State Records Committee Appeal Decision 2017-39
BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH
WANDA AMANN, Petitioner, v.
UTAH EXECUTIVE BRANCH ETHICS COMMISSION, Respondent.
ORDER OF CONTINUANCE
Case No. 17-39
By this appeal, Petitioner, Wanda Amann, seeks access to records held by Respondent, Utah Executive Branch Ethics Commission.
On or about July 7, 2017, Wanda Amann (“Petitioner”), made a records request pursuant to the Government Records Access and Management Act (“GRAMA”). The Petitioner requested information relating to the hiring of a specific person within the Utah Executive Branch Ethics Commission. On July 19, 2017, Respondent denied the request and on July 25, 2017, Petitioner appealed the initial denial. Thereafter, Respondent elected not to respond, resulting in a technical denial of the appeal pursuant to Utah Code § 63G-2-401(5)(b).
Petitioner filed an appeal with the Committee, and on October 12, 2017, a hearing was before the State Records Committee (“Committee”), where the parties were allowed to present their legal arguments. A motion was made by a Committee member to review the disputed records in camera. After a determination that the volume of records would make it difficult for the Committee to review the records during the hearing, the Committee voted unanimously to continue the hearing to a later date.
THEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED THAT the hearing is CONTINUED to a later date to allow the Committee to properly review the disputed records.
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 a parties’ 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 .