Deliberative Privilege Off Limits in Government Contract Lawsuit
by Sheri Siegelbaum on June 8, 2012
The Appellate Division’s recent decision in a breach-of-contract case involving the State of New Jersey will greatly influence the government’s ability to shield documents from the courtroom. The court determined that the deliberative process privilege did not apply to documents that were directly related to the lawsuit.
Correctional Medical Services v. State of New Jersey involved a $168 million contract between the State of New Jersey and Correctional Medical Services, which was retained to provide medical and dental services at the state’s prisons. The state attempted to avoid $3.6 million in contract payments after audits by the Office of Inspector General (OIG) revealed performance issues.
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