State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2020-61
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
SAM STECKLOW, Petitioner, v.
UTAH DIVISION OF PURCHASING AND GENERAL SERVICES. Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 20-61
By this appeal, Petitioner, Sam Stecklow, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, Utah Division of Purchasing and General Services.
On or about July 15, 2020, Mr. Stecklow made a request for records pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Stecklow requested, “[c]opies of the applications, all documents, all addendums, and any amendments made to the applications for all medical cannabis cultivators and pharmacies that have been granted a license from the State to operate … [and] … the criteria by which the applications were scored, and the scoring documentation for each application that was awarded a license.”
In a letter dated July 23, 2020, Respondent provided to Mr. Stecklow redacted records responsive to the request. Respondent also indicated that other records were currently classified as protected records pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-305(b), but could become public as their classification changes.
On August 6, 2020, Mr. Stecklow filed an appeal of the partial denial with the Chief Administrative Officer who upheld the partial denial. Thereafter, Mr. Stecklow filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). On November 12, 2020, the Committee held a hearing during which the parties were allowed to participate electronically and present their arguments. The Committee unanimously voted to continue the hearing to the next scheduled hearing date in order to allow the Committee to properly review the disputed records in camera. See, Utah Code § 63G-2-403(9)(a).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Sam Stecklow is hereby CONTINUED.
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 23 day of November 2020
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
Chair, State Records Committee
Page Last Updated November 23, 2020 .