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“Keep it secret. Keep it safe,” seems to have been the inspired motto of South Jordan City regarding a certain document that the public demanded access to. No, it wasn’t the One Ring to Rule Them All, it was a draft document for part of the finances of a mini golf and games business set to be developed in the city. And despite the best efforts in the courtroom, it looks like South Jordan City will be able to keep it secret and safe, after all, something which the Salt Lake City contract attorney for the “grass roots group trying to pry open the confidential ‘draft document’” says was not a great decision for the public, according to the Salt Lake Tribune article reporting on the story.

Salt Lake City Contract Attorney

legal process to access information backfired and will result in more secretive measures

Here’s how it happened—starting back in 2011 when “Mitt Romney told an Iowa State fairgoer that ‘Corporations are people, my friend,’” setting off alarm bells for concerned citizen advocates across the country. But then the Supreme Court upheld that notion just recently with its decision that Hobby Lobby enjoys constitutionally protected rights. And now South Jordan City is invoking that same idea, defending its right to confidentiality regarding the planning document for Mulligans Golf and Games resort, which residents are hoping to block development for. Salt Lake City contract attorney would be hard pressed to dispute the legal reality that the city can claim personhood, and thus protection under confidentiality rules.

Which is what the Records Committee in Salt Lake City hearing the case decided, eventually, despite the best arguments presented by the grass-roots group’s Salt Lake City contract attorney Jon Call. Call actually acknowledged that the argument that the city is a person is a valid one, legally: “we don’t dispute that,” he was heard to say in the courtroom. But was South Jordan City taking it a little too far when it “pressed the city’s legal status as a ‘person’ to argue” that the draft report “was confidential because it was created for ‘personal use” of an individual—namely, South Jordan City”? Probably. An “individual” is apparently defined as a human being, even when a “person” is not.

So South Jordan City couldn’t claim “personal use” of the document, even while being recognized as a “person.” This is where things can get hairy, Salt Lake City contract attorney Alger and other lawyers in Utah would remark. But hairy or not, the dispute was resolved in a 4-1 vote favoring South Jordan City’s right to keep the document private and confidential. Secret and safe.

That’s probably not the end of the story, however. Local legal organizer Verne Cotton finds the idea of corporations and cities as people as “atrocious” and a “legal fiction” that is “allowing corporations to hide behind the Constitution.” His advocacy group points to “last year’s nonbinding survey in Salt Lake City where 88 percent of voters agreed” that corporations are not people, and they want to see the law changed. Which would mean significant changes for Hobby Lobby, and Wall Street too, most likely.

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When you need a contract drafted, have a contract dispute, or need a contract reviewed, call Ascent Law for your free consultation (801) 676-5506. We want to help you.

Michael R. Anderson, JD

Ascent Law LLC
8833 S. Redwood Road, Suite C
West Jordan, Utah
84088 United States

Telephone: (801) 676-5506

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Michael Anderson

About the Author

People who want a lot of Bull go to a Butcher. People who want results navigating a complex legal field go to a Lawyer that they can trust. That’s where I come in. I am Michael Anderson, an Attorney in the Salt Lake area focusing on the needs of the Average Joe wanting a better life for him and his family. I’m the Lawyer you can trust. I grew up in Utah and love it here. I am a Father to three, a Husband to one, and an Entrepreneur. I understand the feelings of joy each of those roles bring, and I understand the feeling of disappointment, fear, and regret when things go wrong. I attended the University of Utah where I received a B.A. degree in 2010 and a J.D. in 2014. I have focused my practice in Wills, Trusts, Real Estate, and Business Law. I love the thrill of helping clients secure their future, leaving a real legacy to their children. Unfortunately when problems arise with families. I also practice Family Law, with a focus on keeping relationships between the soon to be Ex’s civil for the benefit of their children and allowing both to walk away quickly with their heads held high. Before you worry too much about losing everything that you have worked for, before you permit yourself to be bullied by your soon to be ex, before you shed one more tear in silence, call me. I’m the Lawyer you can trust.