Lawmaker drafts bill to open court records

From  A bill that would block courts from denying records because of their internal rules is in the works after a series of stories revealed how courts exempted themselves from state transparency requirements.

A draft of a bill by state Rep. Polly Lawrence, R-Douglas County, allows court rules to apply only to open records matters not directly covered by the Colorado Open Records Act.

“Under current law, a custodian of a public record can deny inspection if the inspection is prohibited by rules promulgated by the supreme court or by the order of any court,” the draft obtained exclusively by says. “The bill clarifies that the rule or court order must relate to a matter that is not explicitly covered by open records laws.”

Lawrence said she isn’t sure of the final form of the bill.

“Still trying to pull some folks together to get language drafted,” she wrote in an email exchange.

In 2012, the state appeals court exempted the judicial branch from all open records requirements, saying the law didn’t apply to courts.

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