Rozzi v. Lacey Township Board of Education

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.

Question Presented

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.?

Holding

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.

Case documents

Final Decision - Rozzi v. Lacey Township Board of Education

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Gavin Rozzi
Journalist, Public Records Researcher & Web Developer
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