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Colorado Courts Have No Statutory Duty To Alter Records For Inspection in Electronic Format

The Office of the Colorado State Court Administrator (SCA) appealed the court-ordered release of magnetic computer tapes containing civil and criminal information on people to Background Information Services (BIS). The order was reversed because the court had no manipulative production duty.

The BIS began obtaining the redacted information in 1992. It's database began providing inaccurate and confidential information in 1997 and the SCA halted the Information's production. The BIS filed a show cause petition under the Colorado Public Records Act (Act) arguing that the SCA's production was mandated. The SCA appealed the subsequent production order. Prior to the appeal, Chief Justice Directive (CJD) 98-05 appointed a committee which prohibited the production. The appellate court affirmed the initial production order, on rehearing, holding that the CJD was not enforceable under 24-72-204(1)(c), because Chief Justice Mullarky solely implemented it and that privacy interests did not outweigh production interests.

On appeal, the Supreme Court of Colorado reversed the production order holding that, absent specific general assembly provisions, CJD 98-05 governed. The court further held that courts have no duty to manipulate data for inspection. See: State Court Administrator v. Background Information Services. Inc., 944 P.2d 420 (Colo. 1999).

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Related legal case

State Court Administrator v. Background Information Services. Inc.