Records Access Case Law
Utah Court of Appeals
The court found that GRAMA balances the public’s right to access against “the government’s interest in operating free from unreasonable and burdensome records requests.” When a request requires a government to collect and assemble numerous documents from various sources and put those documents in order, the government is entitled to charge a fee to “compile a record in a form other than that normally maintained by the government entity” (63G-2-203(2)). The government has the burden to show that fees are reasonable. The court found the $20 per hour fee charged was reasonable. Citation: 979 P.2d 363 (Utah App. 1999).
The defendant maintained that during the discovery phase of her criminal prosecution, the prosecutor should have given her access to records regarding the Internal Affairs’ investigation and the prosecutor should have recovered those documents from the police department pursuant to GRAMA. The court held that such disclosure is not the prosecutor’s responsibility under the rules governing criminal discovery. Citation: 21 P.3d 675 (Utah App. 2001).
Barbara Schwarz appeals a July 11, 2001 [and September 22, 2004?] order, which granted the motions to dismiss filed by the state of Utah, State Records Committee, and its Executive Secretary, and Dept. of Human Services. The court dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction because it was not taken from a final appeal-able judgment. Citations: 2002 UT App 33, and 2004 UT App 342.
UT Dept. of Public Safety, Driver License Division v. Robot Aided Manufacturing Center, Inc. dba Explore Information Services; and State Records Committee
Explore appealed to the State Records Committee and was granted continued access to the driving record information. The District Court determined that denial of access to the requested information was proper and lawful and the Division “need not provide such information as requested.” The Appeals Court follows that the District Court’s judgment validating the Division’s position and rejecting that the State Records Committee is correct. SRC Ruling upheld. Citation: 2005 UT App 199.
The District Court determined that no genuine issue of fact existed regarding whether the Department or the Committee had provided Khan with all documents responsive to his GRAMA request. In responding to a GRAMA request, a governmental entity “is not required to …create a record.” The court upheld the Committee’s ruling. Citation: 2008 UT App 76.
Jackson alleged that the State violated his federal constitutional rights under the Seventh Amendment and his state constitutional rights under article I, section 9 by denying his GRAMA request for a nurse’s home address. Court ruled against his appeal. Citation: 2008 UT App 151.
Appellant Khan appealed a summary judgment granted on de novo review of the Ogden City Records Review Board’s decision on his request under GRAMA. The District Court determined that no genuine issue of fact existed regarding whether Ogden City and its police department provided Khan with all documents in its possession responsive to his GRAMA request. Citation: 2008 UT App 19.
Maese appealed for entitlement to reasonable attorney fees and costs under GRAMA, the Court ruled only costs appear to be awardable. Citation: 2011 UT App 73.
A GRAMA request was submitted in 2009 to the Tooele County Recorder requesting a copy of the county’s “property transaction database, in the electronic format that Tooele keeps it, in its entirety.” The trial court properly ruled on Tooele County’s motion for summary judgment because no material questions of fact existed. Tooele County did not have to provide Maese with an electronic copy of the database or a twenty-year transaction report because doing so would require it to “create a record” and “compile” information in a “format” that it did “not currently maintain." 3rd District Court. Citation: 2012 UT App 49.
Maese alleged that “the Davis County property transaction database is [itself] a public record . . . that Davis County failed to give him a copy of” after he submitted a Government Records Access Management Act (GRAMA) request. GRAMA does not require Davis County to compile a twenty‐year transaction report, nor did it require Davis County to provide Maese with an electronic copy of the entire property records database. Rather, Davis County satisfied its obligations under GRAMA when it informed Maese that he could access and copy the requested records through its Redi‐Web system and at the Recorder’s Office, and explained to Maese how to do so. Citation: 2012 UT App 48.
Williams submitted a GRAMA request to UDC and the UDC stated it did not possess the documents responsive to the request. William’s appealed the response to the State Records Committee (SRC Decision Case No. 11-11) and the SRC denied William’s appeal without a hearing on the ground that there was not sufficient evidence that the records Williams sought existed. The Appeals Court upheld the District Court’s order of dismissal. Citation: 2011 UT App 280.
Packer filed several motions in the district court pertaining to a criminal investigation in which he was the complaining witness. The district court dismissed Packer's motions for lack of standing, and Packer appealed. The appeals court agreed with the district court that Packer lacked standing, and the appeal was dismissed. Citation: 2013 UT App 194.
Haik argued that the District Court lacked jurisdiction and that the it erroneously concluded that the records he requested from the City were protected under GRAMA. The Appeals Court upheld the district court’s ruling and further stated it properly exercised jurisdiction over the City’s petition for judicial review of the City’s Board decision. The district court did not err in granting summary judgment to the City because the withheld records are protected under GRAMA. The Records Committee was not involved in this case. Citation: 2014 UT App 193.
The father of student, who was involved in altercation with other students outside of classroom filed complaint seeking to compel the school district to produce a copy of the surveillance video. This case cites FERPA and GRAMA. Citation: 2015 UT App 131.
Appellant appeals the district court's dismissing his petition for judical review of the State Records Committee decision that the notice of appeal was untimely filed with the executive secretary. The ruling determined based on untimely notice of appeal, the Records Committee lacked jurisdiction to review the merits of his appeal.
This case demonstrated the application of the Schroeder decision regarding records from the Salt Lake City Prosecutor’s office. The court balanced the city’s interest in keeping prosecutorial decisions confidential against the public interest and found that GRAMA protects the records from becoming public.
Page Last Updated December 27, 2021 .