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In New Jersey, the state's public records law is the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), which can be found under New Jersey Statutes Annotated section 47:1A-1 et seq. OPRA grants the public the right to access government records, subject to certain exceptions. Under OPRA, most government records are considered public unless specifically exempted. The law defines a "government record" as any paper, document, information, data, or other material that is held by a public agency. Examples of public records in New Jersey that are readily available to the public include property tax assessments, voter registration records, criminal records, and court documents (although some restrictions may apply to certain types of court documents). However, there are several exemptions to OPRA that allow government agencies to withhold certain types of information from the public. These exemptions include records that are considered privileged, confidential, or exempt by law, such as those related to ongoing criminal investigations or medical records. Overall, OPRA is designed to ensure that government agencies in New Jersey remain transparent and accountable to the public they serve, while also balancing the need to protect certain types of sensitive information.
In New Jersey, public records requests should be directed to the custodian of the record, which is typically the government agency that created or is currently in possession of the record. Contact information for the custodian can often be found on the agency's website or by contacting the agency directly. If the agency does not provide contact information for the custodian, the New Jersey Open Public Records Act (OPRA) provides a central government contact, known as the Government Records Council (GRC), for assistance. The GRC can be reached by phone, email, or mail and provides guidance on filing a public records request, including what information to include and how to appeal a denial of access. It should be noted that certain types of records, such as those that contain personal identifying information or are subject to exemptions under OPRA or other state or federal laws, may not be available for public inspection or may require a court order to obtain.
In New Jersey, if you need to make a change to a public record, it depends on which type of record you need to update. If you need to make a correction to your own personal record, such as a birth or marriage certificate, you can request an amendment through the New Jersey Department of Health's Vital Records Office. This can be done by providing the necessary documentation to support the change, such as a court order or other legal document. If you need to make a change to a non-personal public record, such as a property or land record, you will need to contact the agency responsible for maintaining the record. This could be a state agency, local government body, or other entity. To find out which agency to contact, you may need to do some research or contact a knowledgeable attorney or professional. In either case, it's important to make sure you provide accurate and complete information when requesting a change to a public record. Depending on the type of record and the nature of the requested change, there may be specific guidelines or processes that need to be followed. It's always best to consult with an expert if you're unsure about how to proceed.
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