Community members attend an N.J. Foundation for Open Government discussion in Perth Amboy. The organization will hold a similar meeting in Monroe on Sept. 17.

On Sept. 17 at 6:30 p.m. the N.J. Foundation for Open Government (FOG), a non-profit organization, will present a program about how to use the N.J. Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and the N.J. Open Public Meetings Act (OPMA), led by two experts. 

This free session will be held at the Monroe Township Public Library at 4 Municipal Plaza in Monroe. Go to monroetwplibrary.org for directions.

The session is free and open to the public. The experts include John Paff and Walter Luers.

Paff, one of the most prolific users of OPRA, will explain what to do if a municipal or state record keeper turns down your request. Paff is a tireless advocate for open government and transparency reform in New Jersey. He has set the standard for open government watchdogs in the state. The disclosures he achieves are frequently picked up by the media, especially regarding official misconduct, civil rights lawsuits, settlements with public agencies, and ethical violations. Paff was the plaintiff in the recently decided video-camera state Supreme Court decision concerning police.

Luers is an attorney who specializes in OPRA and OPMA law. He is one of the state's leading transparency lawyers. He represents individuals and businesses in OPRA lawsuits against public entities and has represented clients in several important appellate victories, including cases that ordered the release of a confidential settlement agreement and computer data. He will tell attendees what is “OPRA-able” and what’s not.

Both speakers will explain how to deal with the nuances of the law, what important cases give residents of New Jersey an edge, and what strategies work best when people are trying to obtain everything from tax information and salaries to closed-session minutes and details of state and local government. For more information, call 908-894-5656.


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