How will the Government Records Council (GRC) conduct the investigation?

The GRC will first ensure that the complaint is a valid one. If it is, the Council will direct the public agency to produce the relevant documents and the reasoning behind the denial. In both mediation and a formal investigation, the GRC will try to handle the complaint as expeditiously as possible and, to that end, will use teleconferencing, faxing of documents, and email. If in-person meetings are necessary, the Council will send representatives to meet the parties at mutually convenient locations.

Post Hearing

If the Council cannot make a decision based on the written submissions of the parties, both parties will be notified and a formal hearing will be held. Following that hearing, the Council will reach a determination by a majority vote on whether the record should be made available to the requester. If the Council decides in favor of the requester, and it finds that the custodian "willfully and knowingly" denied access unreasonably under the full circumstances, the custodian can be fined $1,000 for a first offense, $2,500 for a second, and $5,000 for a third if it occurs within 10 years of the first. If the requester wins, he or she may be entitled to a reasonable attorney’s fee.


The Council’s decision may be appealed to the Appellate Division of the Superior Court.

Show All Answers

1. Why is there an Open Public Records Act?
2. What is the policy behind Open Public Records Act (OPRA)?
3. What are government records?
4. What records are accessible to the public?
5. Why are some records exempt from disclosure?
6. What are some records that cannot be disclosed?
7. What entities doesn't Open Public Records Act (OPRA) cover?
8. Whom do I contact to obtain records from public agencies?
9. What do I need to do to request records?
10. Is there a form I have to use?
11. Do I have to pay for copies in advance of receiving them?
12. How soon can I get the records I requested?
13. What happens if my request is denied?
14. What are reasons for denials?
15. Can I ask for a record in a specific format?
16. Can I get immediate access to certain records?
17. How is personal information protected?
18. Does redaction apply to viewing or inspecting records?
19. What is the cost of paper copies of records?
20. What is the Government Records Council?
21. What can the Government Records Council (GRC) do for me if access to records is denied?
22. What is mediation?
23. How will the Government Records Council (GRC) conduct the investigation?
24. What happens if it is going to Superior Court?
25. How can I get more information about the law?
26. What are some definitions from the law?