Pampuro: Courting Colorado’s courts through COVID-19

Courthouse News Service: Ask any government entity about its pandemic plan in the beginning of March, and you were too early to be taken seriously. If you waited until the end of the month, you were told to get in line.

Well, I did. I waited in line for 16 weeks to regain access to the thousands of civil complaints filed since Colorado courts closed in mid-March. I can’t tell whether any of my impassioned letters or the pleases and thank yous stirred any clerk’s heart to grease the gears of the bureaucratic machine and move things along any faster than if I hadn’t said a word. I only know I communicated every combination of words I could think of to anyone who would listen that conveyed the need to keep the public informed of court business during these uncertain times.

While the Colorado state courts had a means of giving attorneys remote access to the full civil docket statewide, the system was meant for neither the public nor the press. The only other alternatives were no access and physical access. The former seemed unconscionable considering that any serious challenges to Covid-19 stay-at-home orders would come first to the judges.

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