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Protective Order

As a general matter, hearing office records are open to the public unless there is a legitimate reason for non-disclosure. In re Norris, CSA 86-09 (Order 1/8/10). 

The decision whether to seal the record may not be based solely on an agreement between the parties.  The hearing officer must balance the public’s presumed right to open access against the potential harm to the privacy of a person in interest. In re Norris, CSA 86-09 (Order 1/8/10), citing Anderson v. Home Insurance Co, 924 P.2d 1123 (Colo.App. 1996); C.R.C.P. 121 § 1-5.

A motion to seal the record must provide sufficient information to determine if good cause exists, to wit: whose privacy or confidences are to be protected; the privacy interests to be protected; the nature of the documents which the parties seek to protect; the duration of the requested seal; and a proposal for the least restrictive means which satisfy privacy concerns while respecting the public’s right to access public information. In re Norris, CSA 86-09 (Order 1/8/10).

Where joint motion to seal the record lacks sufficient information from which the hearing officer may balance the interests of privacy and public access, the motion must be denied for lack of good cause. In re Norris, CSA 86-09 (Order 1/8/10).

When a protective order is requested to prevent disclosure of personal materials or information, the hearing officer must weigh the competing interests for and against disclosure. In re Nagen, CSA 27-08 (Order 5/13/08) citing In re Martinelli v. District Court, 199 Colo. 163, 612 P2d 1083 (Colo. 1980).

Hearing officer must determine whether good cause exists for issue of a protective order by balancing the public’s right to open access against the parties’ interests for and against disclosure. In re Nagen, CSA 27-08 (Order 5/13/08) citing In re Martinelli v. District Court, 199 Colo. 163, 612 P2d 1083 (Colo. 1980).

Where stipulated motion for protective order lacks sufficient information from which hearing officer may weigh all interests, motion is denied for failure to establish good cause.
In re Nagen, CSA 27-08 (Order 5/13/08).

Request for protective order must be supported by good cause, to wit, whose privacy or confidences are to be protected, the nature of the privacy interests sought to be protected, the nature of the documents the parties seek to protect, and a proposal for the least restrictive means that satisfy privacy concerns while respecting the public’s right to access public information.
In re Nagen, CSA 27-08 (Order 5/13/08).

 
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