Colorado House Bill 1076 modified CRS 24?72?306(1) which previously mandated a fee not to exceed the actual cost of searching, retrieving, and copying “criminal justice records.” Now the copying fee is a separate item and can be up to $0.25 per standard page. Over 80 percent of this fee is profit for the cash?strapped state agencies.
Criminal justice records are defined as records “made, maintained or kept by any criminal justice agency in the state for use in the exercise of functions required or authorized by law or administrative rule.” See CRS 24?72?302(4).
Prisoner?generated legal work includes court pleadings, exhibits, letters to the court, attorneys and other parties. Some of this may become public record once filed and some, such as attorney?client letters are protected by privilege and thus are not a public record.
But at the time of copying none of this is considered a public record nor was a copy requested by an outside member of the public. A prisoner simply utilized the copy service to have his personal papers copied.
To make matters worse, even if such an increase was legitimately based on the new bill, it’s effective date was August 6, 2008. The CDOC implemented the change two months early. It is unconscionable acts like this that force prisoners to choose between their constitutional right of access to the courts and basic hygiene supplies.
Source:Executive Directive 12?08 House Bill 08?1076
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