State Records Committee Appeal 2007-03
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
REGINALD WILLIAMS, Petitioner, vs.
UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL'S OFFICE, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 07-03
By this appeal, Williams seeks access to records of "the Martinez report U.S. District Court Case No. 201:CV 798-TC." As well as "any motions, briefs, replies, answers or defendant affidavits filed by the Attorney General regarding Greathouse v. Sibbett or Granquillhome v. the UT BD of Pardons and Paroles." The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on March 8, 2007, 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 Attorney General's Office denied Mr. Williams the records he seeks on the grounds that his appeal to the offices Chief Executive Officer was untimely.
2. The Committee is persuaded that it has jurisdiction to hear the immediate matter. The Committee is further persuaded that per Utah Code Ann. 63-2-401(b) the Attorney General's Office failed to state a specific date when the records would be available and therefore the 30 day time limit to appeal the assertion of extraordinary circumstances does not apply in this case.
3. The Committee is persuaded that the records sought by the petitioner are public records see Utah Code Ann 63-2-103(22)(a)(i). The Committee is persuaded that the Attorney General's Office either prepared, owned, received, or retained the records in question as defined by Utah Code Annotated 63-2-103(22)(a)(i). The Committee is persuaded that whether the records may be available from another source is not relevant to the duty of an agency to respond to a request for records. The Committee declines to set a specific time period for production of the documents, but directs the Attorney General's Office to respond to the request in a reasonable period of time.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Reginald Williams is granted. The Attorney General's Office is to provide Petitioner the records he seeks in as timely a manner as possible given the extraordinary circumstances in locating said records.
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 15th day of March, 2007.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
CARL ALBRECHT, Chairperson
State Records Committee