Request Public Records

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Civil Liabilities Unit Oversees Records Requests

To better serve the people of Colorado in an orderly and expeditious manner, policy has been developed to adhere to the lawful requirements of open records requests from, and provided by, the Civil Liabilities Unit (CLU) organized by the Denver Sheriff Department (DSD). 

The CLU does not offer legal advice, nor does it have the authority to determine if another agency or office has improperly denied a Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act (CCJRA) request or to require another agency to turn over records. Release of sheriff records and reports is governed by the CCJRA. For more detailed information on these laws, visit the LexisNexis website. Please note: some reports may not be releasable; others may have certain information redacted as required by law. 

Submit Your Request

The CLU only accepts records requests electronically via the form provided; any requests made over the telephone or on social media will be denied. Records requests that cite the federal Freedom of Information Act will be treated as though they were made pursuant to CORA or CCJRA statutes.

Denver Sheriff Department Open Records Request Form

Statutes & Laws

The governing laws that pertain to open records requests, to include law enforcement agencies, within Colorado are:

CORA requests for criminal justice records will be treated as requests made under CCJRA as the legislation is more limited and categorized as either "records of official action" or "except for records of official action."

  • Records of official action:
    • CCJRA defines an official action as “an arrest; indictment; charging by information; disposition; pretrial or post-trial release from custody; judicial determination of mental or physical condition; decision to grant, order, or terminate probation, parole, or participation in correctional or rehabilitative programs; and any decision to formally discipline, reclassify, or relocate any person under criminal sentence.” Section 24-72-302(7), C.R.S. The records of official action must be open for inspection.
  • Except for records of official actions:
    • Must be available for inspection. All other criminal justice records may be open for inspection subject to the discretion of the official custodian. Section 24-72-304(1), C.R.S. The Agency will not release records under CCJRA, unless the requestor signs a statement affirming that the records will not be used for the direct solicitation of business for pecuniary gain. Section 24-72-305.5, C.R.S. The Agency may allow or deny inspection of CCJRA records. Section 24-72-305, C.R.S.

Fees

Broad, general requests will likely cost more due to staff time required to fulfill these requests. The CLU may contact the requestor in an attempt to clarify or narrow a request. Searches of paper records may require additional staff time to complete, as well.

To expedite the search for requested records, in turn reducing the cost to the requestor, include as many details as possible in your request such as the potential staff who may be affected.

Before fulfilling a substantial request (i.e., 25 or more pages of documents or more than one hour of required staff time), a cost estimate will be provided to the requestor including estimated staff time utilized for the search of, retrieval, redaction, assemblage, and transmission of records. The requestor must approve the cost estimate before records requests are fulfilled. In extraordinary circumstances, the use of a third-party contractor may be necessary and will be discussed with the requestor in advance.

Fees include:

  • No charge for the first hour to research and retrieve records.
  • Paper copies of documents at $0.25 per page.
  • Staff time up to $33.00 per hour. 

The CLU begins the search for records once the cost estimate has been approved by the requestor. The requestor receives the requested record(s) once the agreed upon estimate is paid in full. Payment must be made payable to the City and County of Denver.

Request Response Time

Your request will be addressed in a timely fashion; however, producing records within a particular time frame is not required by law. As such, records of the Denver Sheriff Department are “criminal justice records,” the disclosure of which is governed by the Colorado Criminal Justice Records Act, CRS 24-72-301, et seq., not the Colorado Open Records Act. Pursuant to CRS 24-72-304(1), the custodian may make “rules and regulations with reference to the inspection of such records as are reasonably necessary for the protection of such records and the prevention of unnecessary interference with the regular discharge of the duties of the custodian or his office."

Media Requests

For media-related requests and/or inquiries, such as requests for interviews or media access to sheriff department facilities, contact Daria Serna, Director of Communications.

720-337-0352 (media calls only)
dsd.pio@denvergov.org

FAQs

What is the Difference between CORA and CCJRA? 

The legislative policy regarding access to criminal justice records under CCJRA is more limited than access to public records under CORA. For this reason, the CLU treats CORA requests as requests made under CCJRA.


What happens if I request confidential information? Will any information be excluded from my request? 

Some information may be confidential and excluded, or redacted, from requested documents in alignment with Colorado law. Additionally, graphic material depicting deceased individuals is not normally released. Examples of information that will not be released include: 

  • Home addresses
  • Telephone numbers
  • Personal email addresses
  • Passwords
  • Social Security Numbers
  • Government issued driver’s licenses or identification numbers
  • Passport numbers
  • Birth dates
  • Bank account information (i.e., card numbers and account numbers)
  • Tax identification numbers
  • Personal signature
  • Sealed records
  • Medical records
  • NCIC/CCIC/Criminal history (dissemination restricted by CJIS)
  • DMV dossier records (dissemination restricted by CO-DOR)
  • Cases involving (attempted) sexual assault (section24-72-304(4)(a), C.R.S.):
    • Above bullet points
    • Victim’s name
    • Any other identifiable information pertaining to the victim
  • Cases involving (attempted) child victims (section24-72-304(4.5)(a), C.R.S.):
    • Above bullet points
    • Child's name
    • Any other identifiable information pertaining to the child victim

Be aware, an order may be given to seal arrest criminal records, other than convictions, about particular cases, which is governed by the statutes that oversee open records requests. When this occurs, all criminal justice agencies must reply that "No Such Records Exist" with respect to the person named in the inquiry.


Where do I get a "Release of Information" (ROI) form?

If you do not already have an ROI form, you may fill out the general ROI provided by the Denver Sheriff Department, Civil Liabilities Unit. Click on the button below to download the ROI form as a PDF file. If you'd like the ROI form in a language other than English, please send your request to DSD-CLU@denvergov.org.

Release of Information (ROI) Authorization Form(PDF, 41KB)


Where can I find more information online about CORA and/or CCJRA or request records from other Denver agencies? 

Rules concerning public records requests (Colorado Secretary of State)
Colorado Open Records Act (LexisNexis)
Attorney General Opinion concerning CORA requests (PDF) (Colorado Secretary of State)
Denver District Attorney CORA/CCJRA Records Request
Denver City Attorney CORA/CCJRA Records Request
Denver Police Department CORA/CCJRA Records Request
City and County of Denver CORA Records Request