We didn’t think our story would be an open-and-shut case. Neither did we expect such secrecy from a governmental branch whose purpose is to oversee the implementation of laws and enforce them.
Colorado judicial branch
With the Colorado Supreme Court library in downtown Denver “closed until further notice” because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state’s judicial branch is finally letting anyone pull up civil case filings on a personal computer at no charge — at least temporarily.
Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the Colorado Supreme Court will wait until September to convene a public hearing on a long-awaited standard for guiding judges’ decisions to seal or suppress judicial records in criminal cases. In the meantime, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and other groups have submitted written comments on the proposal.
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.
In a closed-door meeting, a Colorado judicial branch committee is expected to consider a long-awaited new rule on the suppression and sealing of criminal court records.
Unlike a year ago, when state lawmakers improved access to public records, the 2018 session of the Colorado General Assembly was marked by the passage of legislation that will significantly hinder the public’s right to know if it’s signed into law.
After trying for three years to make the state judicial branch subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, Rep. Polly Lawrence finally notched a victory when a legislative committee passed an extremely limited version of her perennial bill.
For the third consecutive year, a committee of lawmakers discussed whether the administrative records of the state’s judicial branch should be subject to the Colorado Open Records Act. This time, the House State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee didn’t kill Rep. Polly Lawrence’s proposal as it did in 2016 and 2017. At least not yet.
State Rep. Polly Lawrence is trying once again to make the administrative records of Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.
The Colorado Independent Ethics Commission, which investigates allegations of ethical misconduct involving public officials, is writing its own rules of access to public records that differ in many respects from the Colorado Open Records Act.