From the Colorado Springs Independent: Dan Wagman feels like he’s been down the rabbit hole.
He’s traveled to the Denver area several times and navigated the courts on an odyssey to exercise his rights of access to records held by the Colorado State Patrol. His six-month ordeal wound up consuming dozens of hours and costing him at least $500.
Wagman finally gained access to the records, but he wasn’t given copies. Rather, he was forced to drive to the State Patrol’s Lakewood headquarters, where he was charged an hourly fee for an agency worker to babysit him while he inspected the records.
Despite wording in Colorado’s access laws, saying citizens should be given permission to make photocopies themselves if need be, a district judge sided with the State Patrol’s decision to refuse copies.
Wagman says the saga has left him with a sour taste. “The citizen kind of gets screwed here,” he says.
Wagman’s story began in June 2015 when he went to a State Patrol office in Colorado Springs to have a trailer inspected. Wagman was told he could be cited after he drove up with an unregistered trailer that he’d just purchased that day. He argued, noting the law allows a 36-hour grace period after purchase. The State Patrol later agreed. He filed a complaint against the trooper who threatened to ticket him.
A State Patrol investigation of his complaint exonerated the trooper, who “acted lawfully and properly within State Patrol policy.” Wagman didn’t understand that conclusion, given the trooper wrongly cited the law.
He sought the investigative report, thus launching his records quest.
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