For decades, New Jersey residents could not get court documents they were entitled to see because judges had limited guidelines on which records were available for public viewing. That is expected to change next month when a new rule recently adopted by the state’s highest court goes into effect, reports the Newark Star-Ledger. Evidence admitted in New Jersey courts are just some of the records specifically defined as “open for public inspection” in the state’s new guidelines.
Records not open to residents after Sept. 1 will include financial information in divorce proceedings and what the court calls “personal identifiers” such as Social Security, driver’s license, insurance policy and credit card numbers. Thomas Cafferty, a lawyer for the New Jersey Press Association and member of the committee, said the rules let people know where they stand when seeking court documents. “It was less than clear before what would be accessible to the public,” he said.