New Laws Passed by the Utah Legislature

The following bills, related to law enforcement and criminal justice, were passed in Utah’s 2017 General Session: H.B. 381 Law Enforcement Body Camera Footage Amendments; H.B. 184 Contraband Device Destruction; and S.B. 31 Protection of Law Enforcement Officers’ Personal Information.

H.B. 381 Law Enforcement Body Camera Footage Amendments modifies provisions regarding the release of recordings from body cameras that are worn by law enforcement officers. Specifically, any release of body camera recordings from a law enforcement officer while on duty or acting in the officer’s official capacity as a law enforcement officer shall be subject to the Government Records Access and Management Act. A requestor may immediately appeal to a district court any denial of access to a recording if that denial is based solely on the grounds of a pending criminal action.

H.B. 184 Contraband Device Destruction defines a computer and provides for a computer to be considered contraband under certain circumstances. A computer is contraband if it contains child pornography, or is used to create, download, transfer, upload to a storage account, or store any electronic or digital files containing child pornography; or if it is being used for fraud or identification theft as being contraband and provides for the extraction of personal information for the owner before destruction of the computer.

S.B. 31 Protection of Law Enforcement Officers’ Personal Information amends the Public Safety Code regarding protection of personal information of law enforcement officers. There are criminal penalties for posting on the Internet a law enforcement officer’s personal information, or that of an officer’s immediate family member. The bill also prohibits the solicitation or sale of the officer’s private information and provides for civil damages and the cost of attorney fees. “Personal information” is defined in the bill as “ a law enforcement officer’s or law enforcement officer’s immediate family member’s address, telephone number, personal mobile telephone number, pager number, personal email address, personal photograph, directions to locate the law enforcement officer’s home, or photographs of the law enforcement officer’s or the officer’s immediate family member’s home or vehicle.”

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