[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Pleasantville as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 8-5-2002 by Ord. No. 24-2002]
This article shall be known as the "City of Pleasantville Access to Government Records and Establishment of Fees Ordinance."
It is hereby declared to be the public policy of the City of Pleasantville to recognize the public's general right to know pursuant to the Open Public Records Act. All records kept in the course of official duties by any City of Pleasantville officer or employee shall be deemed to be government records, as that ten is defined by N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, and such records shall be subject to inspection by the public unless exempt under the statutes or other regulation, common law practice, executive order of the Governor, Rules of Court, federal law or judicial decision; this article was established to comply with the mandate of N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., known as the Open Public Records Act, including that portion of the law permitting the establishment of charges/fees, not otherwise provided, to be imposed and associated with the reproduction of the materials requested.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1.1, the Municipal Clerk or his/her designee is designated as the custodian of records with the exception of the records kept by the Police or Fire Department. The Chief of Police or his/her designee shall be the custodian of records for the City of Pleasantville Police Department and the Chief of the Pleasantville Fire Department or his/her designee shall be the custodian of records for the City of Pleasantville Fire Department.
The City recognizes the fact that the daily operation of the various departments regularly involves the distribution of public records, as the term is defined by state law, to the public, and that it would be inefficient to require that all requests be submitted to the City Clerk. In an effort to make records available within the time frames specified by the law, the City will continue this policy in addition to the procedure provided by this article.
Any person seeking to inspect, examine or copy a public record of this municipality shall make application in writing to the Municipal Clerk, or other custodian identified by this article, during regular business hours, on the form provided. All requests for public records shall be as specific as possible, including the type of record and date created, if known.
The Municipal Clerk or other custodian shall promptly comply with a request to inspect, examine, copy or provide a copy of a government record. If the custodian is unable to comply with a request for access, he or she shall indicate on the request form the specific basis for such inability to comply and shall promptly return it to the requestor. The custodian shall sign and date the form and provide the requestor with a copy thereof.
In those instances where the nature of the request to the record itself leads the custodian to doubt whether or not the record is a government record as defined by law or is a record exempt from disclosure, the Clerk shall request an opinion from the Municipal Attorney. A copy of the request form shall be forwarded to the attorney, who, after review and investigation, shall issue an opinion and note such opinion on the request form and promptly return to the custodian.
If any part of a particular record is exempt from public access pursuant to N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq., the custodian shall delete, redact or excise from a copy of the record that portion which is exempt from access and shall promptly permit access to the remainder of the record.
If the record requested is temporarily unavailable because it is in use or storage, the custodian shall so advise the requestor and shall make arrangements to make a copy of the record available.
If a request for access to a government record would substantially disrupt municipal operations, the Clerk may deny access to the record after attempting to reach a reasonable solution with the requestor that accommodates the interests of the requestor and the municipality.
As required by N.J.S.A. 47:1A-5e, immediate access shall be granted for access to budgets, bills, vouchers, contracts (including collective negotiations agreements and individual employment contracts), and public salary and overtime information.
Unless a shorter time period is otherwise provided by statute, regulation of executive order, the Clerk shall grant access to a government record or deny a request for access to a record as soon as possible but not later than seven business days after receiving the request, provided that the record is currently available and not in storage or archived. In the event that the Clerk fails to respond within seven business days after receiving a request, the failure to respond shall be deemed a denial of the request, unless the requestor has elected not to provide a name, address or telephone number, or other means of contacting the requestor. If the requestor has elected not to provide an address, or telephone number, or other means of contacting the requestor, the custodian shall not be required to respond until the requestor reappears before the custodian seeking a response to the original request. If the government record is in storage or archived, the requestor shall be so advised within seven business days after the custodian receives the request. The requestor shall be advised by the custodian when the record can be made available. If the record is not made available by that time, access shall be deemed denied.
The Clerk shall post prominently in public view, in or adjacent to the Clerk's office, a statement that sets forth in clear, concise and specific terms the right to appeal a denial or failure to provide access to government record and the procedure by which an appeal may be filed.
Upon the approval of a request to view, inspect, examine or copy a record, the record and the requestor shall remain in the presence of the custodian at all times. Under no circumstances shall any government record be removed from the office where it is normally kept unless accompanied by the custodian or his or her authorized representative.
In the event that the nature of the request to view records requires that the custodian or other municipal employee observe or monitor such viewing for a period of time exceeding one hour, the requestor shall be responsible for reimbursing the municipality for time spent by the custodian or other employee.
Copies of records may be purchased for the fee prescribed by law or regulation. If a fee is not prescribed by law or regulation, the fee shall be the actual cost of duplicating the records, provided, however, that where the actual cost for duplication of a record exceeds the rates below, the actual cost shall be imposed:
Standard sized paper documents, up to 8 1/2 inches by 14 inches in size.
Police and Fire reports and photographs.
Police/Fire reports and photographs: Black and white copy, same as Subsection A above; Color copy.*
Police accident reports and Fire incident reports: same as Subsection A above, if requested and picked up in person.
Police accident and Fire incident reports, when copies are requested other than in person: $5 for the first three pages and $1 per page for each additional page, as established by N.J.S.A. 39:4-131.
A special service charge shall be imposed, in addition to the actual costs of duplicating the record, where the nature, format, manner or collation or volume of printed mater is such that it cannot be reproduced by ordinary document-copying equipment in ordinary business size or where such record involves an extraordinary expenditure of time and effort to accommodate the request. A special service charge will be applied when the custodian must change the medium in which the record is normally kept in order to comply with the request. The special service charge will include the cost of labor in addition to the cost of materials as well as any other actual costs incurred by the City. The requestor shall have the opportunity to review and object to the special service charge prior to its imposition.
Applicable postage shall be added for any and all records by mail.
A deposit shall be paid prior to filling any anonymous request where it is estimated that the information requested will cost in excess of $5 to produce. The amount of the deposit shall equal the total estimated cost of filling the request.
[Added 7-7-2004 by Ord. No. 16-2004; amended 4-16-2007 by Ord. No. 19-2007; 2-17-2016 by Ord. No. 2-2016]
Copies of a vital record, including birth, marriage, death, domestic partnership, and civil union certificates, may be purchased for a fee of $10 for each certificate.
[Added 11-6-2017 by Ord. No. 18-2017]
A notary fee of $2 shall be imposed for each page.
[Adopted 6-19-2017 by Ord. No. 9-2017]
Purpose: The general purpose of this article is to establish policies and procedures for the collection of fees associated with the performance of marriage and civil union ceremonies by the Mayor.
Compensation and reimbursement of expenses incurred through the performance of marriage and civil union ceremonies:
Receipt of fees. The fee shall be paid by check, cash or money order payable to the City of Pleasantville. Fees collected shall be deposited into City's Escrow Account.
Disbursement of fee. The fees for service may be disbursed to the Mayor through the appropriate budget line item and with appropriate authorization.
Eligible persons. The City shall reimburse only proper reasonable expenses incurred directly by and for the Mayor. Under no circumstances shall the City reimburse expenses or expenditures on behalf of or because of any spouse, child, guest or other person.