Supreme Court Will Review OPRA Metadata Case

The Philadelphia Inquirer reports that the Supreme Court has granted review of the Appellate Division’s decision in Paff v. Galloway Tp., 444 N.J. Super. 495 (App. Div. 2016).  That decision was discussed here.  The Open Public Records Act (“OPRA”) requestor plaintiff there sought logs of emails (not the emails themselves, which defendant admitted could have been sought) sent by certain Galloway Township officials during a particular time.  Complying with that request would have required Galloway to create new records, since there were no such logs in existence.  The Appellate Division ruled that a government agency is not required to generate a record that is not already in existence, and rejected plaintiff’s argument that email logs were “metadata,”an existing part of the emails.

The Judiciary website does not yet reflect this grant of review, so the usual “question presented, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office,” is not currently available.