Brigham Young University v. the Truth and Transparency Foundation

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In May 2018, Ethan Gregory Dodge, Technical Director of MormonLeaks (ML) and The Truth and Transparency Foundation (TTF), submitted a GRAMA request to the Brigham Young University (BYU) Police Department asking for a recording of an interview with Joseph L. Bishop, the man accused of raping McKenna Denson in the Missionary Training Center in 1984. Dodge was denied the request as BYU argued they are not a government entity and therefore not subject to GRAMA. The TTF promptly appealed to the Utah State Records Committee (SRC).

A hearing was held July 12, 2018 in which the SRC ruled in favor of the TTF; however, the actual receipt of the audio recording was dependent on a case between the Salt Lake Tribune and BYU in which BYU was also arguing they are not subject to Utah's open record laws. That same week, Judge Laura Scott ruled in the Tribune's favor stating that BYU is indeed subject to GRAMA. BYU appealed the decision to the Utah Supreme Court shortly thereafter.

Despite this fact, BYU filed lawsuits against the TTF, KUTV 2 News, and a podcaster known as Radio Free Mormon, all of whom submitted GRAMA requests for the same audio recording. In these lawsuits, filed in Utah's Fourth District Court, BYU is asking the judge to overturn the SRC's decision that their recording of their interview with Mr. Bishop should be handed over to all three petitioners, as well as reevaluate whether or not BYU Police Department should be obligated to comply with open record requests.

The lawsuit against TTF was served on August 21, 2018 and a copy can be found here

On September 24, 2018 TTF entered into an agreement with all parties involved to stay any and all proceedings until the Utah Supreme Court reaches a decision in The Salt Lake Tribune v. State Records Committee, Supreme Court Case No. 20180601-SC.

The stay agreement can be viewed here.

This page will be updated as needed.

See also

Audio of SRC hearing

Joseph Bishop Admitting to Sexual Misconduct