(CN) – The Denver Post did not prove it had the right to access Colorado Gov. Bill Ritter’s personal cell-phone records, the state’s highest court ruled.
Reporter Karen Crummy and her newspaper asked for Ritter’s cell-phone records in 2008. Ritter responded by providing the bills to his state-paid Blackberry phone.
However, Ritter also had a personal cell phone that he used during the week and paid for himself. Ritter refused to turn over these records.
The Post filed a complaint under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), and the trial court dismissed the case for failure to state a claim. The court of appeals agreed, and so did the Colorado Supreme Court in a decision written by Justice Gregory Hobbs Jr.
“The Post’s complaint is conclusory in nature and fails to allege facts which, accepted as true, state a claim that the Governor’s personal cell phone billing statements are likely public records under CORA. Therefore, the burden did not shift to the Governor to demonstrate that the phone bills are not public records under CORA,” Hobbs wrote.