Open Public Records Act (OPRA)
Open Public Records Act (OPRA)
MUNICIPAL RECORDS CUSTODIANS
Susan A. Branagan, RMC, Municipal Clerk
YOUR RIGHT TO KNOW
PUBLIC ACCESS TO RECORDS
The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA), effective July 8, 2002, affords individuals greater access to government documents. This page has been prepared to help you understand your rights and the new procedures. Sources used in the preparation of this document include The Government Records Council, N.J.S.A. 4TIA-1 et seq., and the New Jersey State League of Municipalities.
For tax assessment information and residential property cards.
Open Public Records Monmouth County
The Open Public Records Act
The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) gives greater access to public inspection and duplication of government records. OPRA does not cover the judicial branch or municipal courts, as they are regulated by other statutes. The public has access to government records except for those documents that fall under defined exclusions, which are noted in this brochure. Under OPRA, the Municipal Clerk has been designated as the official Custodian of Records. Procedures, forms, timetables for access, and penalties for non-compliance have been set forth in the new law. Please read this material carefully to expedite your requests.
IMMEDIATE ACCESS RECORDS
- Budgets (Not inclusive of working documents) Bills, Vouchers, and Contracts Collective Negotiation Agreements (Final) Individual Employment Contracts Employee Salaries and Overtime Information
- Approved Minutes, Ordinances & Resolutions (Not Drafts)
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
How Do I Request Records?
The Municipal Clerk is the Custodian of Records and each Department Head has been designated as a Deputy Custodian. Documents, other than immediate access records, will be provided or denied, within (7) business days. The Public has the right to appeal or mediate all decisions. Individuals can inspect, examine, or ask for copies during Marlboro Township's regular business hours: Monday through Thursday 8:30 AM - 4:30 PM
Records requests cannot be made by telephone and requests must be completed online. This does not apply to Immediate Access Records which are normally given to the public. Immediate Access requests should be entered into Department Logs. All records inspected or copied must be privacy redacted prior to delivery.
Can I Request Information Anonymously?
Requests can be anonymous, except in the cases of victims' records and criminal investigations. The Custodian or Deputy may require a deposit or full payment in requests for duplication in excess of $5.00.
What is the Timetable for Access?
Custodians have (7) seven business days to either deny or fulfill requests for documents. If the request involves large amounts of information, both the requester and Custodian can agree to an extension of time. This does not apply to immediate access documents.
Will I be Charged for Copies?
The fees for Letter size pages are $0.05 per page, Legal size pages are $0.07 per page. Deposits or prepayments of fees may be required, particularly for large requests. Other materials such as CD, DVD, tapes, maps, hearing transcripts, exhibits, drawings, etc. will be charged based upon the actual cost to the agency for reproduction. The Custodian must inform the requester of these special charges and elicit agreement in writing prior to reproduction.
What Information Formats are Available?
Custodians must provide records in the formats requested if those formats exist at the agency. This includes email or CD-Rom. Charges will be assessed to the requester based upon the actual cost to the agency. Substituted formats sensitive to time and cost can be mediated between the agency and the requester, if both parties agree.
What Happens if my Request is Denied?
Wrongful/willful denials can result in punitive fees to officials ranging from $1,000 to $5,000. OPRA provides that a person who is denied access can choose to file a suit in Superior Court or file a complaint with the Government Records Council. Prior to any legal action, the requester can ask for an opinion or seek mediation from the Government Records Council in order to avoid costly fees.
How Can I Contact the Government Records Council?
The Government Records Council is located at Box 819, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0819, by email at , or toll free at 1-866-850-0511. Information regarding this newly formed agency can be found on their website at www.nj.gov/grc.