How to Request Government Records?
1. All government records are subject to public access under the Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”), unless specifically exempt.
2. A request for access to a government record under OPRA must be in writing, hand-delivered, mailed, transmitted electronically, or otherwise conveyed to the appropriate custodian. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.g. The seven (7) business day response time does not commence until the records custodian receives the request form. If you submit the request form to any other officer or employee of the Village of Ridgewood, that officer or employee must either forward the request to the appropriate custodian, or direct you to the appropriate custodian. N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5.h.
3. Requestors may submit requests anonymously. If you elect not to provide a name, address, or telephone number, or other means of contact, the custodian is not required to respond until you reappear before the custodian seeking a response to the original request.
4. The fees for duplication of a government record in printed form are listed on the front of this form. We will notify you of any special service charges or other additional charges authorized by State law or regulation before processing your request. Payment shall be made by cash, check or money order payable to the Village of Ridgewood.
5. You may be charged a 50% or other deposit when a request for copies exceeds $25. The Village of Ridgewood custodian will contact you and advise you of any deposit requirements. You agree to pay the balance due upon delivery of the records. Anonymous requests in excess of $5.00 require a deposit of 100% of estimated fees.
6. Under OPRA, a custodian must deny access to a person who has been convicted of an indictable offense in New Jersey, any other state, or the United States, and who is seeking government records containing personal information pertaining to the person’s victim or the victim’s family. This includes anonymous requests for said information.
7. By law, the Village of Ridgewood must notify you that it grants or denies a request for access to government records within seven (7) business days after the agency custodian of records receives the request. If the record requested is not currently available or is in storage, the custodian will advise you within seven (7) business days after receipt of the request when the record can be made available and the estimated cost for reproduction.
8. 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.
9. If the Village of Ridgewood is unable to comply with your request for access to a government record, the custodian will indicate the reasons for denial on the request form or other written correspondence and send you a signed and dated copy.
10. Except as otherwise provided by law or by agreement with the requester, if the agency custodian of records fails to respond to you within seven (7) business days of receiving a request, the failure to respond is a deemed denial of your request.
11. If your request for access to a government record has been denied or unfilled within the seven (7) business days required by law, you have a right to challenge the decision by the Village of Ridgewood to deny access. At your option, you may either institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey or file a complaint with the Government Records Council (“GRC”) by completing the Denial of Access Complaint Form. You may contact the GRC by toll-free telephone at 866-850-0511, by mail at PO Box 819, Trenton, NJ, 08625, by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org, or at their web site at www.state.nj.us/grc. The Council can also answer other questions about the law. All questions regarding complaints filed in Superior Court should be directed to the Court Clerk in your County.
12. Information provided on this form may be subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act.
Click here to download OPRA Request Form
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