If everyone is special, no one is special….the NJ DEP creates an “everyone-is-special-so-everybody-pays” policy

Well, you had to think this was going to happen eventually.  After all those class actions to force the government to charge “actual cost” for records, OPRA was changed to limit the charges to 5 cents per page.  Left in the Open Public Records Act law was the ability to impose a “special service charge” for those requests that involve “an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort“.  Yes, you do know where this is headed.  The NJ DEP has started imposing a “special service charge” on every request for removing staples and putting documents back in binders and files!  My client, Susan Scoblink-O’Neill (defeater of the DVRPC a few posts below) sued after she was given two different estimates for this “special service charge”.  It took between 6 and 9 minutes to address her request and make the 77 copies.  Does that sound like “an extraordinary amount of time and effort“?  The Honorable Mary C. Jacobson has the case, which is venued in Mercer County.  Remember those soccer leagues where “everyone was special” and got a trophy?  Now everyone is “special” – and you get a bill. Scoblink-O’Neill vs. NJ DEP

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