State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2018-18
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
LEONARD PLATT, Petitioner, v.
UTAH ATTORNEY GENERAL’S OFFICE, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 18-18
By this appeal, Petitioner, Leonard Platt seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, the Utah Attorney General’s Office.
On or about January 29, 2018, Petitioner made a records request to the Utah Attorney General’s Office ("Respondent"), pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Petitioner requested, “[a]ny and all records pertaining to the investigation of all allegations of criminal conduct committed by Chad Lester Platt from January 1, 2012 to May 9, 2016.”
Respondent stated that the records were protected because they were related to an ongoing investigation and denied the request pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-305(10)(a)-(d). Mr. Platt appealed the denial to Tyler Green, Respondent’s Chief Administrative Officer. The denial was upheld, and thereafter, Petitioner filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”).
On June 14, 2018, a hearing was held before the Committee where the parties were allowed to present their legal arguments. Respondent indicated that the investigation was now closed and that Mr. Platt had been recently provided with the records responsive to his request. Counsel for Mr. Platt argued that they had not yet had the opportunity to review the records to determine if Mr. Platt’s records request had indeed been fulfilled. The parties thereafter agreed that a continuance of the hearing would allow the parties to have an opportunity to review the records and determine whether Respondent has fulfilled Mr. Platt’s records request.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the hearing is CONTINUED to the next scheduled Committee hearing.
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. Utah Code § 63G-2-403(15)(d)(i)(B). 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 _25__ day of June 2018
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
DAVID FLEMING, Chairperson
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated June 28, 2018 .