The court system's public records are open for inspection by any person at reasonable times except as provided by the Colorado Open Records Act or otherwise provided by federal or state law, Colorado Supreme Court Rule, court order or local policy. The official custodian of any public records may make local policies regarding the inspection of records that are reasonably necessary for the protection of records and prevention of unnecessary interference with the regular discharge of the duties of the custodian or the custodian’s office.
The Criminal Justice Records Act (§ 24-72-301 et.seq., C.R.S.) addresses court records in criminal proceedings. Two sections of note in the CJRA are:
- § 24-72-304 C.R.S - the custodian’s authority to make rules and regulations for inspection of records.
- § 24-72-305 C.R.S. - the custodian’s authority to deny inspection if prohibited by law, Colorado Supreme Court rule, existing court order, or if disclosure would be contrary to the public interest. Public Access to Court Records.
Inspection of civil case records is determined by the Colorado Open Records Act unless otherwise provided by law. Included in the Act are the following provisions:
- § 24-72-203(1) C.R.S. - the custodian’s authority to make rules and regulations regarding inspection of records.
- § 24-72-204 C.R.S. - the custodian’s authority to deny inspection if inspection is contrary to law, Supreme Court rule, existing court order, or if disclosure would be contrary to the public interest.
The availability of juvenile records is primarily determined by the Children’s Code (§ 19-1-301, et. seq., C.R.S.).
Directives issued by the Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice and the judicial district’s Chief Judge impact what public access is allowed with respect to information made, maintained, or kept by the courts. This document is designed specifically as a reference tool only. Refer to the Colorado Revised Statute citations included for more specific details.