State Internal-Affairs Records Should Be Available Under N.J. Common Law
Participated in an amicus brief (with the Reporters Committee and other amici) filed with the New Jersey Supreme Court in Rivera v. Union County Prosecutor’s Office. This case concerns whether internal affairs records are disclosable under New Jersey’s Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) or the common law. The specific records sought relate to an investigation by the Union County Prosecutor’s Office into the workplace misconduct of the former director of the Elizabeth, N.J., police department. The trial court held that the requested records were available under OPRA, but did not offer a common-law analysis. The appellate division reversed on the OPRA question and also ruled that internal-affairs records, generally speaking, are unavailable under New Jersey’s common law. This amicus brief in support of Rivera focuses on the common-law right of access to the records at issue.