Most New Jersey towns and municipalities require you to register and/or license your dog. It's a way for them to track animals living in a town in case there is an incident and to make sure pets are vaccinated against rabies.

However, licensing your dog could also open you up to junk mail, spam, and robocalls from companies that want to sell you products and services for your dog. And there is nothing you can do about it.

The New Jersey State Supreme Court has ruled that the names and addresses of people who have been given a dog license are a public record and can be obtained through New Jersey's Open Public Records Act (OPRA).

In a 5-2 decision, the court held that: "Owning a dog is a substantial public endeavor in which people do not have a reasonable expectation of privacy that exempts their personal information from disclosure under the privacy clause of OPRA."

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The case was brought by Ernest Bozzi. Bozzi runs a business out of Burlington County and has sought license records in several NJ towns in order to try and sell dog owners an invisible fence. Multiple towns have tried to block his requests, but judges have generally sided with Bozzi. This case involved Jersey City's refusal to provide information to Bozzi through an OPRA request.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Fabiana Pierre-Louis stresses dog owners would have a reasonable presumption that the personal information they provided to Jersey City for the purpose of obtaining a dog license would remain private. In Justice Pierre-Louis’s view, "that reasonable expectation of privacy should recognize every citizens right not to have each and every piece of information provided to the government divulged for reasons that do not further the purpose of OPRA," which she noted was designed to provide transparency about government operations.

Businesses obtaining your personal information through OPRA requests is nothing new, but a growing number of towns have been trying to push back on such requests. Business owners have generally been successful in challenging a town's rejection of their request.

Bozzi's lawyer was unapologetic for seeking the information, saying his client was within the law to seek information the government collects. Attorney Donald M. Doherty, Jr, told his client is not the bad guy, the government is. "The limits," Doherty said, "should be placed on what the government collects."

LOOK: Here are the pets banned in each state

Because the regulation of exotic animals is left to states, some organizations, including The Humane Society of the United States, advocate for federal, standardized legislation that would ban owning large cats, bears, primates, and large poisonous snakes as pets.

Read on to see which pets are banned in your home state, as well as across the nation.

The best outdoor beer gardens at NJ breweries

There are more options than ever for enjoying a Garden State crafted beer in an outdoor setting.

New Jersey tied for first place (with Kentucky) with 43% growth in the craft beer scene from 2015 to 2019, according to C+R Research.

The following is a roundup of breweries around the state with scenic, dedicated outdoor seating as weather allows.

25 True Crime Locations: What Do They Look Like Today?

Below, find out where 25 of the most infamous crimes in history took place — and what the locations are used for today. (If they've been left standing.)

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