Denver Post Editorial: Colorado judges strike again

Look to see if Randolph Romero has had a recent criminal case brought against him and you’ll be met with the official response “no such records exist.” That is a lie perpetrated by one of the many Colorado judges who have proved themselves far too willing to seal court cases, even cases where there is…

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Judge denies Boulder County’s (CO) bid for attorney’s fees, court costs in open-records suit

A Boulder District Court judge has denied Boulder County’s effort to get Gunbarrel resident Kristin Bjornsen to pay more than $3,900 in attorney’s fees and related court costs that the county claimed was part of the expense of defending the county in an open-meetings and open-records lawsuit. Bjornsen welcomed Judge Thomas Mulvahill’s decision and said…

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Guest Column: In support of transparency and due process in Colorado

A strong bipartisan majority of Colorado legislators came together during the 2017 legislative session to pass HB 1313 – Civil Forfeiture Reform.

The bill, which adds necessary transparency and due process protections to the asset forfeiture practices of Colorado law enforcement, passed out of both chambers by a combined 81-19 vote and is awaiting signature by Gov. John Hickenlooper.

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Colorado Governor signs bill requiring ‘cooling-off period’ for CORA disputes

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed legislation Thursday that requires a “cooling-off period” when open-records disputes reach the point where litigation is being considered.

With House Bill 17-1177, someone who is denied records under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) must wait 14 days to challenge the denial in court. During that time, the records custodian for a government entity must speak with the requester in person or by phone in an attempt to resolve the matter.

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From CFOIC: Legislation would change availability of public information on juveniles charged as adults

But if a bill under consideration in the Colorado legislature had been in effect, arrest records showing the names of the juveniles would not have been released – not then and perhaps not for several months.

Under House Bill 17-1204, a judge would have to order a juvenile be charged as an adult to trigger the public release of all currently available arrest and criminal records in such cases. A judge makes that decision after a reverse transfer hearing, in which youths who are “direct filed” in adult court ask to have their cases sent to juvenile court.

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How One Colorado Reporter’s Struggle Led To New Open Records Legislation

Earlier this month, Fort Collins Coloradoan reporter Nick Coltrain won the First Amendment Award at the Society for Professional Journalists’ Top of the Rockies for a battle with Colorado State University. He wanted to know if there were inequities in pay between men and women — and discovered there were, but only after a lot of work. The school provided him with a printout of all the information — 150 pages of an Excel spreadsheet — rather than the files themselves.

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Wage theft to be included in Colorado Open Records Act

Gov. John Hickenlooper has signed into law a bill that allows the public to know if an employer steals wages from his or her workers.

Democratic Rep. Jessie Danielson's measure includes these wage violations under Colorado's Open Records Act.

The law, signed Thursday, allows citizens to find out if they're doing business with, or considering a job with, an offender.

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Why Colorado Lawmakers Aren’t Totally Open To Digital Open Records

Advocates say Senate Bill 40 does something simple: It brings the Colorado Open Records Act into the 21st century by requiring state agencies to provide information in a digital format — such as a database or a spreadsheet — where feasible.

“These are the people’s records. We are the custodians, we are the stewards of these records,” said Democratic Sen. John Kefalas of Fort Collins. He’s the main sponsor of the bill.

For some, the issue is more complicated.

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Colorado: Open records bill changes would limit access, advocates say

Proposed last-minute changes to to Sen. John Kefalas' open records bill could remove swaths of currently available information from disclosure, open records advocates say.

The bill, which has been set for hearing twice and twice been delayed, will be heard at 1:30 p.m. Wednesday by the Senate's State, Veterans and Military Affairs Committee.

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From CFOIC: House committee unanimously endorses bill to open records on wage-law violations

A wage-theft transparency measure that died in the Colorado legislature last year passed unanimously Thursday in the House Judiciary Committee.

The amended version of HB 17-1021 is identical to a proposal that earned bipartisan House support in 2016 but was killed in a Senate committee. The bill allows the Colorado Department of Labor and Employment to disclose whether an employer has cheated its workers.

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