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Home > Government > City Departments > City Clerk > Public Access To Government Records

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Public Access To Government Records

The New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requires a person requesting access to government records to complete, sign, and date the request form adopted by the City of Newark.

The completed form can be submitted to the City Clerk's, OPRA Unit, Room 415A, City Hall, either in person, or by fax, email, or mail. The fax number is (973) 733-4893. Public records will normally be available within seven business days, though some records may be immediately available.

In general:

1.  Immediate access ordinarily shall be granted to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts (including collective
     negotiation agreements and individual employment contracts), and information. The minutes of public
     meetings will be generally available immediately after the minutes have been approved by the
     governing body.

      A request for public records is not considered filed until the appropriate custodian of the record
      requested (the Office of the City Clerk) has received the request form. If you submit a request for
      access to government records to someone other than the appropriate custodian, do not complete this
      request form, or attempt to make a request by telephone, the Open Public Records Act and
      its deadlines, restrictions,and remedies will not comply to your request.

2.   The fees for duplication of a government record in printed form are as follows:

 

  • $0.05 per page for letter sized pages and smaller;
  • $0.07 per page for legal sized pages and larger; 
  • If the City of Newark's actual costs to produce paper copies exceed the $0.05 and $0.07 rates the City of Newark may charge the actual cost of duplication;
  • Electronic records shall be provided FREE OF CHARGE (i.e. records sent via e-mail and fax);     and
  • The City of Newark will charge the actual cost to provide records in another medium (i.e. computer disc, CD-ROM, DVD). 

  

Pursuant to NJ.S.A. 47:1A-5c, this office may impose a reasonable special service charge if the nature, format, manner of collation, or volume of a government record is such that it cannot be reproduced by ordinary document copying equipment in ordinary business size or involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate your request. Requests will be honored upon payment of fees.

3.    The terms public record and government record in New Jersey do not include.

  •   Criminal investigatory records
  •   Victim's records
  •   Emergency or security information or procedures for buildings and facilities
  •   Administrative or technical information regarding computer hardware, software, and networks which, if   disclosed, would jeopardize computer security
  •   Information regarding labor-management negotiations including statements of strategy or negotiating   position
  •   Pension and personnel records

4.   By state law, this office must deny access to a person who has been convicted of an indictable offense
      in New Jersey or any other state of the United States who is seeking government records containing
      personal information pertaining to the person's victim or the victim's family.

5.   You may be denied access to a government record if your request would substantially disrupt agency
      operations and the custodian is unable to reach a reasonable solution with you.

6.   The City of Newark will notify you that it has granted or denied a request for access to government
      records within seven business days after the custodian of the record requested receives the request,
      provided that the record is currently available and not in storage or archived. If the record requested is
      not currently available or is in storage or archived, the custodian will advise you within seven business
      days when the record can be made available and the estimated cost. If this office is unable to comply
      with your request for access to a government record, the custodian will indicate the reasons for denial
      on the request response form and send you a signed and dated copy.

7.   If your request for access to a government record has been denied or unfilled within the time permitted
      by law, you have a right to challenge the decision by the City of Newark to deny access. At your option,
      you may either institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey or file a complaint in writing
      with the Government Records Council (GRC) in the Department of Community Affairs.

8.    Information provided on this form may be subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act.

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Community Engagement Government Reform