The Denver Post: Court records in Colorado are still disappearing from the public view with little or no explanation seven months after the Colorado Supreme Court enacted a new rule that barred judges from blocking public access to records without first explaining why, a Denver Post review found.
Judges across the state are not uniformly following the new regulations, which former Chief Justice Nathan Coats last year said were designed to keep cases from “disappearing into a dark hole.” Criminal court records filed since the rule took effect in May show spotty and at times lackluster compliance, the Post’s review found.
The rule change followed advocacy by open records proponents and a 2018 Denver Post report that concluded judges suppressed thousands of court cases for years without public explanation. Since May, judges in Colorado criminal cases have been required to issue public, written orders whenever they hide criminal cases or court records from public view. The judges must explain why they are making the records secret and say how long the suppression will last.
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