State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2019-18
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
SEVEN WILSON, Petitioner, v.
TOOELE CITY, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 19-18
By this appeal, Petitioner, Seven Wilson, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, Tooele City.
On or about January 7, 2019, Mr. Wilson made a records request to Tooele City (“Respondent”), pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act ("GRAMA"). Mr. Wilson requested, “[a]ll supplements [sic], investigative reports, narrative statements, opening statements, D.N.A results, and discoveries” for a specific case.
Respondent denied the request, and indicated that they were classified as private and protected records. Subsequently, Mr. Wilson sent a letter to Tooele City Mayor Debra E. Winn, indicating that he sought only that portion of the records that involved him. In an appeal letter dated March 20, 2019, Mayor Winn upheld the denial.
Thereafter, Mr. Wilson filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). Subsequent to his appeal, Respondent provided Mr. Wilson with redacted records relating only to him.
The Committee having reviewed the arguments submitted by the parties, having reviewed the records in camera and having heard oral argument and testimony on July 11, 2019, now issues the following Decision and Order.
STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION
1. GRAMA specifies that “all records are public unless otherwise expressly provided by statute.” Utah Code §63G-2-201(2). Records that are private, controlled, or protected under §§63G-2-302, -303, -304, or 305, are not public records. Utah Code §63G-2-201(3)(a).
2. During the hearing, Respondent argued that all available records relating to Mr. Wilson had already been provided, and no other records were available.
3. After having reviewed the written arguments of the parties and hearing testimony at the hearing, the Committee finds that all records specific to Mr. Wilson regarding this request have been provided, and that this appeal has been satisfied.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Seven Wilson, 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 July 2019.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
TOM HARALDSEN, Chair
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated July 22, 2019 .