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Gannett Satellite Info. Network, LLC v. Twp. of Neptune

New Jersey Appellate Division

April 8, 2021

Gannett Satellite Information Network, LLC, sought copies of the Internal Affairs (IA) file of a Sergeant in the Neptune Township Police Department. Gannett sought access to the records pursuant to the common law and the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 to -13. The Township denied the request, and Gannett then commenced this action to compel the Township to disclose the records. In Gannett Satellite Info. Network, LLC v. Twp. of Neptune, the trial court determined that the records were exempt from disclosure under OPRA, but Gannett was entitled to them under the common law. The court also awarded Gannett attorney’s fees. On appeal, the New Jersey Appellate Division held that the trial court correctly found that Gannett was not entitled to access to the IA file pursuant to OPRA,  but disclosure was required under the common law right of access. However, the trial court erred in awarding attorney’s fees to Gannett.

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