State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2017-23
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
PATRICK SULLIVAN, Petitioner, v.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 17-23
By this appeal, Petitioner, Patrick Sullivan, seeks access to records held by Respondent, the Utah Department of Corrections (“Corrections”).
On a form dated April 9, 2017, and received by Corrections on April 21, 2017, Mr. Sullivan requested records from Corrections pursuant to the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Sullivan requested “[d]etailed receipts, invoices, purchase orders, work orders for new security cameras” installed at the Utah State Prison located in Draper, Utah. In a letter dated April 21, 2017, a records officer for Corrections informed Mr. Sullivan that his request was being rejected because he still had outstanding charges from previous records requests. Mr. Sullivan filed an appeal with Corrections’ Deputy Director, Mike Haddon, who in a letter dated May 11, 2017, denied the records request finding that “the records you seek…are exempt from GRAMA” pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-106.
Mr. Sullivan filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”) regarding Corrections’ denial of his records request May 24, 2017. After considering all arguments by the parties and reviewing the written materials, the Committee now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. The records of a governmental entity or political subdivision regarding security measures designed for the protection of persons or property, public or private, are not subject to GRAMA. Utah Code § 63G-2-106.
2. After considering the arguments of the parties, the Committee finds that the requested records are records regarding security measures designed for the protection of persons or property. Therefore pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-106, the Committee also finds that the requested records are not subject to GRAMA. Accordingly, the Committee does not have jurisdiction to order Corrections to the release of the records to Mr. Sullivan.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Patrick Sullivan, is DENIED.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
A party to a proceeding before the Committee may seek judicial review in District Court of a Committee's Order by filing a petition for review of the Committee Order as provided in Utah Code § 63G-2-404. Utah Code § 63G-2-403(14). A petition for judicial review of a Committee Order "shall be filed no later than 30 days" after the date of the Committee Order. Utah Code § 63G-2-404(1)(a). The petition for judicial review must be a complaint which is governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure, and include the Committee as a necessary party and contain the required information listed in Subsection -404(2). Utah Code § 63G-2-404(1) & (2). The court shall make its decision de novo, but shall allow introduction of evidence presented to the Committee, determine all questions of fact and law without a jury, and decide the issue at the earliest practical opportunity. Utah Code § 63G-2-404(6). In order to protect a parties’ rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-403(15)(c), if the Committee orders the governmental entity to produce a record and no appeal is filed, the government entity herein shall comply with the order of the Committee and shall: (1) Produce the record; and (2) File a notice of compliance with the Committee. If the governmental entity ordered to produce a record fails to file a notice of compliance or a notice of intent to appeal, the Committee may do either or both of the following: (1) Impose a civil penalty of up to $500 for each day of continuing noncompliance; or (2) 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. Utah Code § 63G-2-403(15)(d)(i). In imposing a civil penalty, the Committee shall consider the gravity and circumstances of the violation, including whether the failure to comply was due to neglect or was willful or intentional. Utah Code § 63G-2-403(15)(d)(ii).
Entered this 25th day of July 2017.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
HOLLY RICHARDSON, Chairperson pro tem
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated July 25, 2017 .