State Records Committee Appeal 96-03
MICHAEL BRIAN WHITEMAN vs.
UTAH DEPT. OF CORRECTIONS
DECISION AND ORDER, Case No 96-3
By this appeal Michael B. Whiteman seeks an order compelling the Department of Corrections to give him a copy of the IR1 form that is in his file regarding a certain disciplinary matter. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties, and having heard the oral argument and testimony of the parties on June 18, 1996, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) specifies that "all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(2) (1992).
2. GRAMA also provides that records that are properly classified as "protected" are not public. Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 201(3) (1992).
3. The Department has classified completed IR1 forms as "protected" until after the disciplinary hearing and bases its denial on that classification. Therefore, the primary question before us is whether that classification is proper.
4. The Department bases its classification on Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(8)(b) & (e) which allows records kept for disciplinary purposes to be classified as protected if release reasonably could be expected to interfere with disciplinary proceedings or to disclose investigative techniques, procedures, policies, or orders not generally known outside of government.
5. The Department also relies on Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 304(11) which allows records to be classified as protected that, if disclosed, "would jeopardize the security or safety of a correctional facility" or that "would interfere with the control and supervision of an offender's incarceration, treatment, probation, or parole".
6. After considering all of the evidence we find that the Department's classification is justified and is consistent with GRAMA.
THEREFORE IT IS ORDERED THAT the decision of the Department of Corrections is sustained and the appeal is denied.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404 this Decision and Order may be appealed to the 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. 63-2-404 (1992). 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 20th day of June, 1996.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE,
MAX J. EVANS, Chairman