For the second time in less than a month, a New Jersey appeals court has ruled that the Middlesex County Prosecutor’s Office is on the hook for counsel fees in an Open Public Records Act case in connection with the fatal police shooting of a suicidal elderly man, Talbot Schroeder.

The two-judge Appellate Division panel on Tuesday ruled that plaintiffs Richard Rivera and Colleen Wronko should be awarded $21,737. Counsel fees “will be disturbed only on the rarest of occasions and then only because of a clear abuse of discretion,” said Appellate Division Judges Susan Reisner and Robert Gilson, quoting an appeals court ruling from 2007, McGowan v. O’Rourke.

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