Module 4: Appeals

Section 4.3 Option for appealing a denial

This provision of GRAMA states that a petitioner denied records access in an appeal to the chief administrative officer of a governmental entity may either 1) appeal to the state records committee or 2) petition for judicial review in district court.

However, a person aggrieved by the chief administrative officer’s determination, including any person who did not participate in the proceeding, may appeal to the records committee.

Appeals to the state records committee and the district court are conducted “de novo,” which means that they make their own independent decisions.  Both the state records committee and the district court may review the records and documents “in camera,” or in private, which means the governmental entity must be able to provide the disputed records at the hearing. The state records committee permits a governmental may bring a representative sample of the records for voluminous records requests. (Rule R35-1. State Records Committee Appeal Hearing Procedures)