The Latest Grants of Review by the Supreme Court

The Supreme Court announced that it has granted review in three more cases.  One of them is yet another case under the Open Public records Act, N.J.S.A. 47:1A-1 et seq. (“OPRA”).  The two others are criminal cases.

The OPRA appeal is Ganzweig v. Lakewood Tp.  The question presented there, as phrased by the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office, is “Is this police dash-cam video subject to disclosure under [OPRA]?”  In an unpublished 2-1 decision, the Appellate Division affirmed a Law Division decision that plaintiff was entitled to the video under OPRA.  Judge Reisner dissented, contending that the video was a “criminal investigatory record” that is exempt from OPRA disclosure.

Both opinions recognized that a very similar issue is pending before the Supreme Court in Paff v. Ocean Cty. Prosecutor’s Office, which, as discussed here, is also before the Court by virtue of a dissent in the Appellate Division.  That dissent was by Judge Gilson, whose opinion Judge Reisner endorsed in Ganzweig.  

The two criminal cases are State v. Tillery and State v. Chisum, which is actually two consolidated cases. The question presented in Tillery is “Among other issues, did the State demonstrate that defendant voluntarily waived his Miranda rights?”  A two-judge panel of the Appellate Division affirmed the Law Division’s ruling against defendant in an unpublished opinion.

In Chisum, the question presented is “In responding to a noise complaint at a hotel, were police authorized to detain all occupants of the room to conduct warrant checks and to do pat-down searches of all occupants during the detention?”  The case was argued and then re-argued before a three-judge Appellate Division panel.  The result was an affirmance of the Law Division’s decision refusing to suppress evidence.  Now the Supreme Court will take up the matter.