State Records Committee Decision 2015-07
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
SCOTT GOLLAHER, Petitioner, v.
WEBER COUNTY SHERIFF’S OFFICE, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 15-07
By this appeal, Petitioner, Scott Gollaher, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, Weber County Sheriff’s Office.
On or about November 19, 2014, Mr. Gollaher made a records request to the Weber County Sheriff’s Office (“Respondent”), pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Gollaher requested records regarding a search warrant relating to himself and executed on or about July 13, 2012 at a specific address relating to a police investigation.
On or about December 4, 2014, Respondent notified Mr. Gollaher that they did not maintain the records. As such, Respondent could neither fill nor deny the GRAMA request, and Mr. Gollaher was directed to file a request with Morgan County Sheriff’s Office. On or about December 23, 2014, Mr. Gollaher filed an appeal with Respondent. In a letter dated January 9, 2015, Mr. Gollaher was again notified that Respondent did not maintain the records and was directed to file a request with Kaye Rhoades of the Morgan County Sheriff’s Office.
On or about January 15, 2015, Mr. Gollaher filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). The Committee having reviewed the arguments submitted by the parties and having heard oral argument and testimony on March 19, 2015, now 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 private, controlled, or protected under §§ 63G-2-302, -303, -304, or 305, are not public records. Utah Code § 63G-2-201(3)(a).
2. Evidence was presented to the Committee that Mr. Gollaher received approximately 125-136 digital photos via electronic files from Morgan County on March 9, 2015, and that these digital photos originated from Respondent. Accordingly, the Committee believes that that Respondent may still have records that are public and responsive to Mr. Gollaher’s records request, and may be discovered upon further review.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Scott Gollaher, is GRANTED as follows: Respondent, the Weber County Sheriff’s Office, shall review all of its records and databases, to ensure that there are no additional public records that are responsive to Mr. Gollaher’s records request. If any public records are found, Respondent shall provide to Mr. Gollaher, access to the public records, including any metadata.
RIGHT TO APPEAL
Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to the District Court. The petition for review must be filed no later than thirty (30) days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and Utah Code § 63G-2-404. The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.
Pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-403(14)(d), the government entity herein shall comply with the order of the Committee and, if records are ordered to be produced, file: (1) a notice of compliance with the records committee upon production of the records; or (2) a notice of intent to appeal. If the government entity 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.
Entered this 30th day of March, 2015.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
PATRICIA SMITH-MANSFIELD, Chairperson
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated March 26, 2015 .