Colorado Supreme Court: Entire state agencies aren’t ‘public bodies’ under the open meetings law

Law Week Colorado: The Colorado Supreme Court released a batch of decisions Tuesday about the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and among them decided an entire agency can’t be a “state public body” according to Colorado’s Open Meetings Law. The holding addresses a dispute over a specific CDPHE policy about certifying patients for medical marijuana, which a group of unnamed physicians claimed violated the sunshine law and Administrative Procedure Act.

In two related opinions, the Supreme Court addressed claims from two physicians that subpoenas issued to investigate their practices under the policy didn’t have lawful purposes because they arose from an illegally adopted policy. Two Court of Appeals panels previously came to opposite decisions.

Justice Richard Gabriel wrote all three opinions. The main case, Doe v. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, also decided the policy isn’t subject to the APA’s rule making requirements, or to review under the act.

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