News Analysis: Journalists need advocates, too

Submitted by NFOIC on Mon, 01/27/2020 - 9:30am

As the Colorado Press Association prepared to meet Jan. 17, a Colorado judicial branch committee had a scheduled — ironically closed-door — meeting to consider a new rule on the sealing of criminal court records.

According to Colorado Freedom of Information Coalition Executive Director Jeffrey A. Roberts’ analysis of the draft, the Rules of Criminal Procedure Committee hadn’t yet settled on how weighty an interest must be to justify keeping a court record from public view or allowing the public to see only a redacted copy: “compelling,” “significant,” “substantial” or “overriding.” It did say that a court order to limit public access should explain how making court records inaccessible would serve another interest that outweighs the public interest and establish that  no less restrictive means are available to achieve that end. Again ironically, the motion and subsequent hearings on the subject would be closed to the public. (Read more here...)