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State v. Williams

February 24, 2009

STATE OF NEW JERSEY, PLAINTIFF-APPELLANT,
v.
JAYSON S. WILLIAMS, DEFENDANT-RESPONDENT.



ORDER

This matter having come before the Court on the motion of plaintiff for leave to appeal the interlocutory judgment of the Appellate Division, whose opinion is reported at 403 N.J. Super. 39 (2008);

And defendant having opposed that application;

And leave to appear as amicus curiae having been granted to the Attorney General of New Jersey and to the Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers of New Jersey and the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc.;

And the Superior Court, Law Division, having entered an order dated December 14, 2007 providing that it be:

ORDERED that the State is required to produce the following information to the Court for joint in camera inspection:

1. Each and every document pertaining to the complaint made by an "employee of the prosecutor's office" against the "superior officer" who used "a racial epithet to describe" Mr. Williams, including but not limited to all documents contained in an investigatory or disciplinary file[; and]

2. The complete personnel file of the "superior officer" within the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office who used "a racial epithet to describe" Mr. Williams, as well as all documents pertaining to that individual's employment by the Hunterdon County Prosecutor's Office; and

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that the State is required to produce directly to the defense the following information:

1. The identity of all individuals present at the "meeting within the office" at which the "superior officer" used "a racial epithet to describe" Mr. Williams; [and]

2. All notes and documents relating in any way to the issues discussed during the "meeting within the office" of the Hunterdon County Prosecutor at which the "superior officer" used "a racial epithet to describe" Mr. Williams;

And the State successfully having sought leave to appeal that order to the Appellate Division;

And the Appellate Division having "found no basis for disclosing information about charges against the 'superior officer' other than those specifically relating to racial comments or any other conduct indicative of or relevant to racial bias[,]" a majority of the Appellate Division "affirm[ed] the . . . order[] entered on December 14, 2007," but ruled that it would "remand[] for the trial court's in camera review of the investigatory documents to determine which sections are unrelated to the racial remarks and must, therefore, be redacted before any documents are released to defense counsel[,]" State v. Williams, 403 N.J. Super. 39, 49, 51-52 (App. Div. 2008), Judge Wefing having dissented from the latter conclusion, id. at 52;

And the State having sought and received leave to appeal the Appellate Division's ...


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