The city of Aurora’s “blanket policy” of denying open records requests for police internal affairs files, apparently without regard to the facts and circumstances of each request, violates Colorado’s criminal justice records law, a lawsuit alleges.
Colorado Supreme Court
In a terse letter, a committee of the Colorado Supreme Court has rejected CFOIC’s call for a uniform standard for sealing court files in criminal cases. More than a year ago, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition asked the state court system to adopt such a rule, noting that disputes over the closure of records in high-profile criminal cases often focus not just on whether records should be sealed, but on the appropriate legal standard to apply in making that determination.
It was an eye-opening story for our viewers: A FOX31 Problem Solvers investigation found that the Colorado Division of Gaming has been charging casino customers with crimes for playing very small credits left on slot machines. But even more startling was how much money the Gilpin County court system wanted to charge for providing open records on such cases.
The Colorado Open Records Act defines public records to include “all writings made, maintained, or kept” by government or agency. But are records related to a government-issued cellphone disclosable under CORA if the city has access to them but doesn’t maintain them?
The searchable video technology on Platteville’s “Meetings on Demand” page is similar to what you’ll find on many other local government websites in Colorado. But the town of 2,600 paid nothing for it.
It happened to be Groundhog Day when a House committee killed Rep. Polly Lawrence’s latest effort to make administrative records of Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open records law.
Will 2016 be remembered as the year we realized just how much our democracy depends on an informed citizenry? The fake news epidemic was one of many issues the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition highlighted in 2016 or wrote about on its blog.
A Republican state lawmaker said she will try again during the 2017 legislative session to make Colorado’s judicial branch subject to the state’s open-records law.
We think Colorado should set a uniform standard for the sealing of court files in criminal cases. The Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition recently made a formal request for such a rule to a Colorado Supreme Court committee responsible for proposing Rules of Criminal Procedure applicable in state courts.
Journalists must “double down on the public trust” and governments must “release their stranglehold on information about the public’s business,” former Denver Post Editor Greg Moore said, accepting an award from the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition.