Thursday, 3 March 2011

Colorado: Bill would require *private* companies that maintain criminal court records purge their data when court orders records sealed

It is somewhat of a truism that nothing is ever truly lost or forgotten on the internet. Colorado's HB 1203 of 2011, as passed by the state's House on February 23, looks to put the genie somewhat back in the bottle.

Under CRS 24-72-308, if a Colorado State court orders a criminal record sealed, "each custodian of the records" must seal the record. But "custodian" is limited to "the official custodian or any authorized person having personal custody and control of the criminal justice records in question." Private companies are therefore not included.

HB 1203 keeps the existing definition of "custodian" but defines a "private custodian" as "a private entity that has custody of the information and provides that information to others as a part of its business." These "private custodians" would also be subject to court orders requiring the sealing of criminal records. After being served with a copy of the order, the private custodian "shall remove the records that are subject to [the] order from its database."

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