Effective Dispute resolution Strategies
Ms. R. is a criminal defense attorney who is using a GRAMA request to supplement discovery. She submitted a comprehensive request to a local law enforcement agency for various police reports and copies of some policies and procedures. The agency provided some records but denied most. The parties agreed to mediate. Ms. R. came to the mediation meeting with a table of the requested records so that each could be discussed in turn. In most instances the city was able to satisfy Ms. R. that a search had been made and had yielded no information helpful to her case. The agency agreed to provide search results for initial contact reports involving three individuals and also a list of all of their policies so that Ms. R. can determine whether or not any are responsive to her needs.
A private citizen who is interested in a particular issue that was before the Legislature, requested copies of email to or from certain municipal employees who might have had reason to discuss the issue of interest with legislators during the period the issue was up for legislative discussion. The city responded by providing many email records and also a log of email records that were being denied based on attorney client privilege. At mediation the parties discussed the meaning of attorney client privilege and the city’s need to protect it. After understanding the concept the requester and the city agreed that the city will provide copies of privileged email in which only the header information remains and the body and substance of the email is redacted.
The Salt Lake Tribune was researching the wrongful use of deadly force by law enforcement and requested records relating to a Highway Patrol trooper who was dismissed from employment after shooting a robbery suspect in 2006. The Department of Public Safety provided records responsive to the request, but classified other records as protected because they were prepared for an administrative proceeding. (Utah Code 63G-2-305(17)) The parties agreed to mediate. In the discussion the Tribune reporter contested that the records should be public because they related to disciplinary actions against a past employee and the charges on which the action was taken had been sustained. (Utah Code 63G-2-301(2)(o)) Both parties believed that GRAMA clearly supported their position and wanted the State Records Committee to make the decision.
Page Last Updated June 2, 2016 .