National Freedom of Information Coalition
Protecting Your Right to Open Government

New Jersey FOIA Laws

New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act

The New Jersey Open Public Meetings Act legislates the methods by which public meetings are conducted. Meetings are defined as any gathering which is open to all members of the public body for the purposes of discussing or deciding on public business. If violated, a suit must be filed within 45 days of the violation and the court may place fines of up to $100 for the first offense.

Open Public Meetings Act New Jersey S.A. 10:4-6 (Senator Byron M. Baer Open Public Meetings Act – OPMA)

Closed: Meetings that may result in invasion of privacy; real estate transactions; collective bargaining agreements; pending litigation; and personnel action.

New Jersey Open Public Records Act

The New Jersey Open Public Records Act became the state’s sunshine law in 2002, replacing, and significantly improving, a pre-existing right-to-know law. Public records includes any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file.

Anyone but convicted criminals seeking information on victims may request public documents from the state. There is no requirement for a statement of purpose and no restrictions placed on the use of records. The New Jersey Open Public Records Act allows for up to seven days to respond to a records request.

Open Public Records Act New Jersey S.A. 47:1A-13 (Open Public Records Act – OPRA)

Exempt: Child abuse records; and pending investigation records.

Visit, New Jersey Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.