State Records Committee Appeal 04-02
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
BRIAN K. STACK, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 04-02
By this appeal, inmate Brian K. Stack seeks access to certain Offender Management Review Committee (OMR) results concerning "prisoners referred to OMR for 'signing' or communicating with [women prisoners]." The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on February 19, 2004, 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). GRAMA also provides that records that are "private" or "protected" are not public. Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201(3).
2. Corrections was correct in classifying the OMR results as private under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(2)(d) and protected under 63-2-304(10) and (12). Therefore, Mr. Stack's appeal is denied.
3. The OMR process relies on inmate candidness. The Committee is persuaded that disclosure of the records would impair this candidness and the effectiveness of the process. The Committee heard evidence that these records, if disclosed, could lead to more violence and security concerns at the prison. For example, some inmates might retaliate against persons making OMR complaints. Even with names and other identifying information redacted, there is a high likelihood that inmates would be able to identify the person making the complaint.
WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT Petitioner's appeal is denied and the Department of Corrections' classification decision 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 by 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 23rd day of February, 2004.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Patricia Smith-Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee