State Records Committee Appeal 07-10
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. 07-10
By this appeal, Mr. Williams seeks a waiver of the fees assessed by the Utah Attorney General's Office for providing certain records. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on July 26, 2007, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
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.
A governmental entity may charge a reasonable fee to cover the governmental entity's actual cost of providing a record Utah Code Ann. 63-2-203(1). The Office of the Attorney General charged petitioner a fee of $25.50, equating to a cost of .10 per page pursuant to Utah Code Ann Section 63-2-203(3).
The Attorney General's Office denied Mr. Williams's request that he be considered impecunious and that his legal rights are directly implicated by the information in the record, and that the Attorney general's Office provide the records without charge pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-203(4)(c).
The Committee is persuaded that the Utah Attorney General's Office may charge a reasonable fee to cover the actual cost of providing a record Utah Code Ann. 63-2-203(1).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Reginald Williams is denied. The Committee upholds the Utah Attorney General's Office's denial of a fee waiver to Mr. Williams as provided by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-203.
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.
Pursuant to Utah Code Ann. 63-2-403(14)(d), the government entity herein shall comply with the order of the Committee and, if records are ordered to be produced, file (i) a notice of compliance with the records committee upon production of the records; or (ii) a notice of intent to appeal. If the government entity fails to file a notice of compliance or a notice of intent to appeal, the Committee may do either or both of the following: (a) impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of continuing noncompliance; or (b) send written notice of the entity's noncompliance to the Governor for executive branch entities, to the Legislative Management Committee for legislative branch entities, and to the Judicial Council for judicial branch agencies entities.
Entered this 2nd day of August, 2007.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
CARL ALBRECHT, Chairperson
State Records Committee