State Records Committee Appeal 2007-15
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
SCOTT CLARK, Apellant, vs.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, Appellee.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 07-15
Scott H. and Mary Beth Clark, by their attorney, Stephen C. Tingey, of Ray, Quinney & Nebeker, have sought to have the State Records Committee determine whether the requested "foster care and child protection service files relating to abuse or maltreatment of Chris (Zachary) prior to his placement for adoption by Mr. And Mrs. Clark, including medical records" exist, ostensibly in the custody of the Department of Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services (in any form, including electronic records), or indeed if any such records are in the physical care and custody of the Department of Human Services (DHS), Division of Child and Family Services (DCFS). The Clarks further seek a determination that if all such records are in the custody of the Clerk of the Court of the Third Judicial District Court, whether the DCFS consent that the Clarks may obtain copies of such information as may exist. The Clarks request the Committee compel DCFS to fully comply with the original GRAMA request and provide the Clarks with redacted copies of such records if any records remained in the custody of DCFS. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on October 11, 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 committee recognizes the Department of Human Services, Division of Child and Family Services has classified the requested data as private and controlled in accordance to GRAMA, Utah Code Ann. 63-2-202 by their statements.
2. The Committee finds DCFS has completed an exhaustive in-house and archive search, and the search did not yield any records for Chris (Zachary). The search of computerized or electronic records would not yield any records as the age of these records (being over ten years) predates the computerized system for abuse and neglect records.
3. The Committee accepts the assumption of both parties that DCFS complied with the December 18, 1995, Decree of Adoption regarding Chris (Zachary), and the subsequent motion and stipulation by the Clarks (filed on April 15, 1996) which ordered all of the records, including the adoption records of Chris (Zachary) transferred to the court and sealed.
4. Therefore, the DCFS no longer maintains these records, and they are a part of the Courts records.
5. The Clarks have represented and agreed that they will approach the District Court regarding unsealing the records in question and providing them to the Clarks.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Scott H. Clark v. Division of Child and Family Services is dismissed.
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 18th day of October, 2007.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Chairperson Pro Tem
State Records Committee