State Records Committee Appeal 04-05
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
PAUL PAYNE, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 04-05
By this appeal, inmate Paul Payne seeks access to the Department of Corrections (UDC) employee list/personnel roster. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on June 17, 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. Section 63-2-201(2) (2000). Records that are not public are designated as either private, protected, or controlled. Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302, -303 and -304.
2. UDC denied Mr. Paynes request on the basis that the employee roster was protected under the provisions of Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(10) and -(12). Mr. Payne contends, among other things, that the information is public pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-301(1)(b).
3. The Committee finds that UDC properly denied access to the roster. The Committee heard testimony that an employee roster found in another inmates cell was connected to threatened violence against UDC employees and their families. UDC also presented evidence that strongly indicates some members of UDC staff have been targeted for a hit. UDC maintained that introduc[ing] an employee roster into a correctional facility would . . . supply inmates with . . . intelligence . . . they could use to target more staff members and/or their families.
4. Based on this evidence, the Committee concludes that the disclosure of these records would jeopardize the life or safety of an individual and the security or safety of a correctional facility. Therefore, the roster is properly classified as protected in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(10) and -(12).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mr. Payne for the employee roster 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. 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 18th day of June, 2004.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Patricia Smith-Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee