The rule has been in effect since May 10, so it was surprising to see a judge issue a one-word order temporarily sealing all documents in a felony menacing case against Fifth Judicial District Court Judge Mark Thompson. “GRANTED” is all Judge Paul Dunkelman wrote. His order did not contain any of the specific findings required by Rule 55.1, nor did it set a date certain for terminating the order.
Colorado Rules of Criminal Procedure
Several Colorado news organizations have asked a Chaffee County District Court judge to reconsider his June 4 order sealing the 130-page arrest warrant affidavit for Barry Morphew, who is accused of murdering his wife, Suzanne Morphew, in 2020.
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.