Are Records About Juveniles Private?

Nova Dubovik State Records Committee Leave a Comment

Winters v. West Jordan City and Utah State Records Committee, Case No. 17096014, Third District Court.

In August 2017, the State Records Committee heard Winters v. West Jordan City Police Department, a case regarding body camera and surveillance footage that captured and identified juveniles in a public space.  The Appellant argued that the video is a public record and should be released because there is no privacy provision in the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA) based on juvenile status.  After hearing the testimony of both parties, the committee ruled that “any personally identifiable information regarding the juveniles is private and should be redacted.”  (See case no. 17-28).

The Appellant’s argument, that there is no provision in GRAMA that identifies juvenile status as a non-public record, is correct.  However, it has become common practice among governmental entities to classify as private and redact the identifiable information of juveniles, and based on Subsection 63G-2-302(2)(d) a clearly unwarranted invasion of personal privacy.

This case is important because Mr. Winters filed for judicial review of the State Records Committee decision and order.  It is Winters v. West Jordan City and Utah State Records Committee, Case No. 17096014, in Third District Court.  The decision in this case may bring clarity to the law.  Many local governmental entities are uncertain about whether to redact juvenile personal identifiable information in records that are classified public.

This is “one to watch” and the State Records Committee will keep you posted on the outcome.

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