State Records Committee Appeal 02-06
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
MR. POOPER SCOOPER, INC.,Appellant, vs.
MURRAY CITY and SANDY CITY, Appellees.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 02-06
By this appeal, Tom Broome, President of Mr. Pooper Scooper, Inc., challenges Murray City and Sandy City's denial of access to the home addresses of licensed dog owners.(1) The cases were consolidated pursuant to the stipulation of the parties. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on May 8, 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. As noted above, appellant sought the addresses of registered dog owners.
2. Both cities denied access to the records sought on the grounds that disclosure would constitute a "clearly unwarranted invasion of personal personal privacy" in violation of Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(2)(d). This provision states that "[t]he following records are private if properly classified by a governmental entity: . . . records containing data on individuals the disclosure of which constitutes a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. . . ."
3. The Committee heard testimony that ordinances in both cities require that dogs be licensed, that owners provide their home address for enforcement purposes and that failure to comply with the licensing requirement may subject a dog owner to criminal penalties. Mr. Broome explained that several local governments currently classify these records as public and provide him with thousands of addresses on a regular basis (upon his written request and payment of applicable fees).
4. After carefully considering arguments from both parties, testimony from interested citizens, local government officials and a state legislator, the Committee is persuaded that disclosure of the information requested would constitute a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy. Therefore, Murray City and Sandy City have properly classified the records in question as "private" under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(2)(d).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal is denied. Murray City and Sandy City's determinations 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.(2)
Entered this 13th day of May, 2002.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Cherie Willis, Chairperson
State Records Committee
1. Mr. Broome did not request access to the names of licensed dog owners or any other information maintained by Appellees about the owners or their dogs.
2. This notice is required by Utah Code Ann. Sec. 63-2-403(12)(d).