Open Public Access Records (OPRA) Requests
|GRC Special Statement - P.L. 2020, c.10 and COVID-19 Impacts on OPRA
Enacted on March 20, 2020, P.L. 2020, c.10 provides that the statutory deadlines for a public agency to respond to an Open Public Records Act (OPRA) request during a state of emergency, public health emergency, or state of local disaster emergency, do not apply.
In accordance with the Government Records Council's newly issued special statement, available at https://www.state.nj.us/grc/news/alerts/GRC%20Special%20Statement%202020-01%20(Final).pdf, the Division recommends that, when responding to OPRA requests, local government records custodians document in writing any emergency-related barriers to providing the requestor with a final response within the standard OPRA response timeframe. Examples of such barriers can include building access restrictions, or a delay in availability of personnel needed to provide responsive records to the custodian or review responsive records to determine necessary redactions. As when requesting an extension of time to respond under normal circumstances, the custodian should inform the requestor in writing of the specific reasons for the delay, as well as soonest possible date after the normal statutory deadline by which the custodian reasonably expects to respond under the circumstances. To the greatest extent possible, the custodian's initial response to the requestor should adhere to the standard timeline for an OPRA request response.
We encourage all local governments to thoroughly review guidance issued by the Government Records Council (GRC) concerning the new law.
A request for access for a copy of Government Records can be submitted on the OPRA FORM which has been adopted by the Municipal Clerk as the Custodian of Records. Otherwise, you may send either a letter or email, referencing that you are making the request under the Open Public Records Act (OPRA).
OPRA requests can be submitted as follows:
- By email to firstname.lastname@example.org
- By Fax to 856-795-1445
- By mail to: Deanna Bennett, Borough Clerk, Borough of Haddonfield, 242 Kings Highway East, Haddonfield, NJ 08033
For records held within the Borough of Haddonfield's Police Department please go to the Police Department's page for information regarding their requirements.
Some records will be immediately available during normal business hours. Whereas, some records will require time to compile and to make the copies requested, but will normally be available during normal business hours and within 7 business days. If any document or copy which has been requested is not a public record or cannot be provided within the 7 business days, you will be provided with a response with that information within the 7 business days.
Immediate access is ordinarily available to view budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts, including collective bargaining agreements and individual employment contracts, as well as 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 or which will require a search of records will be made available as soon as possible and the applicant will be provided with an interim report within 7 business days indicating the time which will be required to provide the records.
Except as otherwise provided by law or regulation, the fee assessed for the duplication of a printed records shall be:
1. Where a request is for a copy in a format other than a photocopy, reasonable efforts will be made to provide the information in the format requested. Those cost will be based on the costs of producing the format requested.
8-1/2 x 11 paper (letter) - $0.05 per page 8-1/2 x 14 paper (legal) - $0.07 per page
2. Where a legal determination must be made as to whether records are "public records" as provided by law, the request will be reviewed by the Borough Solicitor.
The term "public records" generally includes those records determined to be public in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. The term does not include employee personnel files, police investigation records, public assistance files or other matters in which there is a right of privacy or confidentiality or inter-agency or intra-agency advisory, consultative, or deliberative material or other material which is specifically exempted by law. Therefore, documents submitted to the agency, including emails, may be a government record accessible by the public.
Citizen's Guide to OPRA is a great reference if you have questions.