High court clarifies New Jersey rules

The New Jersey Supreme Court issued a ruling (PDF) last Tuesday that’s a mixed bag for advocates of better access to public documents.

The ruling clarifies that when a records requestor is denied records or is dissatisfied with the records received in response to a request, that requestor has a 45-day window to file a lawsuit. (The plaintiff wanted to have that window extended to two years.)

However, the court also ruled that when a government or state agency releases the requested records after such a lawsuit is filed, the requestor is entitled to have his or her attorney’s fees paid by the government or agency.

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