Your right to know

OPRAmachine is an online platform that allows individuals to submit & browse requests for public records made under the New Jersey Open Public Records Act.

Since October, 2017, OPRAmachine has seen:
  • 1737 public records requests
  • 1357 followup messages sent
  • 198 registered users
  • 781 public bodies
  • 80 annotations added to requests
  • 147 tracked requests

Out of state residents can file OPRA requests, NJ Court Rules

Individuals who are not residents of New Jersey can file legally valid OPRA requests, a state appellate court ruled. The court ruling was issued by the Appellate Division of the New Jersey Superior Court in an OPRA lawsuit brought by open government activist Harry Scheeler, who formerly lived in Atlantic County before moving out of state. This is good news for our international and out-of-state users of OPRAmachine, who have made use of our platform to obtain public information from New Jersey state and local government agencies. [Read More]

How an OPRAmachine user is investigating Martin Luther King's ties to New Jersey

Patrick Duff, an OPRAmachine user recently spoke with us to highlight how he is using our platform to conduct public records research regarding the historical significance of South Jersey properties tied to the late civil rights activist Martin Luther King. He also informed us about how one of his public records requests led to a lawsuit against a city government in state Superior Court. Our conversation centered on the Open Public Records Act (OPRA), transparency & open government issues centered on my work with public records and how the three of us have made use of my OPRAmachine platform. [Read More]

Talking about OPRAmachine's impact on WLFR radio

On April 5th, 2018 I had the distinct pleasure of joining Bill Watt, the host of WLFR 91.7 FM’s “Watt’s the Move” to talk about my work with OPRAmachine and open government matters in New Jersey. A video of the segment of the show where we dicussed my work with OPRAmachine and its impact can be viewed here. (function(d, s, id) { var js, fjs = d.getElementsByTagName(s)[0]; if (d.getElementById(id)) return; js = d. [Read More]

Combating spam responses to OPRA requests

Recently, multiple users have brought it to our attention that they have been receiving spam links to viruses or questionable websites in response to their OPRA requests. Today, we have taken action to combat the recent rise in spam that has been impacting our users and cluttering request pages. OPRAmachine has increased our capabilities for dealing with spam, and going forward, spam messages that are flagged by our system will be held back before going out to users and being published to request pages. [Read More]

Four months later, OPRAmachine is making an impact

Today marks four months since OPRAmachine was officially launched and made accessible to the general public. Since then, it has been breaking down barriers for access to public information in New Jersey and helping to educate the public about OPRA. Our October 24th, 2017 the launch came after several months worth of technical preparation and trial & error as we learned to work with the open source Alavetelisoftware that powers our backend server as well as the technical challenges of managing the various components of the web service. [Read More]

OPRA litigation update

Some requests filed by users of OPRAmachine have resulted in litigation against public agencies for their denial of requests. All of these lawsuits have been filed after requests were originally sent out through our platform. Here are some notable cases of interest: Rozzi v. Office of the Attorney General We have encountered heavy resistance from the state attorney general’s office, as the office has refused to provide emailed responses to OPRA requests submitted by our system. [Read More]

Downloadable database of OPRA requests now available

We are making available a downloadable database of all OPRA requests filed through OPRAmachine for analysis and research purposes. The database will include an index of all OPRA requests filed through OPRAmachine, as well as the current state of each request. We hope this database will be a valuable research tool for those studying OPRA and state & local government in New Jersey. The database can be obtained in SQLite or CSV format, in addition to being able to be accessed over the morph. [Read More]

New & Improved OPRAmachine Documentation Now Available

Today, OPRAmachine announces the launch of our new documentation website, docs.opramachine.com. Our new documentation website is designed to be a centralized hub for answers to some of the frequently asked questions received by the site administration about how the site works. The new documentation website will include request templates, guides on how to use the site’s functionality, as well as specific guides for requesters and custodians of records making use of OPRAmachine. [Read More]