Township of Middle, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Middle 11-19-2007 by Ord. No. 1275-07.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fees — See Ch. 265.
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter also superseded former Ch. 48, Public Records, adopted 3-7-2005 by Ord. No. 1182-05.
New Jersey has adopted the Open Public Records Law, which has as its general purpose making government records more available to the public than they have been in the past. In certain instances, the production of archived records or records in a format which is not the usual format maintained by the municipality or other special circumstances would be costly and time consuming. The New Jersey Public Records Law permits the municipality to require the payment of fees, special service charges and/or special charges as a prerequisite to the production of records requiring extraordinary time and effort, special equipment or special formatting. It has been deemed necessary to establish the fees that may be charged for the copies provided, consistent with the provisions of the New Jersey Open Public Records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1, et seq.
A. 
The statutory fee schedule shall apply to routine requests under the Open Public Records Law. The fees of N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5 are hereby incorporated herein as such fee schedule presently exists or as such fees might appear in future modifications or amendments of the statute.
B. 
Copies of documents.
[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 1329-09; 11-7-2011 by Ord. No. 1400-11; 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 1511-15]
(1) 
Fees for routine copies of municipal documents are as follows:
(a) 
The public agency shall charge $0.05 per page for letter-sized pages and smaller.
(b) 
The public agency shall charge $0.07 per page for legal-sized pages and larger.
(c) 
Electronic records will be processed free of charge (i.e., records sent via e-mail).
(d) 
The public agency will charge the actual cost to provide records in another medium (i.e., computer disc, CD-ROM, DVD).
(e) 
Actual cost of postage, if required.
(f) 
Actual cost of mailing envelope, if required.
(2) 
It is possible that the actual cost to produce paper copies will exceed $0.05 per letter-size page or smaller and $0.07 per legal-size page or larger for some public agencies. In these instances, OPRA allows custodians to charge the actual cost of duplication, which is limited to the cost of materials and supplies used to make the copy. In such cases, the agency will consult the actual cost calculation as provided by the Government Records Council.
The establishments of the position of deputy custodians of documents are as follows:
A. 
Chief of Police.
B. 
Tax Assessor.
C. 
Tax Collector.
D. 
Construction Official.
E. 
Court Administrator.
F. 
Registrar of Vital Statistics.
G. 
Zoning Officer.
H. 
Director of Water and Sewer.
Nothing in this chapter shall require the custodian or deputy custodians of documents or any other municipal official to examine, analyze, tabulate or interpret documents which are subject to production under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.
A. 
Charges authorized. The Township Clerk or deputy custodian of documents qualifying for mandatory productions as "governmental records" under the New Jersey Public Records Act shall be entitled to special service charges and/or special charges as set forth in § 48-6 of this chapter.
B. 
Requests to be in writing: Any requests for documents shall be made to the Township Clerk on a form established by the Township Clerk for such purposes and adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Middle.
C. 
Advance notice of fees, special service charges and special charges; deposits. Any requester of government records which are eligible for the imposition of a special charge or special service charge under § 48-6 of this chapter shall receive advance notice of the amount of fees and charges before any work is started. The Township Clerk shall require prepayment of such charges before causing the work to begin.
A. 
Duplication or other work beyond capability of municipal-in-house work force. Whenever the in-house municipal work force or available municipal equipment is insufficient to duplicate or produce government records in a timely fashion, the Township Clerk may cause such duplication or production to be accomplished by outside vendors such as copy centers or producers of digital images. If the cost of such duplication or production charged by such vendors exceeds the routine charges set forth in N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5, the actual direct cost of same without any additional surcharge for labor costs shall be paid.
B. 
Special service charge.
[Amended 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 1511-15]
(1) 
If a public agency can demonstrate that its actual costs for duplication of a government record exceed the foregoing rates, the public agency shall be permitted to charge the actual cost of duplicating the record. The actual cost of duplicating the record, upon which all copy fees are based, shall be the cost of materials and supplies used to make a copy of the record, but shall not include the cost of labor or other overhead expenses associated with making the copy except as provided for in this section.
(2) 
Access to electronic records and nonprinted materials shall be provided free of charge, but the public agency may charge for the actual costs of any needed supplies, such as computer discs.
(3) 
Whenever the nature, format, manner of collation, or volume of a government record embodied in the form of printed matter to be inspected, examined, or copied pursuant to this section is such that the record cannot be reproduced by ordinary document-copying equipment in ordinary business size or involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request, the public agency may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplicating the record, a special service charge that shall be reasonable and shall be based upon the actual direct cost of providing the copy or copies; provided, however, that in the case of a municipality, rates for the duplication of particular records when the actual cost of copying exceeds the foregoing rates shall be established in advance by ordinance. The requester shall have the opportunity to review and object to the charge prior to it being incurred.
C. 
Rates for in-house production of prints or blueprints. Any copies of prints or blueprints produced in-house in response to a governmental records request shall be produced for $8 per page, unless actual direct costs are higher, in which case actual costs will be charged.
D. 
Cost of GIS data. The cost of any GIS data owned by the Township of Middle shall be as follows:
(1) 
Tax Map: $100.
(2) 
Tax Map page: $5.
Topographic Price List
(This subsection to be amended when GIS data is available.)
E. 
Digital records. If a request for governmental records involves production or conversion of digital or computerized records or film which is in a medium not routinely used by the agency (i.e., electronic film); not routinely developed or maintained by an agency; or requiring a substantial amount of manipulation or programming of information technology, the requester shall pay the direct cost (no overhead) to comply with the request.
[Amended 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 1511-15]
F. 
Police accident reports.
[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 1329-09; 11-7-2011 by Ord. No. 1400-11; 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 1511-15]
(1) 
Every citizen of this state shall have the right, during regular business hours and under supervision, to inspect and have copied such reports and shall also have the right in person to purchase copies of the accident reports at the same fee established by OPRA. If copies of reports are requested other than in person, an additional fee of up to $5 may be added to cover the administrative costs of the report, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 39:4-131. For example, if a requester sought access a five-page motor vehicle accident report via regular mail, a custodian may charge a total of $5.25 (OPRA fee of $0.05 per page for five pages = $0.25; an additional fee of $5 per actual report to cover the administrative costs of mailing the report).
(a) 
Fees (other than Municipal Court discovery):
[1] 
Copy per page/size 8.5 inches by 11 inches: $0.05.
[2] 
Copy per page/size 8.5 inches by 14 inches (legal): $0.07.
[3] 
For mailed accident reports (N.J.S.A. 39:4-131): $5.
[4] 
Video or audiotape reproduction: actual cost of reproduction.
[5] 
Envelope cost.
[6] 
Actual postage cost.
(2) 
Discovery requests in matters pending in the Municipal Court are submitted through the Municipal Prosecutor.
(a) 
Municipal Court discovery requests:
[1] 
Standard fees. The municipal prosecutor, or a private prosecutor in a cross-complaint case, may charge a fee for a copy or copies of discovery. The fee assessed for discovery embodied in the form of printed matter shall be $0.05 per letter-size page or smaller, and $0.07 per legal-size page or larger. From time to time, as necessary, these rates may be revised pursuant to a schedule promulgated by the Administrative Director of the Courts. If the prosecutor can demonstrate that the actual costs for copying discovery exceed the foregoing rates, the prosecutor shall be permitted to charge a reasonable amount equal to the actual costs of copying. The actual copying costs shall be the costs of materials and supplies used to copy the discovery, but shall not include the costs of labor or other overhead expenses associated with making the copies, except as provided for in Subsection F(2)(a)[2] of this section. Electronic records and nonprinted materials shall be provided free of charge, but the prosecutor may charge for the actual costs of any needed supplies, such as computer discs.
[2] 
Special service charge for printed copies. Whenever the nature, format, manner of collation, or volume of discovery embodied in the form of printed matter to be copied is such that the discovery cannot be reproduced by ordinary document-copying equipment in ordinary business size, or is such that it would involve an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to copy, the prosecutor may charge, in addition to the actual copying costs, a special service charge that shall be reasonable and shall be based upon the actual direct costs of providing the copy or copies. Pursuant to R. 7:7-1, the defendant shall have the opportunity to review and object to the charge prior to it being incurred.
[3] 
Special service charge for electronic records. If the defendant requests an electronic record: 1) in a medium or format not routinely used by the prosecutor; 2) not routinely developed or maintained by the prosecutor; or 3) requiring a substantial amount of manipulation or programming of information technology, the prosecutor may charge, in addition to the actual cost of duplication, a special charge that shall be reasonable and shall be based on 1) the cost for any extensive use of information technology; or 2) the labor cost of personnel providing the service that is actually incurred by the prosecutor or attributable to the prosecutor for the programming, clerical, and supervisory assistance required; or 3) both. Pursuant to R. 7:7-1, the defendant shall have the opportunity to review and object to the charge prior to it being incurred.
[4] 
Actual postage and envelope cost shall be charged.
[5] 
Where the discovery must be obtained from an entity other than the Township of Middle, e.g., another police department, the actual costs paid to the other entity shall be paid by the requester.
(3) 
All photographs will be photocopied. Actual photo reproductions will be prepared only upon separate request and advanced payment for the actual costs of reproductions.
G. 
Cost for copies of recordings of Township Committee, Planning/Zoning Board or Municipal Court meetings via cassette tapes and CDs. The cost of reproduction shall be the actual cost of the requested medium.
[Amended 8-17-2009 by Ord. No. 1329-09; 10-5-2015 by Ord. No. 1511-15]
A. 
The Township of Middle may be compelled by New Jersey law to produce or duplicate governmental records, but no compliance with these legal obligations shall be deemed to constitute a license, sublicense or waiver of copyright laws.
B. 
The Township Clerk shall give the following notice to any requester of governmental records.
NOTICE - COPYRIGHT LAWS
You must comply with U.S. copyright laws. These laws may restrict your right to use, duplicate or modify the records provided to you by the Township of Middle. You should consult your own legal counsel on this since severe civil and criminal penalties for violation of copyright laws are provided.
The Mayor, Clerk or Township Committee (by resolution) may waive the fees or other charges otherwise chargeable if the requester of governmental records is a governmental or educational entity.
The term "public records" generally includes those records determined to be public in accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1. The term does not include employee personnel files, police investigation records, public assistance files or other matters in which there is a right of privacy or confidentiality or which is specifically exempted by law.