State Records Committee Appeal 2006-07
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
DEBORAH LANGDON, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 06-07
By this appeal, Deborah Langdon seeks access to records of the Department of Human Services, specifically fatality review reports. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on September, 2006, 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 of Human Services denied Ms. Langdon the records she seeks on
the grounds that the fatality review records are protected.
2. The Committee is persuaded that disclosure of the information requested, specifically the fatality review records, are incorrectly classified as Protected and should be classified as Private under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-302(1)(b) with a secondary classification of Protected for analytical and systemic portions of the record protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9). The Committee is further persuaded that the fatality review report should be redacted as to the analysis and systemic issues contained in the report protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9). Access to the remainder of the fatality report should be granted to the petitioner.
3. The Utah Department of Human Services has therefore improperly classified the fatality review records in question as protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(27).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Deborah Langdon is confirmed. Access to said fatality review report is granted to the Petitioner with the analysis and systemic issues protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-304(9), and initial referent identifying information as specified in Utah Code Ann 62A-4a-412(3), having been redacted.
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 21st day of September, 2006.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Patricia Smith Mansfield, Chairperson
State Records Committee