Protection Orders & Court Records
Why do I have a protection order?
If the order was given in the Wheat Ridge Municipal Court, it was issued pursuant to Colorado State law.
Can I have my protection order vacated?
All protection orders issued by the Wheat Ridge Municipal Court are in effect for one year unless otherwise ordered. This is mandatory by city ordinance.
Records requests must be in writing. There is a modest fee for these documents.
Change to Juvenile Expungement Record
Municipal court can now expunge some municipal juvenile records. Expungement means the designation of juvenile records whereby such records are deemed never to have existed. Public inquiries about an expunged record require the court to respond that no record exists with respect to the person named in the record. Juveniles can take advantage of this program so that they can tell people when asked about their expunged case that no such record exists.
Various persons can request expungement. The court, the City’s probation department, the juvenile, a parent, or a court-appointed guardian ad litem, may initiate expungement proceedings.
There are features and limitations to the law. Before the court can expunge a juvenile record, the court will determine if there are certain types of pending criminal actions. If so, the court will postpone the request for expungement. The new law does not apply to some matters, such as cases involving unlawful sexual behavior, domestic violence, or the crimes listed in the Colorado Crime Victim Compensation Act.
Expunged files are not destroyed. Rather, the court keeps the files in storage. They are sealed and designated as expunged.
Basic identification information in expunged cases is available to a few persons or agencies: the prosecuting attorney, local law enforcement, the department of human services, the state judicial department, and the victim. Any record that is ordered expunged is available to the judge and the probation department. A prosecuting attorney, law enforcement, or the state judicial department can use expunged records in a subsequent criminal investigation or prosecution.
Furthermore, nothing prevents the prosecuting attorney from discussing with the victim the juvenile’s case. The prosecuting attorney or the victim can object to expungement. If they do, the court holds a hearing to determine whether the record is expunged.
Expunged juvenile records are not available to court staff or an agency of the military forces. There is no cost to the juvenile to expunge their criminal record.
This commentary does not constitute legal advice. For more information, contact legal counsel.
The juvenile, a parent, or a court-appointed guardian ad litem can request an expungement petition. The Court is available at 303-235-2835. Please be advised that court employees may not give legal advice.