In an unpublished decision issued today, a two-judge panel of New Jersey Superior Court, Appellate Division affirmed a trial court's ruling that Somerset County was justified in redacting the home addresses, e-mail addresses and telephone numbers from fifty-four Open Public Records Act (OPRA) requests the County had received in early 2015.
In the case, Jesse Wolosky v. Somerset County, et al
, Wolosky sought, among other records, "each OPRA request received by the County from persons other than [Wolosky] from February 15, 2015 to [May 18, 2015]." The County's records custodian located fifty-four OPRA requests that fit within the scope of Wolosky's request but excised the requestors' home addresses, e-mail addresses and phone numbers before disclosing them to Wolosky. The County claimed that the redactions were necessary "to safeguard from public access a citizen's personal information when disclosure of the information would violate the citizen's reasonable expectation of privacy."
The appellate panel agreed with the County's position holding that Wolosky does not have a right under OPRA or the common law to access the email and home addresses of persons who submitted OPRA requests to the County.