State Records Committee Appeal 02-02
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
ROBERT RICE, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 02-02
By this appeal, inmate Robert Rice seeks access to records to various prison policies and procedures concerning inmate and visitor management and security, including searches and involuntary medical treatment.
The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on January 9, 2002, 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). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304. The Department denied Mr. Rice the records he seeks on the grounds that said polices and procedures are protected.
2. The Committee is persuaded that disclosure of the information requested would "jeopardize the life or safety of an individual," "would jeopardize the security or safety of a correctional facility" or are otherwise "records relating to incarceration [or] treatment ... that would interfere with the control and supervision of an offender's incarceration [or] treatment." See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(10) and (12).
3. The Utah Department of Corrections has therefore properly classified the records in question as "protected" under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(10) and (12).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Rice is denied. The Department's determination regarding the classification of these records is affirmed.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (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 Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404. 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 14th day of January, 2002.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Cherie Willis, Chairperson
State Records Committee