Justia Communications Law Opinion SummariesArticles Posted in Utah Supreme Court
McKitrick v. Gibson
The Supreme Court reversed the interlocutory order of the district court denying Cathy McKitrick's motion to dismiss Kerry Gibson's petition for judicial review of the decision of the Ogden City Records Review Board granting McKitrick's request for government records, holding that a statutory claimant who lacks statutory standing may not proceed on the basis of traditional or alternative standing.McKitrick, a freelance journalist, sought records related to an investigation into the alleged official misconduct by Gibson, a former Weber County Commissioner. After the Review Board granted the records request Gibson petitioned for judicial review. McKitrick filed a motion to dismiss, arguing that Gibson lacked standing under the Utah Governmental Records Access and Management Act to seek judicial review of the appeals board's access decision. In response, Gibson argued that his petition should proceed because he met the tests for both traditional and public interest standing. The district court denied the motion to dismiss. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that a statutory claimant must have statutory standing, and the presence of traditional or alternative standing will not cure a statutory standing deficiency. View "McKitrick v. Gibson" on Justia Law
Piper v. State Records Committee
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
Outfront Media, LLC v. Salt Lake City Corp.
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