March 25, 2023, 11:49 pm
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General Information About New Jersey Public Records and Laws
Individuals and businesses need access to key information to run their businesses properly. Through the Open Public Records Act of New Jersey, public records remain available to those who need them. This law defines what a public record is considered in the state as well as what exemptions exist. In short, this is information that is available to the general public but often needs to be formally requested in order to have access.
What Are Public Records Here?
In New Jersey, public records are any type of document or other material that is managed, maintained or otherwise in the possession of a government agency. This includes any and all government record. The type of medium does not matter in that electronic information and printed information is available. In addition, the state does not provide a specific list of what information is considered to be public record. Rather, it does have a list of information for off limit information.
In the state, there are some types of information considered to be private or not available to the general public upon request. Most of this information is sensitive information that could cause a violation of privacy laws or disruption to the running of a government. The following are some of the exemptions for material documents in the state of New Jersey.
·         All legislative records, including correspondence, reports and other communications unless the release of the information is mandated by the state.
·         Criminal investigation records
·         All trade secrets and other proprietary information
·         Medical examiner records, including at the scene and post mortem examinations, except to be used by law enforcement or a prosecutor.
·         Victim records except when requested by the individual.
·         All information considered to be private information include tax records, assets and holding records, personal contact information and personnel records for state employees.
·         Any information protected under federal law. This includes information related to medical records, student records or other information considered private.
Most other types of information remain available to the general public.
Gathering New Jersey Public Records
Individuals who need access to this information can often obtain it through a formal request. The state's laws also state that this type of information must be available to the general public during working hours by the organization or department that manages the information. Information may be available at the location, through an online record or through a third party organization. Some of the most commonly sought after public records include the following.
·         Vital statistics including birth certificates, death certificates, marriage licenses and burial information is available through the Department of Health and Senior Services.
·         The Attorney General's Office manages the information provided about businesses and in-state organizations.
·         Accessible criminal records are managed by local departments as well as through the Division of State Police, Records and Identification Section in West Trenton.
Individuals who wish to obtain New Jersey public records and do so as they wish. Individuals do not have to give specific reasons for obtaining this information.
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