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Sunday, January 10, 2016

MARK LAGERKVIST VS. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND JAVIER DIAZ, LEGAL SPECIALIST/RECORDS CUSTODIAN A-0250-14T3


MARK LAGERKVIST VS. OFFICE OF THE GOVERNOR OF THE STATE OF NEW JERSEY AND JAVIER DIAZ, LEGAL SPECIALIST/RECORDS CUSTODIAN
A-0250-14T3

A journalist appeals a Law Division order denying him access to records of the Governor and unspecified members of his senior staff's third-party funded travel. He contends that the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to -13, required the custodian of the records to have attempted to reach an agreement with him before denying the request, and that in any event, his inquiry, which covered a two-year period and did not specify dates, events, or participants other than the Governor himself, was not unclear or overbroad.
Having decided the inquiry exceeded OPRA's scope, we also declined to expand the effect of N.J.S.A. 47:1A 5(g), which requires the custodian to "attempt[] to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor" when a records request would "substantially disrupt agency operations." We found it does not include this scenario, when research and information, not records, are sought.