SOMERVILLE, N.J. (AP) — The Gannett New Jersey newspaper chain has won the right to get a town's payroll data in the form it requested.

Superior Court Judge Yolanda Ciccone ruled in favor of the Courier News and its chain in its 2009 quest for data from the Somerset County borough of Raritan.

The newspaper asked for the information in a digital data file. But the town was only willing to provide it in a PDF file. To organize and make calculations from data in a PDF, someone would have to re-type it into a spreadsheet program.

But Judge Ciccone found that the data file is a public record and must be made available.


Information from: Courier News (Bridgewater, N.J.) ,