OPRA requires that each county designate a judge to handle OPRA matters. As a result, each County has a designated OPRA judge. The list may be found here, and was most recently updated on July 20, 2022. Each vicinage has one designated OPRA judge, and many have a designated backup. Because OPRA judges are assigned according to vicinage, rather than by county, one judge may cover several counties, as is the case for Vicinage 13 (Somerset/Hunterdon/Warren) and Vicinage 15 (Cumberland/Gloucester/Salem).
There is no guarantee that the designated OPRA judge or the backup designee will be the judge who handles any particular case. The needs of the Court or conflicts of interest could result in the assignment of an OPRA case to a judge other than the assigned OPRA judge. In general, when a new OPRA case is filed, the Court’s computer system will automatically assign the case to a particular judge, but the judge who is assigned to a case can be changed by the Court.
Anyone who has been denied access to records or has questions about access to public records should contact Cohn Lifland to discuss their options. The statute of limitations to file a denial of access complaint in Superior Court is 45 days after the date of the denial, so it is important to act quickly.