New Jersey

Definition of Public Record

Public records includes any paper, written or printed book, document, drawing, map, plan, photograph, microfilm, data processed or image processed document, information stored or maintained electronically or by sound-recording or in a similar device, or any copy thereof, that has been made, maintained or kept on file. 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Any documents prepared by or for a member of the State Legislature, and the Office of the Governor in certain cases where they deem the information requested to be confidential. 2

Who Can Make The Request?

Anyone but convicted criminals seeking information on victims may request public documents from the state. 3

Response Timeframe

7 days. 4

Information on Fees

Electronic copies should be provided without a fee, however a fee can be charged for the transmission medium the electronic copy is sent by (CDs, DVDs, etc.). For paper copies: * first page to tenth page, $0.75 per page; * eleventh page to twentieth page, $0.50 per page; * all pages over twenty, $0.25 per page. 5

Enforcement Mechanisms

A person who is denied access to a government record, at the option of the requestor, may institute a proceeding to challenge the custodian’s decision by filing an action in Superior Court or file a complaint with the Government Records Council established pursuant to OPRA. (See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-6) 6

Attorney Fees

Yes, you can win attorney’s fees.

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

Arrow Icon
Download our Citizen’s Guide to Public Records Requests
File Icon Download Our Public Records Request Template
request document

Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

Goldwater Institute