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New Jersey Public Records: How to Perform a New Jersey Public Records Search

New Jersey Public Records: How to Perform a New Jersey Public Records Search
November 6, 2022

The state of New Jersey, through its Open Public Records Act (OPRA), puts several structures in place to ensure that people do not have to jump through hoops to access or obtain New Jersey Public Records.

 

For starters, New Jersey public records are available to residents and non-residents of the state, and agencies are mandated to respond to record requests within seven days. 

 

Further, agencies that are found to have maliciously withheld requested information may typically face sanctions.

 

That's not to suggest that agencies are to grant all New Jersey public records requests, however. Certain records are exempted, and requests for these records will typically be denied. 

 

That being said, the OPRA leaves room for a very robust appeals process if a request for a public record is wrongfully denied. 


New Jersey Public Records Search


Multiple record custodians maintain and disseminate public records in New Jersey. Individuals interested in obtaining a New Jersey public record must contact the record custodian in charge of their desired record directly in person or via mail.

 

Most agencies that maintain and disseminate New Jersey public records accept only formal, written public records requests. However, a few agencies and departments offer online access to the public records that they maintain.

a woman's hand taking out a file from a cabinet drawer

 

Interested individuals who do not wish to deal with the bureaucracy associated with government agencies may alternatively obtain New Jersey public records through third-party websites. 


New Jersey Vital Records


The state of New Jersey only makes access to vital records in the state open to public scrutiny at the expiration of the record's statutory period of confidentiality. 

 

Within this period, only persons named on the record, their immediate family members, and their legal representatives may obtain certified copies of these records.

 

Requesters will be required to supply the name of the record subject as well as the location and date of the specified life event. 

 

They must also provide a valid, government-issued ID and a certified court order authorizing them to access the record. Finally, they will be expected to settle appropriate request fees. 


How to Obtain New Jersey Vital Records


The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry division of the New Jersey Department of Health is the official custodian of New Jersey vital records. 

 

People who are interested in obtaining vital records in the state must submit an application in person or by mail to this department. 

 

The Office of Vital Statistics and Registry also offers online access to some records.

shutterstock_1626929716 (1).jpg

 

To request a vital record from this agency, interested parties must fill out the appropriate request form, then attach payment for the service along with a valid photo ID, and send the application to:

 

Office of Vital Statistics and Registry
New Jersey Department of Health
P.O. Box 370
Trenton, NJ

 

Note that divorce records in New Jersey may also be obtained from the office of the court clerk of the court where the divorce was finalized. 


New Jersey Criminal Records


People charged with committing criminal offenses in the state of New Jersey have criminal records linked to them. 

 

These records detail their interactions with law enforcement agencies in the state, and members of the public may access these records. 

 

New Jersey criminal records are typically maintained and disseminated by the New Jersey State Police. 


How to Access New Jersey Criminal Records


A variety of agencies and departments maintain criminal records in the state of New Jersey. 

 

In other words, correctional facilities in the state, courts, and both municipal and state law enforcement agencies maintain and disseminate criminal records in New Jersey.

 

Interested parties may obtain New Jersey criminal records by submitting a request at the office of the custodian of the criminal record. 


New Jersey Court Records


New Jersey court records are accessible to members of the public on request. 

 

Having said that, some court records, particularly those relating to victims of child sexual abuse, may be withheld from public scrutiny. 

a gavel next to handcuffs lying on a piece of paper


How to Obtain New Jersey Court Records


Court records in New Jersey may be obtained online or by making an in-person request at the courthouse in charge of maintaining the record.

 

Interested individuals may check the New Jersey Court Records website for access to electronic court records as well as the contact information for all the courts domiciled in New Jersey. 

 

The latter is particularly useful if the requested record is not available online and the requester needs to make their request in person at the courthouse that maintains the record. 


New Jersey Inmate Records


New Jersey inmate records provide identifying information relating to offenders incarcerated in correctional institutions in the state as well as information about their incarceration status. 

 

These records are also accessible to members of the public. 


How to Find New Jersey Inmate Records


Inmate records in New Jersey can be accessed by visiting the website of the state's Department of Corrections. 

 

The DOC offers an online inmate search tool. Requesters must provide the inmate's name and identification number to perform an online inmate search.

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