[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Lumberton 9-4-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-15. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the township to recognize the public's general right to know pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., or any amendments or supplements thereto, and all of the public's business in the municipality shall be open to the public unless the public interest, general law or administrative regulations require nondisclosure, and the governing body, in consultation with the Municipal Attorney, shall determine if and when nondisclosure is warranted.
[Amended 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-31]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CUSTODIAN OF RECORDS
- The Municipal Clerk of the Township of Lumberton.
- PUBLIC RECORDS
- All records which are required by law to made, maintained or kept on file by the Township Committee or any board, agency, department, commission or official of the Township and as otherwise defined in the Open Public Records Act of 2001, as subsequently amended, and codified at N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
[Amended 2-7-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-1; 11-14-2005 by Ord. No. 2005-31]
The following fees shall be payable by the requestor to the Township of Lumberton for the discovery required:
Seventy-five cents per page for each of the first 10 pages photocopied.
Fifty cents per page for each of the next 10 pages photocopied.
Twenty-five cents per page for each of the pages photocopied thereafter.
Actual postage for any discovery or requests sent by mail.
Twenty-five cents for the envelope for any discovery or requests sent by mail.
Photographs will be photocopied at the rates established herein; if requests are made for duplicate photographs, the actual cost of making the photographs shall be charged.
Duplication of videotapes constitutes an extraordinary duplication process and will be charged at the rate of $5 per videotape.
On any item that cannot be photocopied on the Township copy machine or not otherwise provided for in this schedule, the actual costs incurred in making the copy shall be charged.
In addition, the Township shall be entitled to charge and collect a fee for the reproduction of copies of written reports or other police investigation reports of the Township's Police Department in accordance with the costs established under N.J.S.A. 47:1A-2 et seq., as amended; and requests via mail shall be charged up to an additional $5, regardless of the number of pages, in order to cover postage and handling expenses.
Other various charges for reproduction of public records are as follows, provided that the costs of charges shall not exceed the actual costs borne by the Township, and where copying is done by an outside agency, the Township may request payment directly to that outside agency:
Photographs (35 mm film or other standard format): up to $1 per print.
Polaroid prints: up to $2 per print.
Videotapes: up to $27 per video tape.
Standard audio cassettes: up to $5 per cassette tape.
Audio cassettes of meeting minutes (requiring reproduction by outside agency): $60 per cassette tape.
Three-and-one-half-inch floppy disk: up to $4 per disk.
Township street maps: up to $6 per map.
Township Zoning Maps: up to $6 per map.
Zoning Ordinance books: up $37, plus copies of amendments at the rates set forth in Subsection A above.
Master Plan: up to $55, plus copies of amendments at the rates set forth in Subsection A above.
Tax Maps: copies of certain pages or portions of the map at $4 per sheet, provided that copies for a complete set of tax maps shall be provided by Engineer's office, through the office of the Township Clerk, at a rate of up to $550.
Site plans, maps or blueprints: copies at up to $12 per page.
Any person seeking the reproduction of public records, documents or other information as contemplated by this chapter shall submit his or her request, in writing, on a form prescribed by the Township Clerk. All requests will be handled in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq.
Prior to commencing with the reproduction of said public records and/or documents, the Township Clerk shall first estimate the number of pages or other formats involved and provide the requesting party with a written estimate of the costs of reproduction. No photocopying of any document shall be undertaken without the requesting party first having provided, by check or cash, the funds so estimated as necessary for that reproduction. In the event that the photocopying or other reproduction charges exceed the amount estimated, the requesting party shall be required to pay the difference.
Special provisions for Municipal Court discovery. All requests for discovery in matters pending in the Lumberton Township Municipal Court shall be submitted through the Municipal Prosecutor. A fee of $25 shall accompany each request and, following the processing of the request, the requestor shall be advised as to the actual amount due. Said amount shall be based upon the schedules set forth in Subsections A and C above. In the event that the actual amount due is less than $25, the requestor shall be entitled to a refund; in the event the amount due is more than the deposit, than the requestor shall be required to pay same before receiving the discovery.
Alternative procedure for Municipal Court discovery. As an alternative to the submission of a separate sum of money each time a request is made by an attorney for a defendant in Municipal Court matters, defense counsel may, at their discretion, post an account, similar to that maintained by the law firms with the Superior Court of New Jersey for charging the costs of filing of complaints, answers and counterclaims, which charge shall be set up in the Township's Finance Office and tracked to each law firm. The amount of the deposit shall be $300; at the end of the year, the Township shall provide the law firm with an accounting of the monies charged to the account and the monies remaining. At the law firm's request, if a refund is sought, it shall be provided; otherwise, the law firm can apply that balance to the following year's court cases and shall replenish the difference.
Under no circumstances shall public records be removed from the municipal building or any other building where they are normally kept. Such records shall not be removed from the office wherein they are normally maintained unless accompanied by the custodian or his or her representative. If the custodian of such records shall find that there is no risk of damage or mutilation of such records and that it would not be incompatible with the economic and efficient operation of the office and the transaction of public business therein, he or she may permit a person seeking to copy more than 100 pages of records to use the person's own photographic process, approved by the custodian, upon the payment of the fee fixed in § 225-3C(2) above.
In addition to any restrictions or limitations established by general law, no records, documents or information of any kind shall be released to the public if the same are not public records, as defined in this section; or if they are not in final form; or if review or action regarding the documents or information is still pending before a body of the municipality; or if the material sought is confidential in nature or an individual citizen's right to privacy outweighs the general public's right to know.