New rules governing access to financial and administrative records of the Colorado Judicial Branch will quietly go into effect under an interim directive issued by Chief Justice Nancy Rice of the Colorado Supreme Court.
Colorado Supreme Court
Public access to records on employees of the Colorado Judicial Branch would be substantially more limited than what’s available regarding other state government workers under proposed rules endorsed Wednesday by a committee of the judiciary.
State lawmakers defeated a bill that would have made the State Public Defender’s Office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, preferring to let the Colorado Judicial Branch write its own rules for releasing administrative records for that agency and other agencies under its control.
While lawmakers consider whether to make the state public defender’s office subject to the Colorado Open Records Act, the judicial branch is in the process of writing a new set of rules governing access to most of its administrative records.
Successfully challenging a denial of public records entitles you to some portion of your attorneys’ fees even if it was a records custodian who initiated the court action, the Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition and two other organizations argued in a friend-of-the-court brief.
The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the right of those who win open-records lawsuits to be reimbursed for court costs and attorneys’ fees, even if they gain access to only some of the records they claimed were improperly withheld.
The CFOIC joined other organizations in supporting a request that the Colorado Supreme Court reconsider opening the case files of two men on death row, but the Court immediately denied a motion from defense lawyers.