New Jersey - Record Layout of Traffic Stop Data

Peninsula Press filed this request with the Government Records Council of New Jersey.
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Communications

From: Vignesh Ramachandran

To Whom It May Concern:

Pursuant to Open Public Records Act ("OPRA"), I hereby request the following records:

I’d like to please request the record layout (the format of a data record, which includes the name, type and size of each field in the record) or data dictionary for your state’s records of traffic stops made on your roads. (What are all the datapoints you collect and keep record of when traffic stops are made?)

The requested documents will be made available to the general public, and this request is not being made for commercial purposes.

In the event that fees cannot be waived, I would be grateful if you would inform me of the total charges in advance of fulfilling my request. I would prefer the request filled electronically, by e-mail attachment if available or CD-ROM if not.

Thank you in advance for your anticipated cooperation in this matter. I look forward to receiving your response to this request within 7 business days, as the statute requires.

Sincerely,

Vignesh Ramachandran

From: Government Records Council

Good afternoon,

Thank you for contacting the NJ Government Records Council ("GRC"). The information provided by the GRC is guidance and does not constitute legal advice or a final decision of the GRC regarding whether a particular record is exempt from disclosure or not since the provisions of the Open Public Records Act ("OPRA") are applied to the specific facts of the request and/or complaint. Specifically, the GRC adjudicates denial of access complaints filed against state and local government records custodians.

The GRC is not the agency that maintains the records you are seeking. You must contact the custodial agency or other records custodians who maintain the records you seek. Unfortunately, the GRC is unsure whether there is one agency that maintains records conceivably responsive to your request. However, the most likely location, if such a record or database exists, would probably be the NJ State Police. http://www.nj.gov/oag/njsp/.

Generally, OPRA provides that "... government records shall be readily accessible for inspection, copying, or examination .... with certain exceptions ..." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. Additionally, OPRA defines a government record as a record "made, maintained or kept on file ... or that has been received in the course of ... official business ..." N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1. Also, OPRA requires a custodian to grant access, deny access, request an extension of the statutory response time, or seek clarification of the request as soon as possible but no later than seven (7) business days from receipt of the request. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(i). OPRA further requires that custodians prove and inform requestors of the lawful basis for any denial of government records. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6.

If you make an official OPRA request of a records custodian in New Jersey and you believe you are unlawfully denied access to government records, you may file an action in Superior Court and pay the court filing fee or file a denial of access complaint with our agency (the Government Records Council). Please note that filing in court may result in your complaint being resolved more quickly than filing with the GRC. Additionally, the court can assess your common law right of access whereas the GRC cannot. Should you choose to file a complaint in Superior Court, you must contact the Court Clerk for the county in which you plan to file. Should you choose to file a complaint with the GRC, you must download a Denial of Access Complaint form from our website (http://www.nj.gov/grc/register/), fill it out and send it to our agency.

All Denial of Access Complaints must be submitted to the following:

Government Records Council
101 South Broad Street
PO Box 819
Trenton NJ 08625-0819
or
(609) 633-6337 Fax
or
grc@dca.state.nj.us<mailto:grc@dca.state.nj.us>

Sincerely,

Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).

From: Vignesh Ramachandran

Dear Mr. Caruso,

Thank you for your response. As suggested, I have filed a similar request with the NJ State Police.

Thank you,
Vignesh Ramachandran

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 July 1, 2015. Please let me know when I can expect to receive a response, or if further clarification is needed.

Thank you for your help.

From: Government Records Council

Mr. Ramachandran,

Thank you for contacting the Government Records Council (“GRC”). As noted in its previous e-mail to you, the GRC “is not the agency that maintains the records you are seeking.” (emphasis added). Additionally, the GRC directed you to submit your OPRA request to “the custodial agency or other records custodians who maintain the records you seek.”

To this end, on July 7, 2015, you advised the GRC that you submitted an OPRA request to the New Jersey State Police. That agency is the agency that will be responding to your OPRA request. The GRC reiterates that you initially submitted your OPRA request to the wrong agency (the GRC) and the GRC advised you of this fact on July 2, 2015.

Sincerely,

Frank F. Caruso
Government Records Council
Communications Specialist/Resource Manager
Tel: (609) 292-6830 | Fax: (609) 633-6337
http://www.state.nj.us/grc/
_____________________________________________________
This correspondence contains advisory, consultative and deliberative
material and is intended solely for the person(s) shown as recipient(s).

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