Public Records Request
WHAT IS THE OPEN PUBLIC RECORDS ACT (OPRA)?
WHAT is CONSIDERED a GOVERNMENT RECORD?
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 in the course of official business by any officer, commission, agency or authority of the State.
NOTE: Please be advised that not all government records are subject to OPRA. For more information, read the OPRA Exemptions. In addition, the release of government records is subject to the requirements of Daniel's Law (P.L. 2021, c. 371), which prohibits the release of certain personal information pertaining to individuals registered as covered persons with the Office of Information Privacy.
How to make a request?
All requests for copies of official public records must be made in accordance with the State of New Jersey's Open Public Records Act (N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.):
- In writing and hand-delivered to the Office of the Township Clerk at 641 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536
- Mailed to the Office of the Township Clerk at 641 Plainsboro Road, Plainsboro, NJ 08536
- Transmitted electronically by either emailing the completed PDF request form to firstname.lastname@example.org or by completing the NEW online form.
OPRA designates the Township Clerk as the official custodian of local government records. Sending a records request to the wrong office or employee may result in a delay in the fulfillment of the request. Your request is not considered filed until the request form has been received by the Township Clerk.
a proper Opra must . . .
- Identify with reasonable clarity the records desired.
IMproper requests . . .
- OPRA submissions that request ALL of an agency's documents
- OPRA submissions that seek information (and not records) or ask questions
- See Bent v. Stafford Police Department, 381 N.J. Super. 30, 37 (App. Div. 2005)
NOTE: You will be notified if the OPRA request requires clarification or is non-conforming.
In addition, record custodians are NOT required to conduct research, or create new records/spreadsheets/lists in response to an OPRA request.
What is the response time frame?
The time frame to fulfill a request for access to government records under OPRA does not begin until the request form or equivalent written request has been delivered to the appropriate records custodian. After the day of receipt, the department records custodian has up to seven business days to respond.
EXAMPLE: If the request was received on Friday, day 1 would be Monday. However, if Monday was a federal holiday such as President's Day, then day 1 would be Tuesday.
having trouble Figuring out what to request?
Please reference the Township's Staff Directory to discuss records that may be most appropriate based on your current inquiry.