and is being processed by the County. Some records, as defined by the statute, will be immediately available during normal business hours; however, if any redaction to these records is necessary it may take longer to complete your request.
Some records will require additional time to either compile or make the copies requested, but will generally be available during normal business hours within seven (7) business days of the request. If any government record that has been requested is either exempt from public access or cannot be obtained within the seven (7) business days, you will be provided with a response explaining the reason within the seven (7) business days. Some records requested have specific fees or other response times established by another statute that specifically governs those records. There will be no fee to simply inspect a document during normal business hours, and any request may also be filed electronically.
- Immediate access is ordinarily available for budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective negotiations agreements and individual employment contracts, and public employee salary and overtime information.
- Minutes of public meetings will be generally available immediately after the minutes have been approved.
- Records which are not readily available (archived records) or which will require a detailed search and compilation will be made available as soon as possible and the requestor will be provided with an interim report within seven (7) business days indicating the anticipated date that the records will be made available. The fee’for the retrieval and return of records located off-site in archive is $2.00 per box containing the desired records.
- Except as otherwise provided by law, regulation, or ordinance, the fee assessed for the duplication of a government record or for the transmission of requested records by facsimile shall be: first page to tenth page, no charge; every page thereafter, $0.05 per page for letter size documents and $0.07 for legal size documents. The maximum number of pages sent via facsimile transmission is thirty (30).
- Where a request is made for a copy in a format other than a photocopy, reasonable efforts will be made to provide the information in the format requested. This office may impose a reasonable service charge for producing a document in the format requested or if the request involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort, in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(c).
- A deposit will be required for all special service charge requests. Prior to incurring any charges, a requester shall be informed when a special service charge will be applicable and the estimated amount of the charge. Payment of the estimated charge amount will be required prior to the production of any documents.
The terms “Government Records” or “Public Records” generally include those records determined to be accessible by the public in accordance with OPRA. The term does not include documents exempt as per OPRA or other material specifically exempted by law. The full list of OPRA exemptions is available at this webpage.
If your request for access to a government record has been denied or unfilled within the seven (7) business days required by law, you have a right to challenge the decision to deny access. At your option, you may either institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey or file a complaint with the Government Records Council (“GRC”) by completing the Denial of Access Complaint Form. You may contact the GRC by toll-free telephone at 866-850-0511, by mail at PO Box 819, Trenton, NJ, 08625, or at this webpage. The Council can also answer other questions about the law. All questions regarding complaints filed in Superior Court should be directed to the Union County Superior Court Civil Division, or call (908) 787-1650.