New Jersey

N.J. high court denies access to public law school clinic's legal records

Emily Miller | Freedom of Information | News | July 6, 2012
July 6, 2012

The New Jersey high court ruled Thursday that case records handled at public law school clinics are not considered public records because in dealing with private clients, the clinics do not conduct "official government business" and releasing the records may discourage people from seeking the clinics’ services.

New Jersey judge rejects blogger's newest assertion of statutory privilege

Emily Miller | Newsgathering | News | June 7, 2012
June 7, 2012

A New Jersey judge ruled once again that a blogger is not protected under the state's shield law, rejecting her latest claim that she was writing a nonfiction book.

The state Supreme Court ruled last year that Washington private investigator Shellee Hale could not assert the shield law in a 2008 defamation suit against her and remanded the case to the trial court.

New Jersey

May 1, 2012


New Jersey Supreme Court limits libel damages, distinguishes online speech

Raymond Baldino | Libel | News | May 17, 2012
May 17, 2012

The New Jersey Supreme Court ruled Wednesday that a defamation suit over online accusations of child sexual abuse could still proceed, even though the plaintiff could not show he was harmed.

The decision upheld a 2010 appeals court ruling that New Jersey First Amendment attorneys hoped would lead to a change in the law by the state's Supreme Court.

N.J. editor did not act with actual malice in false light case

Chris Healy | Libel | Feature | March 5, 2012
March 5, 2012

A front-page teaser that wrongly stated that the subjects of a civil complaint by the Securities and Exchange Commission were "arrested" was not made with "actual malice" -- intentional falsity or reckless disregard for the truth -- the New Jersey Supreme Court has ruled.

The decision means that the The Nutley Sun and its parent company, the North Jersey Media Group, are not liable to the plaintiffs in the false light case filed against them.

Transit system removes "suspicious" label for photography

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | Feature | January 13, 2012
January 13, 2012

A New Jersey-based transit system has removed photography from its list of “suspicious activities," after receiving a letter from a photojournalist advocacy group.

New Jersey transit system labels photography "suspicious"

Rachel Bunn | Newsgathering | Feature | January 11, 2012
January 11, 2012

A photojournalist advocacy group wants a New Jersey-based transit system to reconsider its policy asking riders to report any photography involving trains or stations to authorities as "suspicious activity."

New Jersey court withholds juror names in murder trial

Jamie Schuman | Secret Courts | Feature | October 21, 2011
October 21, 2011

Deviating from normal procedure, a New Jersey federal court is not publicizing names and other personal information of jurors in a controversial murder trial that began this week.

In most criminal trials, the names and occupations of jurors are public. But in the trial of Paul Bergrin, a former defense lawyer who is charged with coordinating the 2004 murder of a confidential witness in a federal drug case against one of his clients, the judge veered from this practice after prosecutors argued that revealing jurors’ names could pose a safety risk.

Court orders officials to release government cell phone info

Aaron Mackey | Freedom of Information | Feature | July 15, 2011
July 15, 2011

New Jersey officials who use taxpayer funded cell phones cannot keep information on the destination of outgoing calls secret, a state appellate court ruled earlier this week.

N.J. high court examines scope of two records exemptions

Clara Hogan | Freedom of Information | Feature | June 24, 2011
June 24, 2011

The New Jersey Supreme Court clarified two exemptions to the state’s open records act Tuesday in its ruling in Vasil Kovalcik v. Somerset County Prosecutor’s Office.

The court examined the scope and application of two provisions that exempt certain government records from disclosure: one regarding records deemed confidential by a court order and another regarding access to government employee personnel records.