Utah Department of Administrative Services

Division of Archives & Records Service

State Records Committee Appeal 94-09

BEFORE THE STATE RECORDS COMMITTEE OF THE STATE OF UTAH

SASSY M. FINK and KSTU-TV, Appellants vs.

UTAH STATE HOSPITAL, Appellee

DECISION AND ORDER, CASE NO. 94-09

By this appeal, Appellants, Sassy M. Fink, mother and legal guardian for minor child, Ronald M. Fink, and KSTU-TV seek an order compelling the Utah State Hospital to release to them certain records as follows:

1) Records pertaining to the injury to patient Ronald M. Fink on or about May 9, 1994;

2) Records relating to any internal investigation into the incident causing the injury referred to in 1) above; and

3) Records of any disciplinary action taken against employee Chad Nelson during the course of his employment with the agency.

Appellant KSTU-TV appeared personally through an employee at the hearing held June 21, 1994. Appellant appeared at the hearing through counsel, Leonard E. McGee, Esq. Appellee appeared personally through an employee.

The State Records Committee, having reviewed the written materials submitted by the parties, and having heard the testimony and argument, now issues the following decision and order.

STATEMENT OF REASONS FOR DECISION

The appeal is granted in part and denied in part and the parties have stipulated in part. The medical records pertaining to the injury to patient Ronald M. Fink are not to be released to KSTU-TV, on the grounds that they are private records. However, those records are to be supplied to Appellant Sassy M. Fink in her capacity as legal guardian, by stipulation between said Appellant and Appellee, and in accordance with Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 202(1)(b) (Supp. 1993). Appellee stipulated to consider supplying the medical records without fee under Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 203(3)(b) (1993 Supp.).

The items 2) and 3) above relating to any internal investigation and any disciplinary action taken against employee Chad Nelson shall be released to Appellants as public documents under Utah Code Ann. 63-2-201 (1993 Supp.). The documents are specifically found not to be protected under Utah Code Ann. 63-2- 304 (1993 Supp.).

ORDER

WHEREFORE, IT IS ORDERED that Appellant Fink's appeal is granted, inasmuch as the specified medical records are ordered to be supplied to said Appellant and any records of the specified internal investigation and of the specified disciplinary proceedings are to be supplied to said Appellant. Appellant KSTU-TV's appeal is granted in part and denied in part, inasmuch as said Appellant is not to receive the specified medical records, but shall be supplied any records of the specified internal investigation and of the specified disciplinary proceedings.

RIGHT TO APPEAL

Either party may appeal this Decision and Order to district court. The petition for review must be filed no later than 30 days after the date of this order. The petition for judicial review must be a complaint. The complaint and the appeals process are governed by the Utah Rules of Civil Procedure and by Utah Code Ann. 63-2-404 & 502(7). The court is required to make its decision de novo. In order to protect its rights on appeal, a party may wish to seek advice from an attorney.

Entered this 23rd day of June, 1994.

MAX J. EVANS,
Chair, State Records Committee