Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 04-03

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

WILLIAM JACOB, Petitioner, vs.
AMERICAN FORK CITY, Respondent.

DECISION AND ORDER

Case No. 04-03

By this appeal, William Jacob seeks access to "records of any investigation conducted by the mayor and/or any member of the city council concerning the qualifications of any candidate" and "any final opinions and interpretations by the city attorney, mayor and city administrator to advise [Thomas H.] Hunter that he was qualified as a candidate to seek and hold office." 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). "Record" does not mean temporary drafts or similar materials prepared for the originator's personal use or prepared by the originator for the personal use of an individual for whom he is working. Utah Code Ann. 63-2-103(19)(b)(i).

2. As noted above, Mr. Jacob requested records concerning any investigation into the qualifications of any candidate for the office of city council, including any written opinions concerning that subject. The City responded that after a diligent search, it provided all responsive documents it had. Mr. Jacobs argued, but provided no evidence, that additional documents did exist and contended that "memory" is a record under GRAMA and should be disclosed.

3. The Committee finds that Mr. Jacob has presented no evidence that any additional records exist, that the City performed a diligent search, and that general, unrecorded "memory" is not a record as defined by GRAMA. See Utah Code Ann. 63-2-103(19).

ORDER

THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Jacob is denied. The Committee finds that the City has appropriately and fully responded to Mr. Jacob's request.

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 (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.

Entered this 23rd day of February, 2004.

BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE

Patricia Smith-Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee