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.
Robert Lewis Dear
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.
An El Paso County judge reversed himself and ordered the unsealing of probable cause affidavits related to last November’s shooting rampage at a Planned Parenthood Clinic in Colorado Springs.
The Colorado Supreme Court told the judge in the Planned Parenthood shooting case to reconsider his sealing of court records in light of recent developments.
The judge in the Planned Parenthood shooting case defended his sealing of court records, arguing that news organizations did not have a First Amendment or Colorado constitutional right to inspect the records while the police investigation was ongoing.
An El Paso County District Court judge has until Feb. 16 to justify his sealing of court records in the case against accused Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear, the Colorado Supreme Court ruled.
More than two dozen news media organizations asked the Colorado Supreme Court to order an El Paso County District Court judge to unseal records in the case against accused Planned Parenthood shooter Robert Lewis Dear or justify their continued sealing under the First Amendment.