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Department of Law

OPRA Exemptions

Below is a list of information that is exempt or situation where infomation is exempt from the Open Public Records Act.

Reasons for Denial (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1)

  • Inter or intra agency advisory, consultative or deliberative material
  • Legislative records
  • Law enforcement records
    • Medical examiner photos
    • Criminal investigatory records not included in N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3b
    • Victims’ records
  • Trade secrets and proprietary commercial or financial information
  • Any record within the attorney-client privilege
  • Administrative or technical information on computer hardware, software and networks which, if disclosed, would jeopardize computer security
  • Emergency or security information or procedures for any buildings or facility which, if disclosed, would jeopardize security of the building, facility or persons therein
  • Security measures and surveillance techniques which, if disclosed, would create a risk to the safety of persons, property, electronic data or software
  • Information which would give an advantage to competitors or bidders
  • Information generated by or on behalf of public employers or employees in connection with
    • Any sexual harassment complaint filed with a public employer
    • Any grievance filed by or against as employee
    • Collective negotiations documents and statements of strategy or negotiating
  • Communications between an agency and its insurance carrier, administrative services organization or risk management office
  • Information that is to be kept confidential pursuant to court order
  • US government issued Certificate of honorable discharge (DD-214)
  • Social security numbers
  • Credit card numbers
  • Unlisted telephone numbers
  • Drivers’ license numbers
  • Certain records of higher education institutions
  • Violates a citizen’s reasonable expectation of privacy – N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1
  • Biotechnology trade secrets - N.J.S.A.  47:1A-1.2
  • Convicts requesting their victim’s records – N.J.S.A. 46:1A-2.2
  • Non-law enforcement ongoing investigations if inimical to public interest – N.J.S.A. 47:1A-3
  • Public defender records – N.J.SA. 47:1A-5 k
  • Other exemptions established by State or federal statute, regulation, Executive Order or Rules of Court; or privilege or grant of confidentiality established or recognized by the Constitution  of  NJ, statute, court rule or judicial case law – N.J.S.A. 47:1A-9 
  • Personnel and pension records – information that can be obtained includes: individual’s name, title, position, salary, payroll record, length of service, date of separation, reason for separation, amount and type of pension received, data which discloses conformity with qualifications for employment or receipt of pension – N.J.S.A. 47:1A-10

Executive Order 21 (McGreevey 2002)

  • Disclosure would interfere with ability to protect and defend against acts of sabotage or terrorism or would increase risk or consequences thereof
  • Records exempted by State agencies’ proposed rules

Executive Order 26 (McGreevey 2002)

  • Resumes, applications and other information about job applicants during recruitment
  • Medical, psychiatric or psychological history, diagnosis, treatment or evaluation information
  • Information in a personal income or other tax return
  • Information describing a natural person’s finances, income, assets, liabilities, net worth, bank balances, financial history or activities, or creditworthiness except as otherwise required by law to be disclosed
  • Test questions, scoring keys and other examination data pertaining to the administration of an examination for public employment or licensing
  • Records in the possession of another department when those records are made confidential by regulation or Executive Order 9

Improper Request

  • A general request for information
  • An open-ended request that fails to identify records with particularity
  • An overbroad blanket request for records
  • A request for research by the custodian

MAG Entertainment v. Div. of ABC, 375 N.J.Super. 534, 546 (App.Div. 2005); New Jersey Builders Association v. New Jersey Council On Affordable Housing, 390 N.J. Super. 166 (App. Div. 2007); Gannett New Jersey Partners L.P. v. County of Middlesex, 379 N.J. Super. 205 (App. Div. 2005). 

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