Wick v. Montrose County Board of County Commissioners was a case before Colorado Supreme Court in 2003 concerning the release of a personal diary.
This case established the criteria for application of CORA based on the criteria established for the federal FOIA, namely, that the public agency in question, "(1) improperly; (2) withheld; (3) a public record."
- David Miller requested a review of his termination as the airport manager. In order to better defend his decision, Montrose County Manager, Dennis Hunt assembled a time line of events which factored into his decision to fire Miller which Hunt released to the press. To assemble this time line, Hunt used excerpted portions of his personal diary, which he did not release.
- The Montrose Daily Press submitted a public records request for all pages from the diary from which excerpts were taken.
- Hunt claimed that he did not believe his diary was not a public record and therefor not subject to CORA. However, he did offer to permit a neutral third party access to the diary to recopy the excerpts containing information about Miller.
- The Montrose Daily Press rejected the offer and sued for access to the diary.
- The trial court ordered Hunt to produce the document for an in camera review to determine whether the document is a public record.
- Hunt appealed to the Supreme Court for an injunction preventing the release of his diary to the court, and declaring his diary a personal document and not subject to public records requests.
Ruling of the court
The Supreme court ruled in favor of Hunt, declaring that the document was personal and not subject to public records requests. They based their decision on federal cases which established the criteria for application of the federal FOIA to be that the public agency in question, "(1) improperly; (2) withheld; (3) a public record." The court determined that the document in quest was not a public record, stating that the newspaper had failed to demonstrate that the document in question was a public record. This is especially true due to the nature of the document. Citing Downing v. Brown, the court declared that the diary was made in Hunt's capacity as an individual and not as a requirement of his position and was thus not a public record. The case was dismissed because the court found that CORA did not apply because the document in question was not a public record.
- ↑ 1.0 1.1 1.2 Ruling of the Court