The Otis Telegraph calls itself “The friendly voice of Washington County” because it likes to promote the community, says co-publisher Jerry Patterson. “But every once in a while you have to step up and do things that papers are supposed to do. You have to ask the tough questions.”
By ruling that the First Amendment provides no protection for the public’s right to inspect judicial records, the Colorado Supreme Court confounded some legal experts who worry about the decision’s impact on access to court files in Colorado.
Geoff Wilson, former attorney and lobbyist for the Colorado Municipal League, was awarded the Sue O’Brien Award for Public Service for his continuing support of the principles of transparency and open government.
A bill to require public disclosure of police internal affairs records cleared its first legislative hurdle on a 7-4 vote in the House Judiciary Committee.
State lawmakers took action to close public access to autopsy reports on the deaths of minors, approving a bill requested by county coroners who say they’re concerned about the privacy of families of children who have died.
The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition honored state Sen. John Kefalas for his work in the legislature to expand Coloradans’ access to public records.
There is new life for CFOIC’s proposal to set a uniform statewide standard for sealing criminal court files in Colorado.
In a year that featured plenty of freedom-of-information lowlights, Colorado lawmakers in 2017 provided a welcome ray of sunshine – a helpful new tool in the never-ending quest for government transparency. Senate Bill 17-040, which modernized the Colorado Open Records Act, was one of many topics featured on CFOIC’s blog and news feed in 2017.
In a terse letter, a committee of the Colorado Supreme Court has rejected CFOIC’s call for a uniform standard for sealing court files in criminal cases. More than a year ago, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition asked the state court system to adopt such a rule, noting that disputes over the closure of records in high-profile criminal cases often focus not just on whether records should be sealed, but on the appropriate legal standard to apply in making that determination.
Can documents provided in response to a public records request be clawed back and their use restricted if they may have been disclosed by mistake? That question is central to a court fight involving two Colorado liquor stores, Applejack Wine & Spirits in Wheat Ridge and Hazel’s Beverage World in Boulder.