New Jersey Press Association Challenges FOIA Form

By: Joe Strupp The New Jersey Press Association and a local government watchdog organization are in court today challenging a county policy that requires the use of a standard form for Freedom of Information Act requests, according to The Star-Ledger of Newark.

The paper reports that NJPA and the Union County Watchdog Association have filed suit in Superior Court against Union County's requirement that a specific one-page form be used to seek information through the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

County officials have claimed the OPRA legislation, adopted in 2002, allows the standard form, but NJPA officials contend it adds another layer of bureaucracy to the process of seeking records.

"If government entities are allowed to impose their own requirements on requestors and circumvent the express mandates and policies underlying (OPRA), the salutary purpose intended by the legislature in enacting the statute will be rendered meaningless," a NJPA statement said, according to the Star-Ledger.

A Superior Court judge will consider the challenge today in Elizabeth, N.J.


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