Justia Communications Law Opinion Summaries

Articles Posted in Utah Supreme Court
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In this interlocutory appeal concerning whether the Brigham Young University (BYU) Police Department is a "governmental entity" subject to the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), Utah Code 63G-2-101 to -901, the Supreme Court concluded that it would better serve the administration and interests of justice to remand the case back to the district court. The Salt Lake Tribune sent a GRAMA request to BYU's Police Department seeking certain documents. The University Police provided some, but not all, of the documents. The Tribune appealed to the Utah State Records Committee. The Committee denied the appeal, concluding that the University Police was not a "governmental entity" within the meaning of GRAMA and that it lacked jurisdiction. On judicial review, the district court concluded that the University Police is a governmental entity. The court of appeals certified the interlocutory appeal to the Supreme Court. Thereafter, the legislature amended GRAMA to explicitly define the police departments of private universities as governmental entities subject to GRAMA. The Tribune subsequently made a new GRAMA request for the contested records under the amended statute. The Supreme Court declined to decide the issue because answering the question presented will not have any presidential value for future cases or materially affect the final decision in this case. View "Piper v. State Records Committee" on Justia Law

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Salt Lake City’s denial of the request of Outfront Media, LLC, formerly CBS Outdoor, LLC (CBS), to relocate its billboard and grant of the relocation request of Corner Property L.C. were not arbitrary, capricious, or illegal. CBS sought to relocate its billboard to an adjacent lot along Interstate 15, and Corner Property sought to relocate its billboard to the lot CBS was vacating. On appeal, CBS argued that the City’s decision to deny its requested relocation was illegal because the City invoked the power of eminent domain to effect a physical taking of CBS’s billboard without complying with the procedural requirements that constrain the use of eminent domain. The district court upheld the City’s decisions. The Supreme Court affirmed, holding (1) the Billboard Compensation Statute, Utah Code 10-9a-513, creates a standalone compensation scheme that does not incorporate, expressly or impliedly, the procedural requirements that circumscribe the eminent domain power; and (2) the City’s decision was not illegal, arbitrary or capricious. View "Outfront Media, LLC v. Salt Lake City Corp." on Justia Law