State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2017-38
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
LANCE ROLPH, Petitioner, v.
DEPARTMENT OF HUMAN SERVICES, OFFICE OF RECOVERY SERVICES, Respondent.
DECISION AND ORDER
Case No. 17-38
By this appeal, Petitioner, Lance Rolph, seeks access to records held by Respondent, Department of Human Services, Office of Recovery Services.
On or about June 27, 2017, Petitioner made a records request, pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). Petitioner requested a copy of “Office of Recovery Services Information System’s Guide…” and a copy of “any and all of ORS’s policies having to do with case records & release of case records, what type of records ORS keeps in case files, evidence, etc.”
On July 12, 2017, Respondent partially denied the request pursuant to Utah Code §§ 63G-2-305(12) and –305(36), granted the remaining request pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-301. On July 31, 2017, Petitioner appealed the partial denial, and on August 11, 2017, the ORS Chief Administrative Officer upheld the denial.
Thereafter, Petitioner then 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, 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 not public are designated as either “private,” “protected,” or “controlled.” See, Utah Code §§ 63G-2-302, -303, -304 and -305.
2. Records the disclosure of which would jeopardize the security of governmental property, governmental programs, or governmental recordkeeping systems from damage, theft, or other appropriation or use contrary to law or public policy are protected records if properly classified by the governmental entity. Utah Code § 63G-2-305(12).
3. After reviewing the arguments of the parties, the Committee finds that the Respondent has provided all public records that are responsive to Petitioner’s records request. Regarding records in the case database that have not been disclosed by Respondent, the Committee finds that they were appropriately classified protected pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-305(12).
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the appeal of Petitioner, Lance Rolph, is DENIED.
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 23rd day of October 2017.
BY THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE
HOLLY RICHARDSON, Chairperson Pro Tem
State Records Committee
Page Last Updated October 23, 2017 .