New Jersey Department of Community Affairs 2013 OPRA Log

Beryl Lipton filed this request with the Department of Community Affairs of New Jersey.
Due June 5, 2014
Est. Completion None
Status
Awaiting Response

Communications

From: Beryl C.D. Lipton

A request for:

A list of all requests filed with the Department of Community Affairs under New Jersey's Open Public Records Act (OPRA) during the year 2013. For each request, the list should contain the identity of the requester, the date of the request, a description of the requested records, and the status of the request.

From: Gabrielle Gallagher

Mr. Lipton,

In response to your OPRA request below, please be advised that other entities’ OPRA requests are exempt from disclosure under OPRA, as are the responses of government agencies to those OPRA requests. The Appellate Division has recognized that there is an “interest of third parties in protecting the confidentiality of their requests for access to public documents” under OPRA. Gannett N.J. Partners, LP v. Cnty. of Middlesex, 379 N.J. Super. 205, 212 (App. Div 2005). For that reason, “OPRA does not authorize a party to make a blanket request for every document a public agency has provided another party in response to an OPRA request,” nor does it permit requests that would reveal “the nature and scope of a third party’s inquiry to a government agency.” Ibid. Further, OPRA exempts “information which, if disclosed, would give an advantage to competitors,” N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1 and Gannett, supra. Therefore, your request is denied.


Gabrielle N. Gallagher
Director, Legal & Regulatory Affairs
New Jersey Department of Community Affairs
PO Box 800
101 South Broad Street
Trenton, New Jersey 08625
(609) 292-4096
Gabrielle.Gallagher@dca.state.nj.us

Below is the information submitted by the OPRA requestor for Govt. Records Request # W86294.
Please use the OPRA Tracking System to process Govt.Records Request # W86294.
********************************************************************************************
State Agency: Community Affairs, Commissioner's Office
Requestor Name: Beryl Lipton
Company: MuckRock News
Address: PO Box 55819
Boston MA 02205 5819
Email: beryl@muckrock.com
Telephone: 207 418 6017

Convicted of indictable offense: NO
Preferred Delivery: E-Mail
Maximum Authorized Cost: $1
Payment Method: None Selected
Requested Information: A list of all requests filed with the Department of Community Affairs under New Jersey's Open Public Records Act (OPRA) during the year 2013. For each request, the list should contain the identity of the requester, the date of the request, a description of the requested records, and the status of the request.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello Ms. Gallagher,

Thank you for your response to my request for the Department of Community Affairs's log of 2013 OPRA requests. I hope that you can please clarify the reasons for which the request has been rejected.

It seems as though the list of requests, their statuses, and the other basic data necessary for inventory and organizational purposes (the agency’s OPRA log) is a standard government public record. As such it should be available under OPRA. As indicated on page 7 of the New Jersey Open Public Records Act Handbook for Records Custodians, “All government records are subject to public access unless specifically exempt under OPRA or any other law.” I don’t see the record in question as being specifically exempted by the case to which you referred nor was it covered by the specific exemptions contained in OPRA; the exemption for “information which, if disclosed would give an advantage to competitors” does not seem to apply in this case.

Page six of the attached version of the case referred to in your response (Gannett N.J. Partners, LP v. Cnty. of Middlesex, 379 N.J. Super. 205, 212 (App. Div 2005)) includes the reasoning mentioned in your rejection, specifically that “‘OPRA does not authorize a party to make a blanket request for every document a public agency has provided another party in response to an OPRA request,’ nor does it permit requests that would reveal ‘the nature and scope of a third party’s inquiry to a government agency.’” My request for the OPRA log does not ask for the documents provided to another agency. It would not be reasonable to assume that by obtaining a list of requests one would be able to determine the nature of another party’s interest and purpose in requesting particular documents. The idea, it seems to me, is that by obtaining all of the primary documents requested by a third party, one could then determine the nature and scope, which may also be unreasonable attitude, though is not relevant in this matter. I think along those lines, the idea of “advantage to competitors” based on the release of the OPRA log is a stretch, particularly considering that the log should be publicly available to all.

If you could clarify these points, I would appreciate it. I understand that the appropriate channel of appeal would be the Government Records Council, but the chance to understand the reasoning for denial would be helpful for all.

Sincerely,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Beryl Lipton

Hello,

Yesterday, the case Scheeler v. Office of the Governor, et. al. was settled in Mercer County Superior Court. The case was in regards to the denials of release of OPRA logs by New Jersey state agencies (as occurred with this request), and the court ruled in favor of the release of the records. (For reports regarding this ruling please see: https://www.aclu-nj.org/news/2014/07/21/judge-orders-christie-administration-release-records ; http://www.pressofatlanticcity.com/news/ap/new-jersey-judge-to-decide-if-opra-requests-are-public/article_e155754c-10c0-11e4-955f-001a4bcf887a.html?utm_content=buffer157e5&utm_medium=social&utm_source=twitter.com&utm_campaign=buffer).

As indicated by this ruling, the denial that your agency provided me was unwarranted and I would appreciate the release of the requested material before any further undue inconvenience is incurred.

Thank you so much for your time and help,

Beryl C.D. Lipton

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: MuckRock.com

To Whom It May Concern:

I wanted to follow up on the following Freedom of Information request, copied below, and originally submitted on May 27, 2014. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thanks for your help, and let me know if further clarification is needed.

From: MuckRock

Hi there,

I never received the responsive documents for this request. Could you please confirm that this request is being processed?

Thanks so much for your help.

Best wishes,
Beryl

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