Township of Lumberton, NJ
Burlington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Public access to records — See Ch. 225.
Attachment 1 - Appendix A
[Adopted 1-20-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-5]

§ 197-1 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meaning indicated:
MUNICIPAL FACILITY
Any building owned or leased by the Township of Lumberton in which official municipal business is conducted.
PUBLIC MEETING
Any gathering, whether corporal or by means of communication equipment, which is attended by or open to all members of a public body, held with the intent, on the part of the members of the body present, to discuss or act as a unit upon the specific public business of that body.

§ 197-2 Still photography and videotaping at public meetings.

A. 
Equipment and personnel.
(1) 
Not more than two portable videotape electronic cameras, operated by no more than one person each, shall be permitted at any public meeting of the Township Committee.
(2) 
Not more than two still photographers utilizing not more than two lenses for each camera and related equipment for print purposes shall be permitted at any public meeting of the Township Committee.
B. 
Sound and light criteria.
(1) 
Only videotape cameras and audio equipment used in conjunction with the video camera which does not produce distracting sound or light shall be employed to cover public meetings of the Township Committee. Specifically such videotape camera and related audio equipment shall produce no greater sound or light than the equipment designated in Appendix A, annexed hereto,[1] when the same is in good working order. No artificial lighting device of any kind shall be employed in connection with the use of videotape cameras.
[1]
Editor's Note: Appendix A is included at the end of this article.
(2) 
Only still camera equipment which does not produce distracting sound or light shall be employed to cover public meetings of the Township Committee. Specifically, such still camera equipment shall produce no greater sound or light from a 35mm Luca "M" Services Rangefinder Camera when used alone or in conjunction with a professional sound muffling device, e.g., the Nikon "bEmp." No artificial lighting of any kind shall be employed in connection with a still camera.
(3) 
It shall be the affirmative duty of the individual seeking to videotape a public meeting to demonstrate to the Mayor or his designee adequately in advance of any public hearing that the equipment sought to be utilized meets the sound and light criteria enumerated herein. A failure to obtain advance approval for the equipment prior to each public meeting shall preclude its use at any such meeting.
C. 
Notice.
(1) 
Notice shall be given to the Municipal Clerk prior to the close of business of the day the meeting for which an individual is seeking permission to videotape or photograph the public meeting and, if the meeting occurs on a day when municipal offices are closed, prior to close of business on the last business day preceding the meeting for which permission is sought.
(2) 
Permission to videotape or photograph the public meeting shall be granted on a first come, first serve basis subject to compliance with the provisions contained in these guidelines.
D. 
Location of equipment and personnel.
(1) 
Videotape camera(s) shall be placed in an inconspicuous corner of the meeting room toward the rear. The specific location(s) shall be designated by the Township Committee. The area(s) shall provide a generally clear view of the proceedings by the camera. The person videotaping the public meeting shall not move about the meeting room while the public meeting is being held.
(2) 
Still camera photographers shall be positioned in an inconspicuous corner of the meeting room toward the rear. The specific location shall be designated by the Township Committee. Still camera photographers shall assume fixed positions within the designated areas, and once the photographers are positioned such photographers shall not be permitted to move about in any way as to attract attention through further movement. Still photographers shall not be permitted to move about in order to photograph the public meeting.
E. 
Movement of equipment during proceedings. Videotape and related audio equipment and still camera equipment shall not be placed in or removed from the meeting room except prior to commencement and after adjournment of the public meeting or during a recess.
F. 
Upon the request of a member of the public who desires to discuss a personal matter with the Committee, the Mayor may direct that the audio/videotaping be interrupted when an audio/video recording could be embarrassing or humiliating if played at a later time.

§ 197-3 Audiotape recording of public meetings.

In addition to photography and videotape recording of public meetings an individual may tape record a public meeting subject to the restrictions of § 197-4 and with the following conditions:
A. 
Notice shall be given to the Municipal Clerk prior to the close of business of the day the meeting for which an individual is seeking permission to videotape or photograph the public meeting and, if the meeting occurs on a day when municipal offices are closed, prior to close of business on the last business day preceding the meeting for which permission is sought.
B. 
The recording device shall be unobtrusive, limited to the size category commonly known as hand-held, mini-cassette or standard portable cassette. It shall be placed in an appropriate position and may not be moved in any way as to attract attention.
C. 
The recording device shall not produce distracting sound, either from the equipment or its operation. The tape may not be rewound or played back while the meeting is in session.
D. 
The Mayor may order that tape recording cease at any time he/she determines that the equipment or its operator is interfering with the proceedings.

§ 197-4 Prohibitions.

A. 
Meetings or portions of meetings which are permitted by law to be closed to the public shall not be videotaped, photographed or audiotaped.
B. 
During the conduct of a public meeting, including with executive session, photographs may be taken and video and/or audiotape recording made in the corridor immediately outside the meeting room only with the express permission of the Township Committee.
C. 
To protect the attorney-client privilege, there shall be no audio pickup of conferences which occur at a public meeting or in a public facility between the Township Solicitor or special counsel and any member of the Township Committee, the Municipal Clerk or any officer or employee of the township.
D. 
No recording, whether audio or video, may be used in any court proceeding, nor may same be used to contest the accuracy of the official record of the Township Committee. The recording(s) may not be represented as an official transcript in any manner and/or for any purpose.

§ 197-5 Ceremonial proceedings.

Permission for all still photography, videotaping and audiotape recording of ceremonial proceedings involving the Township Committee occurring during a public meeting or otherwise must first be obtained from the Township Committee but will be granted routinely subject to compliance with the foregoing guidelines where applicable.

§ 197-6 Duplication of videotapes and photographs.

A. 
Upon the request of the Township Committee or the Municipal Clerk, the original videotape shall, immediately upon cessation of videotaping of public meetings and/or ceremonial proceedings, be provided to the Municipal Clerk for the purpose of duplication. A copy of the videotape shall be made, and the original shall be available for pickup at the Municipal Building by the individual who videotaped the public meeting, or portions thereof, within three business days of the meeting. Alternatively, the person making the recording shall have the option of copying the videotape and making same available to the Township Clerk within three business days of the meeting and shall simultaneously execute a voucher for payment by the township of the costs of said reproduction/copying, which costs shall not exceed what the cost would have been had the township copied said tape. The voucher shall be paid within 30 days. Copies of any videotape duplicated on behalf of the Township Committee shall be retained as required by law and made available to the general public upon request subject to payment of the cost of duplication.
B. 
If the Mayor or Municipal Clerk does not request the original videotape for duplication, as provided in the preceding subsection, the individual who made the videotape recording shall maintain the original tape for a period of one year and during that time period shall provide a copy of the videotape, certified to be undeleted and unabridged, to the Township Committee or member of the public upon request for the cost of duplication. Copies of any videotape provided to the Township Committee under this subsection shall be retained as required by law and made available to the general public upon request, subject to payment of the cost of duplication.
C. 
The photographer at any public meeting shall maintain the negatives of all photographs taken during a public meeting for a period of one year and shall during that time period provide duplicates of the photographs to the Township Committee or member of the public upon request subject to payment of the cost of duplication. In lieu of providing copies, the photographer may provide the negatives of the photographs to the Township Committee. The Township Committee shall retain the photographs as required by law and make available to the general public duplicates of any photographs for which it has either copies or the negatives, subject to payment of the cost of duplication.

§ 197-7 Still photography, videotaping and audiotaping within public facilities.

A. 
Except as otherwise provided herein with regard to public meetings, no photographs may be taken or audio/videotape recordings made within a public facility of any person, place or event relating to the administration and/or conduct of official municipal business.
B. 
No limitations are placed on the taking of photographs or video/audiotape recording on the grounds or environs of the municipal facility or within a municipal facility of persons, places or events which have no relation to, do not arise from and/or are in no way connected with the administration and/or conduct of official municipal business.

§ 197-8 Coverage of proceedings in Municipal Court.

Still and television camera and audio coverage of proceedings in the Municipal Court are governed by the Supreme Court guidelines.

§ 197-9 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Maximum penalty. For violation of any provision of this article, the maximum penalty, upon conviction, shall be a fine not exceeding $1,000 or imprisonment in the county jail for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or such combination of punishments as the Municipal Judge may, in his or her discretion, deem appropriate and just.
B. 
Separate violations. Each and every day in which a violation of any provision of this article exists shall constitute a separate violation.
C. 
Application. The maximum penalty stated in this section is not intended to state an appropriate penalty for each and every violation. Any lesser penalty, including a minimal penalty or no penalty at all, may be appropriate for a particular case or violation, except in those instances where state law mandates a minimum penalty to be imposed.
D. 
Minimum penalty. There shall be a minimum penalty of a fine fixed at an amount not exceeding $100.

§ 197-10 Enforcement.

The Lumberton Township Police Department is the enforcement agent of this chapter.