Colorado Background Check

What is a Colorado Background Check?

A background check or background investigation in Colorado is the process of researching and compiling past information on an individual. This information is usually gleaned from public records held by government organizations and departments. They include arrest records (warrants, felony, and misdemeanor charges, incarcerations, sex offenses), vital records (marriage and divorce records, birth and death certificates, civil court hearings), property records (owned property, estimated values, purchased goods used as collateral), background check records (bankruptcy records, places of residence, occupancies at that residence, and how long people lived there.

FCRA Compliance in Colorado Background Checks

The official background check in Colorado must comply with the Fair Credit Reporting Act (FCRA), the federal law established to protect consumers from jeopardy due to inaccurate and outdated information. The act also ensures that data collection agencies present only updated information on subjects of background checks. Data collectors must inform subjects about their sources and how they use the data they collect. In addition, subjects of background checks are entitled to check and confirm the accuracy of all concerned details and report any misinformation.

As stated in Colorado FCRA laws (C.R.S. § 12-14-3-105), no credit reporting websites or agencies in the state should record any conviction or arrest that happened seven or more years ago. The only limitation to the law applies to jobs that pay more than $75,000. Furthermore, the data collector may not include the subject’s medical history or financial details.

Meanwhile, there are third-party agencies that offer non-FCRA compliant background checks to interested persons via public records searches. Per the Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) and the Colorado Public Records Act, public records searches are legal. However, the reports obtained cannot be used for official purposes because the subject is unable to review or dispute the accuracy of information per the Fair Credit Reporting Act. Hence, parties can use non-FCRA background checks for informational purposes only.

County Infrastructure

In the United States, a county is a political and geographic subdivision of a state, usually assigned some level of governmental authority. Many counties are divided into smaller political or governmental units, which may provide governmental or public services. The importance of the county infrastructure lies in the court legal procedures and incarceration infrastructure.

Most court cases in Colorado courts begin in one of the 64 superior or trial courts located in each of the state’s 64 counties. Each county demonstrates judicial power and legal power by its courts. All small claim cases are assigned to the county courthouses, leaving them with the executive power over a sentence of the case.

Incarceration Infrastructure

Colorado Department of Corrections is entitled to govern the majority of the imprisonment in the state of Colorado, excluding juvenile incarceration, federal prisons, and county jails. The state of Colorado registers 25 state prisons held by the Colorado Department of Corrections, 5 federal prisons, which includes the following categories: United States Penitentiaries, Federal Correctional Institutions, and Administrative facilities, 11 juvenile facilities held by the Colorado Division of Juvenile Justice.

Criminal Records

A criminal record is defined as an official document that records a person’s criminal history, including arrest records, warrant records, felony records, misdemeanor records, and sex offender registration information. The information is assembled and updated from local, county, and state jurisdictions, trial courts, courts of appeals as well as county and state correctional facilities. The standard for criminal record collection and storage varies from county to county. Still, the majority of Colorado criminal records are organized in online record depositories that are available to the public in the form of a Criminal Background Report.

Civil Records

A civil record is defined as the documents which keep, administrate, and maintain all records regarding a person’s most important life events. These records compile such documents as birth certificates, marriage records, divorce records, and death certificates. All the available records are gathered and stored in a permanent central registry state entity that is used to develop statistical analysis of its population, presenting it to the public in a report. The records are compiled from the information presented by the bureaus of statistics and vital records, civil court cases, and vital indexes.

Bankruptcy Information

Bankruptcy is a legal status of a person or other entity that cannot repay the debts it owes to creditors. In most jurisdictions, bankruptcy is imposed by court order, often initiated by the debtor. While bankruptcy cases are always filed in United States Bankruptcy Court, an adjunct to the United States District Courts, bankruptcy cases, particularly with respect to the validity of claims and exemptions, are often dependent upon State law. The United States Code signed six types of bankruptcy under the Bankruptcy Code. The most common types of personal bankruptcy for individuals are addressed in Chapter 7 and Chapter 13, which compromise straight bankruptcy and Wage Earner Bankruptcy.

Why are Background Checks Available to the Public?

In late 1969, the Colorado State Legislature passed a law named the Colorado Public Records Act. This law is for the last changes in 1977, offering criminal justice agencies a bit of latitude in determining which records are subject to disclosure. However, records of official action stay open to the public, Colorado FOIA Laws. Every person throughout the state can request access to all public records through the assigned specialized offices within its determined terms. The availability of the records extends to vital records, court records, criminal records, and bankruptcy information, as these cases are governed by the Colorado District Courts.

What Does Background Check Access Mean to the Public?

The law is similar to the Colorado Sunshine Law, which legislates record custodians must open access to official documents, records of public events, government activities, and the use of public resources at the state level.