United States District Court, D. Utah, Central Division
Frederic Block District Judge.
MEMORANDUM DECISION AND ORDER
M. WARNER CHIEF UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE.
Judge Frederic Block has referred this case to Chief
Magistrate Judge Paul M. Warner pursuant to 28 U.S.C. §
636(b)(1)(A). Before the court is the United States of
America's (“USA”) motion to allow testimony
and documents of Adoption Center of Choice.
to the USA, Don Hansen (“Mr. Hansen”) and Teresa
Tuttle Ringger (“Ms. Ringger”) were employees of
Adoption Center of Choice at the time of the adoption of two
of Claud R. Koerber's (“Defendant”) children.
In its motion, the USA seeks several court orders. First, the
USA seeks a court order allowing the disclosure and use at
trial of certain redacted documents that relate to the
relevant adoption proceedings (“Documents”). The
USA argues that the Documents are relevant to the tax evasion
charges against Defendant.
the USA moves the court for an order allowing at trial the
testimony of Mr. Hansen and Ms. Ringger, without regard to
the obligations imposed upon those two individuals by the
Utah Adoption Act. See Utah Code §§
78B-6-101 to -146. The USA contends that Mr. Hansen is
expected to lay the foundation for the Documents, and Ms.
Ringger is anticipated to testify about Defendant's
representations concerning his income and assets. As with the
Documents, the USA asserts that the anticipated testimony is
relevant to the tax evasion charges against Defendant.
the USA seeks a court order stating that any past testimony
in this case concerning the relevant adoption proceedings was
not in violation of the Utah Adoption Act. The court will
address the USA's requests in turn.
seeks a court order allowing the disclosure and use at trial
of the Documents. The USA argues that the Documents are
relevant to the tax evasion charges against Defendant. In
relevant part, the Utah Adoption Act provides:
(1) Information maintained or filed with the office under
this chapter may not be disclosed except as provided by this
chapter, or pursuant to a court order.
(2) Any person who discloses information obtained from the
office's voluntary adoption registry in violation of this
part, or knowingly allows that information to be disclosed in
violation of this chapter is guilty of a class A misdemeanor.
Utah Code § 78B-6-145(1)-(2). The Utah Adoption Act
further provides that adoption documents and any other
documents filed in connection with an adoption petition are
sealed. See Utah Code § 78B-6-141(2). At the
same time, the Utah Adoption Act states that such documents
may be open to inspection and copying “upon order of
the court expressly permitting inspection and copying, after
good cause has been shown.” Utah Code §
objects to the USA's request to use the Documents at
trial by arguing that the USA's claim of relevance is
unsupported and that the USA has not shown good cause to