Statutory Citation: Utah code Title 63G Chapter 2

Definition of Public Record

Documents created by public bodies in Utah are open for inspection to any member of the public. 1

Exemptions to Public Records

Documents that are considered exempt from open records laws include private information about individuals and government employees (pursuant to 63G-2-302 and 63G-2-303), health records of individuals (pursuant to 63G-2-304), and records that are protected because if released they may result in security problems (pursuant to 63G-2-106) or financial speculation, unfair competition and financial instability (pursuant to 63G-2-305). 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

10 days. 3

Information on Fees

Utah public records law reserves the state the right to charge “a reasonable fee to cover the governmental entity’s actual cost of providing a record.” (63G-2-203) GRAMA does not explicitly state what one can expect for costs in monetary value, but does mention hourly fees and a list of what tasks that must be completed by government workers to fulfill the records request the requester will be paying for. These can include “the cost of staff time for compiling, formatting, manipulating, packaging, summarizing, or tailoring the record either into an organization or media to meet the person’s request,” or “the cost of staff time for search, retrieval, and other direct administrative costs for complying with a request.” (63G-2-203) 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

While the State Records Ombudsman of Utah is in theory supposed to levy enforcement of GRAMA on agencies who fail to comply with the law, in practice this is one of the areas Utah needs the most work on. There is no independent investigative mechanism. When in 2015 the Utah Chapter of the League of Women Voters conducted interviews on the application of GRAMA, they could not find a single case of an offending agency being fined for their violation, even though the permission for fines to be levied is expressly worded in the language of GRAMA. 5

Attorney Fees

No. Under current Utah law, one does not automatically win attorney’s fees in the case that the challenge is won. However, the judge may award them if they want. 6

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at info@goldwaterinstitute.org to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

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