State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2018-51
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
WAYNE CRAWFORD, Petitioner, v.
SALT LAKE COUNTY Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 18-51
By this appeal, Petitioner, Wayne Crawford, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, Salt Lake County.
On or about July 26, 2018, Mr. Crawford made a records request to Salt Lake County ("Respondent"), pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Crawford requested unredacted copies of photographs related to a specific Salt Lake County Code Enforcement case.
On August 8, 2018, Respondent denied Mr. Crawford’s request pursuant to Utah Code §63G-2-305(10)(d). Mr. Crawford appealed the denial to the Chief Administrative Officer, and in a letter dated August 22, 2018, the denial was upheld.
Thereafter, Mr. Crawford filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). After hearing oral argument and testimony from all the parties on December 13, 2018, and carefully considering the requested relief of the parties, the Committee 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 § 63G-2-201(2). Records that are not public are designated as either “private,” “protected,” or “controlled.” See, Utah Code §§ 63G-2-302, -303, -304 and -305.
2. Records which are created or maintained for civil, criminal, or administrative enforcement purposes are protected records if properly classified by a governmental entity if release of the records reasonably could be expected to disclose the identity of a source who is not generally known outside of government. Utah Code § 63G-2-305(10)(d).
3. After having reviewed the records in camera, the Committee finds that these records were properly classified as protected records pursuant to Utah Code §§ 63G-2-305(10)(d).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Wayne Crawford 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. 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 22nd day of December 2018
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
DAVID FLEMING, Chairperson
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated January 2, 2019 .