How to Request Government Records

Three Easy Steps:

In order to make requesting public records as simple as possible, please follow these three easy steps. It is important that (1) you know what record you need, (2) where that specific record is maintained or located and (3) the request form is properly submitted.

  • State law requires that in order to request access to government records [under OPRA], you must complete all the required portions of and date this request form and deliver it in person during regular business hours or by mail or electronically to the appropriate custodian of the record requested.   Written requests which are not on the form must mention OPRA and contain the information required by OPRA.  Your request is not considered filed until the appropriate custodian of the record requested has received a completed request form. If you submit the request form to any other officer or employee of the Department of Health, that officer or employee does not have the authority to accept your request form on behalf of the Department of Health and you will be directed to the appropriate division custodian. Descriptions of the divisions and agencies of the Department of Health can be found at

  • If you 1) submit a request for access to government records to someone other than the appropriate custodian; or 2) do not complete the Department of Health request form; or 3) do not submit a written request that complies with OPRA; or 4) make a request for access by telephone or fax, the Open Public Records Act and its deadlines, restrictions and remedies will not apply to your request until you have complied with these requirements according to paragraph 1 above.

  • The fees for duplication of a government record in printed form are listed on the front of this form. We will notify you of any special charges, special service charges or other additional charges authorized by State law or regulation before processing your request. Payment shall be made by cash, check or money order payable to the State of New Jersey.

  • If it is necessary for the records custodian to contact you concerning your request, providing identifying information, such as your name, address and telephone number or an e-mail address is required. Where contact is not necessary, anonymous requests are permitted; except that anonymous requests for personal information are not honored.

  • Under OPRA, a custodian must deny access to a person who has been convicted of an indictable offense in New Jersey, any other state, or the United States, and who is seeking government records containing personal information pertaining to the person’s victim or the victim’s family.

  • By law, the Department of Health must notify you that it grants or denies a request for access to government records within seven business days after the custodian of the record requested receives the request, provided that the record is currently available and not in storage. If the record requested is not currently available or is in storage, the custodian will advise you within seven business days when the record can be made available and the estimated cost. You may agree with the custodian to extend the time for making records available, or granting or denying your request.

  • You may be denied access to a government record if your request would substantially disrupt agency operations and the custodian is unable to reach a reasonable solution with you.

  • If the Department of Health is unable to comply with your request for access to a government record, the custodian will indicate the reasons for denial on the request form and send you a signed and dated copy.

  • Except as otherwise provided by law or by agreement with the requester, if the custodian of the record requested fails to respond to you within seven business days of receiving a request form, the failure to respond will be considered a denial of your request.

  • If your request for access to a government record has been denied or unfilled within the time permitted by law, you have a right to challenge the decision by the Department of Health to deny access. At your option, you may either institute a proceeding in the Superior Court of New Jersey or file a complaint in writing with the Government Records Council (GRC). You may contact the GRC by toll-free telephone at 866-850-0511, by mail at PO Box 819, Trenton, NJ, 08625, by e-mail at, or at their web site at The Council can also answer other questions about the law.

  • Information provided on this form may be subject to disclosure under the Open Public Records Act.
Last Reviewed: 11/2/2016