State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2018-33
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
CHAD BENNION, Petitioner, v.
LT. GOVERNOR’S OFFICE. Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 18-33
By this appeal, Petitioner, Chad Bennion, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, the Lieutenant Governor’s Office.
On January 22, 2018, Mr. Bennion submitted a records request with Respondent pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”) regarding 2014 Senate Bill 54. Mr. Bennion filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”) on April 13, 2018 and the matter was scheduled for a hearing to be held on September 13, 2018.
On August 31, 2018, Mr. Bennion requested a postponement of the hearing. Mr. Bennion’s request for a postponement was denied by the Chair of the Committee and one other Committee member pursuant to Utah Admin. Code R. 35-1-2(12). On September 13, 2018, the Committee held a hearing and Mr. Bennion asked for a continuance of his case, stating that the parties were currently mediating the case with the Government Records Ombudsman and additional time was needed for a potential settlement. After both parties confirmed during the hearing that they were willing to have a continuance, the Committee voted to continue the present case for a period not longer than six months.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the hearing is CONTINUED for a period not longer than six months.
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 _24_ day of September 2018
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
HOLLY RICHARDSON, Chair Pro Tem
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated September 24, 2018 .