Fee demand for public records declared “unreasonable and unwarranted”
Legal Counsel: Pro Se
GRC Complaint 2015-224
Statutory provision at issue: N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5(c.)
After being on their docket for close to two years, the New Jersey Government Records Council (GRC) ruled in my favor after I filed a complaint captioned Gavin C. Rozzi v. Lacey Township Board of Education, GRC complaint 2015-224. The GRC ordered the Lacey Township Board of Education to refund an $85 “special service fee” the board’s business administrator imposed for copies of checks that showed the board’s contracted attorney received health benefits through a school district plan.
Did the Lacey Township Board of Education’s imposition of an $85 “special service fee” for copies of checks that showed the school board attorney - a contracted professional - was receiving health benefits through a district plan violate the Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.?
The GRC held that the special service fee was “unreasonable and unwarranted” and issued an interim order compelling the district to refund the $85 “special service fee” that was charged to me before I could receive the requested records.
I filed the complaint because it was my belief that the true purpose of the fee was the chill public records requests rather than legitimately recover expenses.