In November of 2020, Governor Murphy signed Daniel’s Law, amending the Open Public Records Act (OPRA) and other statutes intending to protect certain persons in public service. Specifically, Daniel’s Law prohibited the disclosure of home addresses or unpublished telephone numbers of certain active and retired law enforcement officers, judicial officers, prosecutors, and their immediate family members. The prohibition against disclosure of these individual’s home addresses extends to most entities, including private businesses and local governments
Despite its laudable goals Daniel’s Law, as initially adopted, created a variety of uncertainties and unintended consequences making implementation extremely challenging for local governments and their records custodians. With these concerns in mind, the legislature moved to adopt clean-up legislation to make implementation more reasonable, and on January 12, 2022, Governor Murphy signed into effect legislation amending Daniel’s Law. P.L.2021, c.371 took effect immediately and applied retroactively to December 10, 2021.
The information below seeks to address some of the more common questions associated with Daniel’s Law and the recent clean-up legislation.