Can I recover monetary damages and/or legal fees for litigating a denial of a public records request?

Asked 10 months ago - West Orange, NJ

I understand that an unlawful OPRA request denial from a state agency could result in compensation for legal fees associated with trying to obtain the unlawfully denied record. However, the OPRA act does not include the judiciary. What then would be the recourse for an unlawful denial of a court public record.

Unlawful in this context means that the record was deliberately (or accidentally) destroyed prior to the state's records retention schedule and/or there is no certification from the state to destroy said records.

Attorney answers (3)

  1. Alan James Brinkmeier

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . Report this to the prosecutor

    Destruction of public records may be a crime

  2. Michael T Warshaw

    Contributor Level 17


    Lawyers agree

    Answered . More information is needed - you should go to an attorney who specializes in OPRA requests for advice - there are serious consequences for unlawful destruction of public records.

    The content of the this submission is intended to provide general information on the topic presented, and is... more
  3. Samuel Cohen

    Contributor Level 20


    Lawyer agrees

    Answered . Speak with a private attorney befor you do anything. There are some potentially serious consequences.

    The information provided is for general informational purposes only and is not intended to be legal advice. I am... more

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