State Records Committee Appeal 2008-09
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
MARK HAIK, Petitioner, vs.
TOWN OF ALTA, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 08-09
By this appeal, Mark Haik seeks access to records of the Town of Alta with regard to records contained in a binder issued to and used by members of the Planning and Zoning Commission in an open meeting held on February 29, 2008. The State Records Committee, having reviewed the materials submitted by the parties, and having heard oral argument and testimony on May 8, 2008, 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. 63G-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either "private," "protected," or "controlled." See Utah Code Ann. 63G-2-302, -303 and -304. The Town of Alta denied Mr. Haik the records he seeks on the grounds that said documents are privileged as they are attorney client and/or attorney work product. The Town of Alta further denied Mr. Haik the records he seeks on the grounds the documents are not records, but drafts per Utah Code Ann 63G-2-103(b)(ii); 63G-2-203 and -305.
2. Based on the manner in which the binders were distributed and left on tables accessible to the public and the description of the free and open use made by members of the Planning and Zoning Commission of the materials in the binders during a public meeting, a majority of the Committee is persuaded that the records Mr. Haik seeks are improperly classified as "protected" per Utah Code Ann 63G-2-305(17)(18) and (22). The Committee is further persuaded the documents should be properly classified as public per Utah Code Ann 63G-2-201(2).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Mark Haik is affirmed. The Records sought by Mr. Haik are to be released per Utah Code Ann 63G-2-201.
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. 63G-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 May, 2008.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Scott Whittaker, Chair pro tem
State Records Committee