BLOOMFIELD, NJ - The Supreme Court of New Jersey handed down a decision on Nov. 22 in the case Patricia Gilleran v. Township of Bloomfield (A-15-15) (076114). The court ruled in favor of the Township of Bloomfield.
The case was resulted from an OPRA (Open Public Records Act) request filed by Gilleran regarding security camera footage of the parking area behind Bloomfield Town Hall. That portion of the parking area includes an entrance to the police department.
The township denied the request to release the recordings as it could jeopardize the safety and security of people entering and exiting the police department, including victims of crime, witnesses, and confidential informants.
“The Township of Bloomfield is pleased by the decision of the Supreme Court of New Jersey regarding the Patricia Gilleran case, which determined that compelling release on demand of security surveillance video requested by Ms. Gilleran would be contrary to the legislative intent motivating OPRA’s exemptions based on security concerns,” said Mayor Venezia Spokesman Philip Swibinski. “The decision affirms the Township’s decision to resist the aforementioned claim for surveillance videotape based on OPRA’s exemption for security information.”
OPRA is a state law that given citizens greater access to government records maintained by public agencies. Under state law, there are exceptions to OPRA, including but not limited to information that if disclosed might violate a citizen's reasonable expectation of privacy.