Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 1995-01

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

CLIFTON W. PANOS, Appellant, v.

UTAH STATE TAX COMMISSION, Appellee

DECISION AND ORDER, Case No. 95-01

Appellant Clifton W. Panos seeks an order reversing Appellee's denial of Appellant's request for access to certain records that are held by Appellee. The records in question are filings in the case before Appellant Commission, identified as Appeal # 94-1317, World-Wide Men's Missionary Fellowship, petitioner -- Salt Lake County Board of Equalization, respondent. Appellant acknowledged in his written appeal that in actuality he had access to all filings in the case already through the Salt Lake County Board of Equalization, but in oral argument he stated he needed the records from the Commission in order to have them certified. Appellant also stated in his written appeal that he "would ask the Records Committee to rule on who is the proper classifying agency," arguing that it should be the Commission since most of the records in the case originate with the parties to the case. He further argued that the "Commission cannot refuse to disclose ... its tax law decisions."

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

The Appeal is heard under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-502(c) and is granted with regard to obtaining access to the filings in the identified Case #94-1317, within lawful limitations. Though Appellee has properly classified the records series as "protected," Appellant is entitled to such portion of those records as are found, upon segregation under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-307, not to be "protected" or otherwise legally insulated from access. Appellee should search, segregate and provide access to such records in the case as are not "protected" or otherwise legally insulated from access, but should also withhold access to any of such records that are "protected" or otherwise inaccessible under Utah law. In determining whether an individual record is "protected," or otherwise inaccessible, Appellee should consider the following provisions of law, as well as any others that may require denial of access: Utah Code Ann. 59-1-403, 63-2-302(2)(b), 63-2-304(8)(b), 63-2-304(13), 63-2-304(33), and Utah Admin. R. 861-1A-12(D) (1984).

By implication, this ruling determines that the Commission has the duty to classify records it uses and creates. See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-306. Also, it appears that Appellee already and in the absence of this Order makes public its tax law decisions.

ORDER

WHEREFORE, it is ordered that Appellant's appeal from the denial of his request for access to the indicated records is granted with the limitations indicated.

RIGHT OF APPEAL

Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than 30 days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-402 and 63-2-502(7). The Court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.

Entered this 26th day of January, 1995.

MAX J. EVANS,
Chair State Records Committee.