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Tuesday, June 17, 2014

05/07/14 BARLYN VS. DOW A-0779-13T4

05/07/14 BARLYN VS. DOW
     Plaintiff filed suit against various members of the Office of the Attorney General, individually and in their official capacities. He alleged that he was terminated from his position as an assistant county prosecutor after complaining that defendants dismissed indictments against the county Sheriff and members of her department for political purposes. Plaintiff claimed his termination was in violation of "clear mandates of public policy." See Pierce v. Ortho Pharmaceutical Corp., 84 N.J. 58, 72 (1980). The Law Division judge granted his motion and compelled defendants to produce a copy of all materials generated by the grand jury in connection with its investigation of the Sheriff's Office, including but not limited to transcripts, exhibits, subpoenaed documents and other evidence.
     We granted defendants' motion for leave to appeal and reversed, finding that plaintiff failed to make "a strong showing of   particularized need  that outweigh[ed]  the interest in grand jury secrecy." State v. Doliner, 96 N.J. 236, 246 (1984).
We also addressed whether a motion seeking to compel production of grand jury materials must be brought before the vicinage assignment judge where the grand jury was empanelled, or whether the trial judge in another vicinage could decide the motion.