State Records Committee Appeal 97-01
Gregory M. Bedard, Petitioner vs.
Utah Department of Corrections, Respondent
Case No. 97-01
Appellant, Gregory M. Bedard, an inmate at the Utah State Prison, seeks an order requiring Respondent to allow him to view and make notes from records consisting of all policies in the A and F manuals of Policies and Procedures of Respondent, or in the alternative to supply him copies of those documents free of charge based on his alleged pecuniosity.
Petitioner submitted request documents and a written request for hearing, and appeared personally at the hearing. Respondent was represented by Edward Kingsford, and presented documentation ahead of the hearing and testimony of prison official Jerry R. Pope and argument at the hearing. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties and having heard testimony and argument, now issues the following decision and order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
The appeal is granted with conditions. The request for records specifically excluded portions properly classifiable as "protected" and there is no question that the documents requested are of a type ordinarily accessible as public records. The difficulties in the case arise from the status of the requester as a maximum security inmate at the prison, safety and prison- control considerations and the Petitioner's alleged impecuniosity.
Because of the prison's proper need to maintain safety and maintain control of prisoners, access to the documents must be conditioned in this case. Also, provision of copies of the voluminous documents without charge presents a troublesome question of cost and precedent.
WHEREFORE, it is ordered that Petitioner's request for access to the requested records is granted, but that Petitioner's access is subject to conditions acceptable to Respondent that are properly based on Respondent's regular and lawful policies including those policies mandated by prison security.
RIGHT TO 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. 63-2-404 (Supp. 1995) and 63-2-502 (7) (Supp. 1995). The court is required to make its decision de novo.
In order to protect its rights of appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Entered this 22nd day of January, 1997.
MAX J. EVANS, Chair