June 1, 2007
TINA RENNA, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
COUNTY OF UNION, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.
On appeal from the Superior Court of New Jersey, Law Division, Union County, Docket No. L-1145-06.
NOT FOR PUBLICATION WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE APPELLATE DIVISION
Argued May 22, 2007
Before Judges Coburn, R. B. Coleman and Gilroy.
On March 13, 2006, plaintiff Tina Renna sent an e-mail request to the Union County Clerk's Office for an electronic copy of Union County Resolution No. 42-2005. Relying on the Government Records Council (GRC) Advisory Opinion No. 2006-01, dated February 17, 2006, the Clerk's Office refused to respond to the request because the request was not made on the County's official Open Public Records Act (OPRA), N.J.S.A. 47:1A-11, request form. On March 28, 2006, plaintiff filed a verified complaint in the Law Division, and on that date, an order to show cause was entered, directing that defendant County of Union appear and show cause why judgment should not be entered declaring that it violated OPRA by refusing to process plaintiff's record request. On the return day of the order to show cause, the judge granted the GRC's motion to appear amicus curiae and decided to transfer the matter to the Appellate Division. A confirming order of transfer was entered on April 27, 2006.
At oral argument, counsel for all of the respective parties agreed that the GRC's advisory opinion is not a final decision by an administrative agency and that there was no final decision entered in the Law Division concerning the requirements of OPRA.
This court, therefore, lacks jurisdiction to review the advisory opinion or the asserted action or inaction of the County Clerk in reliance on that advisory opinion. R. 2:2-3(a). Moreover, we do not perceive this to be such an extraordinary case that the interest of justice would compel us to grant leave to appeal, pursuant to R. 2:2-3(b) or R. 2:5-6. Accordingly, the April 27, 2006 order of the Law Division transferring the matter to this court is vacated. The appeal is dismissed and the matter is transferred back to the Law Division.
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