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ACLU of Utah v. Utah Olympic Public Safety Command | Complaint

01 January 2001 Published in Litigation Materials

ACLU of Utah v. Utah Olympic Public Safety Command JAMES L. HARRIS, Jr. USB # 8204
BRIAN M. BARNARD USB # 0215
UTAH LEGAL CLINIC
Attorneys for Plaintiff
214 East Fifth South Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111-3204
Telephone: (801) 328-9531 STEPHEN C. CLARK USB # 4551
JANELLE EURICK USB # 8801
ACLU OF UTAH FOUNDATION, INC.
Attorneys for Plaintiff
355 North 300 West Street Suite# 1
Salt Lake City, Utah 84103
Telephone: (801) 521-9862 IN THE THIRD JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT IN AND FOR
SALT LAKE COUNTY
STATE OF UTAH
SALT LAKE DEPARTMENT COMPLAINT Case No. 01-090-1329 misc
(Hon. Tyrone E. Medley) ACLU of Utah Foundation, Inc., a Utah non-profit corporation, Plaintiff, vs. Utah Olympic Public Safety Command, a governmental entity, Defendant. The plaintiff, ACLU of Utah Foundation, Inc. as a cause of action in this complaint by and through counsel states and alleges as follows: 1. This action involves conduct which occurred in Salt Lake County, Utah. The plaintiff and the defendant both have their place of business in Salt Lake County, Utah. 2. The plaintiff ACLU of Utah Foundation, Inc. is a Utah non-profit corporation with offices at 355 North 300 West Street, # 1, Salt Lake City, Utah. 3. The defendant Utah Olympic Public Safety Command is a governmental entity created by Ut. Code Ann. § 53-12-201 (1953 as amended). They have offices at Attn: Bob Flowers, Public Safety Building, 315 East 200 South, Salt Lake City, Utah 84111. 4. As a governmental entity, Utah Olympic Public Safety Command must comply with the statutory provisions of Ut. Code Ann. §§ 63-2-101 et seq. (1953 as amended), the Government Record Access and Management Act, hereinafter "GRAMA". 5. On January 2, 2001 the plaintiff mailed a request for documents to the defendant pursuant to GRAMA. A copy of that request is attached, marked Exhibit "R" and incorporated by reference. Plaintiff is entitled to the information sought pursuant to GRAMA. 6. Pursuant to Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-204(3)(a) (1953 as amended), defendant had a period of ten (10) days to respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request. 7. Defendant failed to timely respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request. 8. Defendant’s failure to timely respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request is deemed a denial of the request. Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-204(7) (1953 as amended) 9. On January 23, 2001 the plaintiff mailed an appeal of defendant’s denial of plaintiff’s GRAMA request pursuant to GRAMA. Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-401 (1953 as amended) A copy of that request is attached, marked Exhibit "A" and incorporated by reference. 10. Pursuant to Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-401(5)(a)(i) (1953 as amended), defendant had a period of five (5) days to respond to plaintiff’s appeal of the denial of plaintiff’s GRAMA request. 11. Defendant failed to timely respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA appeal. 12. Defendant’s failure to timely respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA appeal constitutes a denial of that appeal. Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-401(5)(B) (1953 as amended) 13. Pursuant to Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-401(b) (1953 as amended), plaintiff has the right to institute this action in light of defendant’s failure, refusal or neglect to respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request and to the appeal of the denial of plaintiff’s GRAMA request. 14. Plaintiff has incurred attorney fees and court costs in this action. Pursuant to Ut. Code Ann. § 63-2-802 (1953 as amended), plaintiff is entitled to recover its attorney fees and costs. 15. Plaintiff is entitled to and seeks an order that defendant respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request of January 2, 2001. WHEREFORE, this Court should enter an order that defendant respond to plaintiff’s GRAMA request of January 2, 2001. Plaintiff should be awarded its attorney fees and court costs herein. Dated this 12th day of FEBRUARY 2000.

JANELLE EURICK
STEPHEN C. CLARK
BRIAN M. BARNARD
JAMES L. HARRIS, Jr.
Attorneys for Plaintiff

By BRIAN M. BARNARD

EXHIBIT "R"

January 2, 2001

By U.S. Mail

Attn: Mr. Scott Folsom
Utah Olympic Public Safety Command
Public Safety Building
315 East 200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

Attn: Mr. Kelly J. Flint
Sr. Vice President of Legal and Government Affairs
Salt Lake Organizing Committee
299 South Main Street, Suite 1300
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

RE: Governmental Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA)

Dear Mr. Folsom and Mr. Flint,

On December 6, 2000, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee (SLOC) hosted an open house to explain the transportation plans for downtown Salt Lake City during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Representatives of the Salt Lake City Police Department informed me that these plans include issuing a permit to SLOC that will cut off access to a major area of downtown Salt Lake City. Three entrances will be used by SLOC as checkpoints to search the general public entering the permitted area. These checkpoints will also serve as a way to prevent demonstrators from entering the permitted area with information and materials SLOC may find offensive. Thus, the permitted area has the potential to restrict access to the sidewalks and streets surrounding Olympic venues, otherwise known as traditional public forums, to those who would like to attend the events to peacefully protest and exercise their rights guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution.

Further, in a December 13, 2000 article in the Deseret News entitled "SLOC to Cover Security Shortfall," the use of two "mobile field forces" is mentioned to deal with the problems of "massive protests or other disasters" during the Olympics. The ACLU is concerned that lumping together peaceful protesters exercising their First Amendment rights and "other disasters" signifies the City’s belittling view of freedom of speech, and suggests that additional information must be presented to the public regarding the purpose and tactics of these "mobile field forces."

Therefore, pursuant to the Utah Governmental Records Access and Management Act, Ut. Code Ann. §§63-2-101 et. seq. I am writing to request public documents concerning the treatment of peaceful protesters during the 2002 Winter Olympics. Specifically, I request that you provide documents including:

A copy of the permit issued by Salt Lake City to SLOC, along with the application submitted by SLOC, and the rules and regulations governing consideration of the application, and any documents pertaining to the application or approval.

Locations that will be available or are being considered for potential demonstrators in, around, or adjacent to the Delta Center, Medals Plaza, Salt Palace, and Gallivan Center.

The rules and/or regulations of what will be allowed within the fenced off area of downtown Salt Lake City permitted to SLOC. This should include rules associated with bringing the following into the permitted area: signs, posters, flyers, leaflets, T-shirt’s or outside apparel messages, sound equipment, non-mechanical amplification devices, props, cell phones, two way radios, tables and chairs, and costumes. This list is not exhaustive.

Location of a "speakers corner" to be designated within the fenced off area of downtown Salt Lake City within the perimeters of the area permitted to SLOC.

If no "speakers corner" will be designated, the location of the alternative area that will allow demonstrators to reach their intended audience. This includes any area UOPSC is considering as a "permitted" area for demonstrators during the Olympics outside of the area permitted to SLOC.

Any information regarding the purpose or mission, and tactics of the two "mobile field forces" of 120 officers that will ensure a timely response to "massive protests or other disasters" along the Olympic theater, as stated in the Deseret News, December 13, 2000. This information should include information on training in crowd management or non-violence and the crowd control measures that will be employed, ie. stun guns, rubber bullets, pepper spray, and the like, as well as the criteria or standards that will govern the forces’ decisions to intervene and disrupt or shut down any protests.

Location of identification information on the outermost layer of the uniform of each officer.

Location of processing centers that will be set up if arrests of demonstrators were to take place during the Olympics.

If you have any questions about this request, please contact me. Please bill my office for any reasonable copying charge associated with providing the above information and documents.

Thank you for you prompt attention to this matter.

Sincerely,
Janelle Eurick
Staff Attorney
ACLU of Utah

CC: Mayor Rocky Anderson
451 South State Street
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

EXHIBIT "A"

January 23, 2001

Attn: Chairman Bob Flowers
Utah Olympic Public Safety Command
Public Safety Building
315 East 200 South
Salt Lake City, Utah 84111

RE: APPEAL OF DENIAL OF GRAMA REQUEST

Dear Mr. Flowers,

On January 2, 2001, I made a request under the Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), Ut. Code Ann. §§63-2-101 et seq. (1953 as amended), and/or pursuant to the rules governing such requests to your entity or agency.

To date I have not received any response to my request. That constitutes a denial.

This letter is an appeal of that denial. This appeal is made pursuant to Ut. Code Ann. §63-2-401 (1953 as amended) and/or the applicable rules and ordinances. If you are not the appropriate officer to receive and consider this appeal, please immediately notify me and immediately forward this appeal to the appropriate officer.

Thank you for your prompt attention to this matter,

Janelle Eurick
Staff Attorney
ACLU of Utah

Enc. GRAMA request dated January 2, 2001