COVID-19 touched nearly every aspect of our lives in 2020 so of course it affected government transparency and public access to courts in Colorado.
Colorado Court of Appeals
Neither the Colorado Open Records Act nor the Colorado Open Meetings Law applies to the constitutionally created state commission that investigates allegations of ethical misconduct involving public officials, the Colorado Court of Appeals has ruled.
This may come as a surprise to Coloradans who have been quoted hundreds or thousands of dollars by cities, state agencies, school districts and other government entities for “research and retrieval” in response to their public records requests: Not every state allows such charges.
Allowing the University of Colorado regents to “engage in manipulative word-play and end-run” the Colorado Open Records Act by defining the term “finalist” to mean a sole “nominee” for the CU presidency would “deal a crippling blow” to the statute, argues a brief submitted to the Colorado Court of Appeals on Tuesday by the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.
The passage of an historic, comprehensive police reform bill transformed a relatively quiet 2020 Colorado legislative session for freedom-of-information issues into one of major importance.
In a precedent-setting ruling, the Colorado Court of Appeals determined that Basalt town councilors violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law by convening four executive sessions to discuss legal and personnel matters without telling the public specifically what they would be talking about.
Two transparency bills died during a purge of proposals left over from before the coronavirus pandemic forced a suspension of the 2020 Colorado legislative session.
The Colorado Court of Appeals heard arguments via web conference in a case that focuses on what city councils and other government boards must tell the public prior to convening a closed-door meeting.
A bipartisan bill in the Colorado legislature would require the state’s judicial branch to publish higher-court opinions online in a searchable format and at no cost to the public.
When a government agency wants $5,850 to fulfill a request made under the Colorado Open Records Act, is it effectively denying access to those records?