Daily Camera ordered to remove judge’s order from the web, but won’t be held in contempt

Daily Camera (Boulder): The attorney for a 16-year-old boy charged with attempted murder sought last month to have the Daily Camera held in contempt of court for publishing a Boulder judge’s ruling in the sealed case after she’d read the full seven-page document aloud in open court.

Chief Boulder District Judge Maria Berkenkotter — who subsequently had ordered the Camera to remove that ruling from its website — on Friday denied defense attorney Zachary Malkinson’s motion to find the newspaper in contempt and issue sanctions.

In her six-page ruling, Berkenkotter credited the Camera for removing the document from the newspaper’s website when so ordered, and for not publishing the exhibits attached to the ruling — namely the arrest-warrant affidavit at the heart of a First Amendment dispute.

“Had the Camera published the exhibits, the Court may have taken a different view of this matter,” Berkenkotter wrote.

The document in question was Berkenkotter’s Sept. 28 reversal of a prior ruling prohibiting the Camera from publishing the arrest affidavit in the case of Jeffrey Collins, who is charged, as an adult, with attempted murder in the brutal beating of an elderly Lefthand Canyon woman.

The newspaper had fought Berkenkotter’s original ruling as an unconstitutional prior restraint of the press.

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