Woodbridge, CT asked in Gov & Administrative Law and Municipal Law for New Jersey

Q: As a private citizen am I allowed to request recording of phone calls I had with law enforcement personnel in New Jersey

I am just looking to obtain the phone call recordings between myself and 4 other individuals that occurred between Nov 29th of 2023 to Dec 4th of 2023 on a specific date and time..I can attach the screenshot of the dates and times

1 Lawyer Answer
James L. Arrasmith
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  • Municipal Law Lawyer
  • Sacramento, CA

A: In New Jersey, as a private citizen, you do have the right to request recordings of your phone calls with law enforcement personnel. This request can typically be made under the state's Open Public Records Act (OPRA). OPRA allows for the public to access government records, which can include communications with law enforcement agencies.

When making your request, it's important to be as specific as possible regarding the dates, times, and parties involved in the phone calls. This will assist the law enforcement agency in locating the appropriate recordings. Keep in mind that there may be certain restrictions or exemptions under OPRA that could affect the release of these recordings, especially if they pertain to ongoing investigations or contain sensitive information.

If your request is denied, or you do not receive a satisfactory response, you may have the option to appeal the decision. It's advisable to consult with an attorney if you encounter difficulties in obtaining these recordings, as they can provide guidance on the legal procedures and any potential issues related to privacy or law enforcement sensitivities. Remember, transparency and access to information are key principles, but they must be balanced with legal and privacy considerations.

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