Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 02-10

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

MARK POWELL, Petitioner, vs.

LEHI CITY, Respondent.

Case No. 02-10

DECISION AND ORDER

By this appeal, Mark Powell seeks access to "any and all visual and/or audio records of my visit to the Lehi library 23 Aug 02, including but not limited to my interactions with staff." The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on November 13, 2002, now issues the following Decision and Order.

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

1. Lehi City, represented at the hearing by attorney Kenneth Rushton, stated that the video records sought by Mr. Powell do not exist. The surveillance equipment used to create video recordings of activities in the library apparently malfunctioned on the day in question and any video recordings that may have existed were not retained. Therefore, Mr. Powell's request is denied.

2. The Committee expresses its concern regarding the handling of Mr. Powell's GRAMA request. Mr. Powell hand-delivered this document to Mr. Rushton, a private attorney who represented the City in the underlying dispute which led to this GRAMA request. Mr. Rushton did not provide a written response to Mr. Powell's request until the briefing schedule for this appeal was underway. The City's failure to timely respond had the effect of a denial under Utah Code Ann. Sec. 63-2-204(7). See also Utah Code Ann. Sec. 63-2-205. Mr. Rushton should have responded to Mr. Powell or referred him to the appropriate authority within the City, pursuant to Utah Code Ann. Secs. 63-2-204(3)(a)(iii) and 63-2-701.(1) In any case, a clear and timely written response from the City could have saved all the parties substantial time and avoided the necessity of this appeal.

ORDER

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Powell is denied.

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 by Utah Code Ann. Sec. 63-2-404 (2001). 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 this18th day of November, 2002.

BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE

Cherie Willis, Chairperson
State Records Committee

FOOTNOTES

1. Mr. Rushton maintains that he verbally referred Mr. Powell to the City Recorder "some days later" after Mr. Powell called to inquire about the status of his request.

2. This notice is required by Utah Code Ann. Sec. 63-2-403(12)(d).