State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2015-27 (remand)
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
ROGER BRYNER, Petitioner, v.
CLEARFIELD CITY. Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 15-27 (Remand)
By this appeal, Petitioner, Roger Bryner, seeks access to records allegedly held by Respondent, Clearfield City. The present case was originally heard by the State Records Committee (“Committee”) on October 8, 2015, resulting in a decision by the Committee dated October 20, 2015. See, Bryner v. Clearfield City, State Records Committee Order No. 15-27 (Oct. 20, 2015). Petitioner, Roger Bryner, filed an appeal of the Committee’s Order with the Second District Court of Utah, Davis County, and the appeal was assigned Case No. 150701062. District Court Judge John R. Morris bases this Decision and Order of the Committee upon a remand to the Committee of Mr. Bryner’s district court appeal.
On July 10, 2015, Mr. Bryner sent a records request via an e-mail pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”) to Clearfield City, Utah (“Clearfield”). Mr. Bryner requested 15 categories of records from Clearfield including copies of radio logs, video and audio from patrol vehicle dashboard cameras, evidence logs, manuals, inventory logs, and database entries from 12:00 AM to 4:00 AM on June 3, 2015. Since many of the documents were related to Mr. Bryner’s arrest on June 3, 2015, by the Clearfield Police Department, Clearfield initially responded to his request pursuant to Utah R. Crim. P. 16.
Not satisfied with Clearfield’s response, Mr. Bryner filed an appeal to the chief administrative officer of Clearfield through a letter dated July 28, 2015. In the letter, Mr. Bryner asserted that his request was pursuant to GRAMA, and requested that Clearfield “provide all the records requested to me electronically as .pdf files, and a fee waiver for that production, without any denial whatsoever.” J.J. Allen, Acting City Manager for Clearfield, responded to Mr. Bryner’s appeal through a letter dated August 4, 2015, denying Mr. Bryner’s request for a fee waiver stating that all remaining requested documents would be provided “upon receipt of payment.” A supplemental response from Clearfield dated September 30, 2015, stated that Clearfield “has now fully responded to your records request” including providing records and information request relevant to his criminal case pursuant to Utah R. Crim. P. 16 and GRAMA “without charge.” However, records not related to his criminal case would only be provided to Mr. Bryner after payment of the applicable fees.
Mr. Bryner filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”) concerning Clearfield’s denial of his fee waiver request. The Committee reviewed the arguments submitted by the parties, and heard oral argument and testimony on October 8, 2015. In a decision entered October 20, 2015, the Committee held that “Clearfield’s decision denying Mr. Bryner’s request for a fee waiver was not an unreasonable denial.”
Mr. Bryner filed an appeal of the Committee’s decision with the Second District Court of Utah on October 20, 2015. In his complaint, Mr. Bryner requested that “a fee waiver be ordered” and Clearfield “be ordered to provide all documents requested…” On December 10, 2015, Clearfield filed a Motion to Dismiss Mr. Bryner’s appeal, arguing that the issue brought before the Committee concerning the reasonableness of Clearfield’s denial of his fee waiver request was “moot” because subsequent to the Committee’s decision, Clearfield waived the $33.75 fee and provided Mr. Bryner with all remaining records.
The Court held a motions hearing on May 9, 2016, for all parties, holding that the “issue of the fee waiver is moot and will not be ruled on.” After reviewing the Committee’s decision, the Court also held that the Committee did not “find anything directly responsive to Mr. Bryner’s record requests.” The Court stated that it would retain jurisdiction of the case, and referred the case back to the Committee with Mr. Bryner’s responsibility “to find specific issues for them to rule, so they can say either the record doesn’t exist or [Mr. Bryner] is not entitled to it.”
The Executive Secretary for the Committee scheduled the case to be heard again by the Committee at a hearing that was held on June 9, 2016, where counsel for Clearfield appeared in person and Mr. Bryner participated by telephone. The Committee, after having reviewed the arguments submitted by the parties, including those previously submitted to the Committee, and having heard additional oral argument and testimony from the parties, 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 not public are designated as either “private,” “protected,” or “controlled.” See, Utah Code §§ 63G-2-302, -303, -304 and -305.
2. Clearfield presented an affidavit from City Recorder, Nancy Dean, who stated that Clearfield had produced all documents responsive to Mr. Bryner’s July 10, 2015. Counsel for Clearfield stated that some of the documents provided to Mr. Bryner were properly redacted of non-public information pursuant to Utah Code §§ 63G-2-302(2)(d), and -305(51). Mr. Bryner did not contest the redactions, but claimed that Clearfield City held other responsive records which had not been provided.
3. After reviewing all written arguments made to the Committee including written materials submitted to the Committee for the October 8, 2015, hearing, and hearing all arguments presented by both parties, the Committee finds that all public documents responsive to Mr. Bryner’s July 10, 2015, records request have been provided to him by Clearfield. The Committee is convinced that no other public documents exist that are responsive to his request based upon the declaration by affidavit by Ms. Dean.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Roger Bryner, concerning the production of additional public documents from Clearfield is DENIED.
Entered this 15th day of June 2016.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
DAVID FLEMING, Chairperson Pro-Tem,
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated June 20, 2016 .