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State of New Jersey
Executive Order #48

Governor Richard J. Hughes

WHEREAS, Certain persons have suggested that investigative files in the possession of the New Jersey State Police should be made available for inspection contrary to long-standing and well established policy against such inspection; and

WHEREAS, Recognition of the necessity for the protection of such files in the public interest is clearly established, having, inter alia, been set forth in Supreme Court Rule R.R. 3:5-11 (i), in view of the following objectives:

"protection of witnesses and others from physical harm, threats of harm, bribes, economic reprisals and other intimidation; maintenance of such secrecy regarding informants as is required for effective investigation of criminal activity; protection of confidential relationships and privileges recognized by law; and other relevant considerations";

WHEREAS, I also deem it to be contrary to the public interest to permit an indiscriminate searching of these investigative files due to the probable adverse effect that such disclosure would have upon successful criminal prosecutions; because of the potential threat to the lives and physical well-being of witnesses, informants and undercover agents whose names are likely to appear in such investigative files; and further, because of the disastrous effect which such action would have on the cooperative information-sharing arrangements among law enforcement agencies, including the Federal Bureau of Investigation;

Now, THEREFORE, I, RICHARD J. HUGHES, Governor of the State of New Jersey, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and laws of the State of New Jersey, do hereby issue the following Executive Ord

  1. No person having custody of State Police investigative files shall turn over the same to any other person who is not a member of a duly recognized law enforcement agency unless ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction or by the Governor of the State of New Jersey.
  2. No person shall divulge the contents of those files to any other person who is not a member of a duly recognized law enforcement agency unless ordered to do so by a court of competent jurisdiction or by the Governor of the State of New Jersey, where the release of such information is likely to subject witnesses or other persons to physical harm, threats of harm, bribes, economic reprisals and other intimidation. No information shall be divulged where the maintenance of secrecy regarding informants is required for effective investigation of criminal activity or the protection of confidential relationships and privileges recognized by law.

Given, under my hand and seal this 18th day of December, in the year of Our Lord, one thousand nine hundred and sixty-eight, and of the Independence of the United States, the one hundredth and ninety-third.

/s/ RICHARD J. HUGHES,
Governor.

Attest:
Alan J. Karcher,
Acting Secretary to the Governor.

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