Effective Sept 1 2017
Pursuant to current state law and City Code provisions, certain criminal justice records relating to Fort Collins Municipal Court cases (other than basic identification information) can now be sealed by the Municipal Court without a petition being filed in District Court. This is done by Order of the Court, a copy of which is sent to the Defendant, the Colorado Bureau of Investigations, and any law enforcement agency that may have records relating to the case. If a case is sealed, then the “Person in Interest” and Criminal Justice Agencies (such as the Court and Police Departments) may properly reply that no such records exist with respect to such person. Sealed records are, however, still accessible by criminal justice agencies.
Traffic cases cannot be sealed but certain non-traffic misdemeanor cases can be, as summarized below:
- Underage Possession of Alcohol or Marijuana (UPA/UPM) cases : For cases in which the only charge is Underage Possession of Alcohol or Marijuana (Section 17-167 or 17-191 of the Fort Collins City Code), most such cases will be sealed automatically by the Court after the case is closed without a request from the Defendant and no fee is charged for that process. This includes cases that are dismissed - including after successful completion of a deferred disposition, cases in which the defendant is found “not guilty” at trial, and cases in which the required alcohol/drug education or counseling has been completed relating to a first conviction. For more information, see City Code Section 17-167(h) or 17-191(i).
- Non-traffic Misdemeanor cases involving Adult Defendants (18 years or older on the date of the incident) : If all charges in non-traffic case involving an adult defendant are dismissed (not as part of a plea agreement on a separate case) - including after successful completion of a deferred disposition - or the defendant is found “not guilty” of all charges at trial, then the Defendant can file a motion with the Court requesting that the case be sealed. A “Motion to Seal” form is available on the Court’s website. A $65 Sealed Records Fee must be paid when the Motion is filed unless that fee is waived. To seek waiver of this or any court costs/fees, Defendants may file a “Petition of Indigence”. That form is also available on the website. For more information, see Section 24-72-702.5, C.R.S.
For information on other cases which may be sealed by petitioning the District Court, please see Section 24-72-702 and 24-72-708, C.R.S. and/or contact a private attorney. Please note that Court personnel cannot give legal advice on this or any matter.