Earlier this week, the Supreme Court of New Jersey issued its decision in Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office. This case dealt with a request made under the Open Public Records Act and the common law for a police internal affairs report of a civilian police director investigated for racist and sexist behavior.
The Court stated unequivocally that police internal affairs reports are not subject to OPRA, but that given the appropriate circumstances, including those in the matter at hand, internal affairs reports may be subject to disclosure under the common law. The Court then outlined a number of factors to be considered when courts perform a balancing test to weigh whether or not police internal affairs reports should be made public.
For more information on this court decision, please see the League’s recent blog post. The League encourages you to review this decision with your chief of police, police director, along with your records custodian and municipal attorney for additional guidance.
Contact: Frank Marshall, Esq., Associate General Counsel, email@example.com, 609-695-3481, x137.