State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2017-22
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
EDGARDO MATA, Petitioner, v.
UTAH DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 17-22
By this appeal, Petitioner, Edgardo Mata, seeks access to records held by Respondent, the Utah Department of Corrections (“Corrections”).
On a form dated March 30, 2017, and received by Corrections on April 7, 2017, Mr. Mata requested records from Corrections pursuant to the Utah Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Mr. Mata requested a copy of Corrections’ “O-Track entry” that provides a description of tattoos related to Mr. Mata. Mr. Mata’s request and subsequent appeal were denied by Corrections pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-305(11) & (13).
On May 9, 2017, Mr. Mata filed an appeal with the State Records Committee (“Committee”). A hearing was held before the Committee on July 13, 2017, where the parties were allowed to present their legal arguments. During the hearing, counsel for Corrections stated that due to recent circumstances, Corrections would now be willing to give Mr. Mata redacted copies of the before and after screen shots reflecting the changes in the O-Track database regarding Mr. Mata’s tattoos. Mr. Mata thereafter stated during the hearing that receipt of the redacted copies from Corrections would satisfy his records request. After having reviewed the disputed records in camera, the Committee finds that disclosure of the redacted records would be a satisfactory settlement of the controversy between the parties.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Edgardo Mata, is hereby GRANTED as mutually agreed upon by the parties.
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 its 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 25th day of July 2017.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
HOLLY RICHARDSON, Chairperson pro tem
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated July 25, 2017 .