State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2020-02
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
PATRICK SULLIVAN, Petitioner, v.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS. Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 20-02
By this appeal, Petitioner, Patrick Sullivan, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, the Utah Department of Corrections.
On or about August 3, 2019, Mr. Sullivan made a records request to the Utah Department of Corrections ("Corrections"), pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Sullivan requested, “a new policy FD20 for the privilege level system (privilege level matrix) … a copy of the policy itself … along with new matrix guideline. … [and] emails, correspondence, memorandums and letters regarding this new policy, specifically explaining or dealing with why the new policy has yet to take effect.”
On or about August 30, 2019, Mr. Sullivan’s request was denied. Corrections notified Mr. Sullivan that there is currently no new policy FD20. Mr. Sullivan appealed the denial, and on or about September 20, 2019, James Hudspeth, Deputy Director for Corrections upheld the denial.
Mr. Sullivan filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). The parties appeared before the Committee for a hearing on January 9, 2020. At the hearing, the Committee determined that the matter would need to be continued for an in camera review of the records in order to make a determination of whether the records had been properly classified by Corrections.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Patrick Sullivan, is hereby CONTINUED until 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 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 21st day of January 2020.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
TOM HARALDSEN, Chair
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated January 21, 2020 .