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Thursday, September 01, 2016

Ind. Gov't. - "Court says NJ may deny access to public records"

Salvador Rizzo reports in the NJ Asbury Park Press:

Government agencies in New Jersey may deny access to public records by saying they can “neither confirm nor deny” their existence, a state appeals court ruled Wednesday.

New Jersey is now the second state to adopt as law what one veteran media lawyer called “a broad and damaging secrecy tool” first used by the U.S. government during the Cold War to protect its national security interests.

The other state, Indiana, has authorized “neither confirm nor deny” responses through a statute, not a court ruling.

The three-judge panel of the Appellate Division ruled Wednesday against North Jersey Media Group, a division of Gannett that publishes The Record and other newspapers.

The New Jersey appeals court allowed what is known in the federal government as a “Glomar” response, which some agencies have used since the 1970s to block requests for public records submitted under the U.S. Freedom of Information Act.

The lengthy story does not identify the New Jersey decision, and does not cite any Indiana statute.

However, the ILB has an April 16, 2013 post, headed "Bill gives agency right to refuse to acknowledge a record's existence."

Posted by Marcia Oddi on September 1, 2016 10:57 AM
Posted to Indiana Government