In re Attorney Gen. Law Enf’t Directive Nos. 2020-5 & 2020-6, 246 N.J.462 (2021)


Pashman Stein Walder Hayden P.C. represented the National Coalition of Latino Officers and the Law Enforcement Action Partnership as amicus curiae before the Appellate Division and the N.J. Supreme Court in in support of two important police transparency directives, which directives were issued by the New Jersey Attorney General contemporaneously with a case for which the Supreme Court had granted certification where our client was seeking police records.

By way of background, in late 2019, the N.J. Supreme Court granted our petition for certification in Libertarians for Transparent Government v. New Jersey State Police, a case that sought the name of a state trooper who had been fired for “engaging in racially offensive behavior.” In June 2020, the Attorney General reversed course and disclosed the trooper’s name to our client, paid the firm’s legal fees, and issued Law Enforcement Directives 2020-5 and 2020-6. The directives were challenged by several police unions who argued that the Attorney General did not have the authority to issue the Directives and that even if he did, the officers’ names could not be released because they were promised confidentiality. In October 2020, the Appellate Division upheld the Directives in a published opinion and the police unions appealed.

In June 2021, the Supreme Court unanimously upheld the Directives, but held that officers disciplined prior to 2020 can seek a hearing to block disclosure. This landmark ruling has contributed to what has been described as a “sea change” in New Jersey to move towards greater transparency in police internal affairs and misconduct investigations.

Our firm is proud of the results it has achieved for clients, some of which are noted here.  Of course, each legal matter is unique on many levels, and past successes are not a guarantee of results in any other pending or future matters.


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