Colorado Public Court Records
All requests for copies, certifications, authentications and exemplifications of court documents must be made by mail or in person, and must be prepaid. [Fee information] Court employees cannot give legal advice, nor may they help you complete legal forms.
"The court system's public records are open for inspection by any person at reasonable times except as provided by the Colorado Open Records Act or otherwise provided by federal or state law, Colorado Supreme Court Rule, court order or local policy. The official custodian of any public records may make local policies regarding the inspection of records that are reasonably necessary for the protection of records and prevention of unnecessary interference with the regular discharge of the duties of the custodian or the custodian’s office."
Colorado Court Structure
Colorado's courts are structured like most other courts in the United States, with municipal courts being the at the lowest level-smallest jurisdiction and the Colorado Supreme Court being the highest level and last ruling on a case.
- City or Municipal Court has jurisdiction over violations of city charter provisions and city ordinances.
- County Courts handle civil cases under $15,000, misdemeanors, traffic infractions, felony complaints (which may be sent to district court), protection orders, and small claims. County court decisions may be appealed to the district court.
- Water Courts have exclusive jurisdiction over cases relating to the determination of water rights, use and administration of water, and all other water matters. There are seven water courts, one in each of the major river basins in Colorado.
- District Courts are trial courts and hear civil cases in any amount, as well as domestic relations, criminal, juvenile, probate, and mental health cases. District court decisions may be appealed to the Colorado Court of Appeals (in some cases directly to the Colorado Supreme Court).
- Court of Appeals is usually the first court of appeals for decisions from the district courts, Denver Probate Court, and Denver Juvenile Court. The Court of Appeals also reviews decisions of several state administrative agencies. Its determination of an appeal is final unless the Colorado Supreme Court agrees to review the matter.
- Supreme Court is the court of last resort in Colorado's state court system. The court generally hears appeals from the Court of Appeals, although in some instances individuals can petition the Supreme Court directly regarding a lower court's decision.