State Records Committee Appeal 03-08
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
RICARDO RODRIGUEZ, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH BOARD OF PARDONS AND PAROLE, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 03-08
By this appeal, inmate Ricardo Rodriguez seeks access to documents used by the Board of Pardons and Parole (the "Board") in his recent re-determination hearing. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on June 18, 2003, 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. Rodriguez the records he seeks on the grounds that said records of the Board are protected.
2. The Committee is persuaded that the subject records ". . . would reveal recommendations made to the Board of Pardons and Parole by an employee of, or contractor for the Department of Corrections, the Board of Pardons and Parole, or the Department of Human Services that are based on the employee's or contractor's supervision, diagnosis, or treatment of any person within the board's jurisdiction." Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(13).
3. In reaching this conclusion, the Committee acknowledges two decisions of the Utah Supreme Court, Labrum v. Board of Pardons, 870 P.2d 902 (Utah 1993) and Neel v. Holden, 886 P.2d 1097 (Utah 1994), which address the issue of disclosure of Board files prior to certain kinds of parole hearings. In the instant case, the court finds these decisions inapplicable because the Board's review of Mr. Rodriguez' rehearing date was not fixing or extending a release date. The Board has therefore properly classified the records in question as "protected" under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(13).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Rodriguez is denied. The Board'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 20th day of June, 2003.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Robert Woodhead, Chairman
State Records Committee