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Judicial Watch • Shepherd v. Griswold 032310

Shepherd v. Griswold 032310

Shepherd v. Griswold 032310

Page 1: Shepherd v. Griswold 032310

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Number of Pages:5

Date Created:June 13, 2019

Date Uploaded to the Library:June 13, 2019

Tags:Griswold, 032310, Gessler, Electoral College, popular vote, Todd Shepherd, Jena Griswold, SHEPHERD, Denver, Voter Fraud, Scott, access, colorado, senate, Secretary


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DISTRICT COURT, CITY AND COUNTY DENVER,
COLORADO
1437 Bannock Street
Denver, 80202
________________________________________________
PLAINTIFF:
TODD SHEPHERD,
vs.
DEFENDANT:
JENA GRISWOLD, her official capacity
Colorado Secretary State.
________________________________________________
Attorneys for Todd Shepherd:
Scott Gessler (28944)
sgessler@klendagesslerblue.com
Geoffrey Blue (32684)
gblue@klendagesslerblue.com
KLENDA GESSLER BLUE LLC
1624 Market Street, Suite 202
Denver, Colorado 80202
Phone: 720-432-5705
COURT USE ONLY
_______________________
Case Number:
Div.:
Ctrm.:
COMPLAINT AND APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHOW CAUSE
INTRODUCTION February 2019, Todd Shepherd sought documents under the Colorado Open Records
Act CORA from the Colorado Secretary State, concerning her testimony before the
Colorado General Assembly. The Secretary provided some documents, but she illegally withheld
others, citing the work product privilege. Shepherd now asks this Court compel the
Secretary produce documents the pubic.
PARTIES, JURISDICTION, AND VENUE
Todd Shepherd reporter who works for the Washington Free Beacon.
Originally from Colorado, currently resides Alexandria, Virginia, and continues report Colorado issues and people. qualifies person under 24-72-202(3), C.R.S. and
may bring claim for access public records under the CORA.
Defendant Colorado Secretary State Colorado state agency and the
custodian the public records which Shepherd seeks access.
Defendant Jena Griswold the Colorado Secretary State and has unlawfully
withheld public documents, and being sued her capacity custodian the public records which Plaintiff seeks access.
This Court has jurisdiction over Defendants and the subject matter this action
under 24-72-204(5), C.R.S.
Venue proper the City and County Denver under C.R.C.P. 98(b)(2).
GENERAL ALLEGATIONS January 2019, Senate Bill 19-042 was introduced into the Colorado State
Senate. Under this bill, Colorado would join eleven other states and the District Columbia
what referred the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. Under that agreement,
Colorado would award its presidential electors the winner the national popular vote,
regardless whether Colorado voters chose that candidate.
Colorado Secretary State Jena Griswold chose enter the debate this issue,
and that end January 23, 2019, she testified support the bill before the State Senate
Committee State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.
The bill later passed the full State Senate January 29, 2019, and was introduced
into the House Representatives the next day January 30, 2019. February 2019, Plaintiff sent CORA request Defendants seeking access the following public records: copy all writings created received any the named persons below,
between and including the dates January 14-30, 2019, which contain any the
following keywords (ignoring case): national popular vote national popular
vote interstate compact NPV NPVIC SB-042 SB-42 19-42 Electoral College
The request sought these records from the following persons: Secretary Griswold, Ben Schler,
Jud Choate, Jennie Flannigan, Serena Woods, and Shad Murib. For the same dates and persons the Secretary State office, Plaintiff also requested all writings from Mark Grueskin
and/or Ted Trimpa. For the same dates and persons the Secretary State office, Plaintiff
also requested any email which includes any email address sender receiver ending
@rklawpc.com, and @trimpagroup.com.
10. the request Shepherd also requested that [i]f you choose deny any single
document within the request for any reason, please identify the document and provide written
explanation required CRS 24-72-204(4) for the denial, including reference the
specific statutory reasons and/or exemption(s) upon which you rely the grounds for your
denial.
11. email dated February 2019, the Secretary State office produced some
records. The office withheld other documents, but did not immediately inform Shepherd the
withheld documents.
12.
Later that day, Shepherd asked any documents had been withheld. Only then
did the Secretary office state that had withheld documents, asserting the work product
exemption over unknown number documents, and asserting the attorney-client privilege
with respect one document.
13. February 12, 2019, the Secretary State office sent Mr. Shad Murib, the
government and public affairs manager, testify favor the bill before the House
Committee State, Veterans, and Military Affairs.
14. March 15, 2019, Colorado Governor Jared Polis signed the bill into law.
15.
Following his records request, May 24, 2019, Shepherd informed the
Secretary under C.R.S. 24-72-204(5)(a) that intended initiate court action compel the
Secretary produce documents withheld under the work product privilege, and compel the
Secretary provide Vaughn Index for the document withheld under the attorney-client
privilege.
16.
Under C.R.S. 24-72-204(5)(a), any potential complainant must wait days
before initiating legal action. Likewise, during that period the public official must attempt
resolve the issue meeting telephonic conference. Accordingly, the Secretary scheduled
telephonic conference call resolve the issue, which was held May 30, 2019. The Secretary
remained unwilling provide documents withheld under the work-product privilege and
remained unwilling provide Vaughn Index.
17. June 2019 the Secretary provided additional information regarding her
assertion attorney-client privilege. She stated that two documents were withheld because they
contained communications with her attorneys about pending litigation. Shepherd does not
challenge this assertion attorney-client privilege.
18.
The day waiting period under Section 204(5)(a) expired June 2019.
the date this complaint and application, Defendants continue deny Plaintiff access the
requested public records.
CLAIM FOR RELIEF
(Violation CORA; C.R.S. 24-72-204(5))
19.
Plaintiff incorporates paragraphs one through eighteen.
20.
Under the Colorado Open Records Act, all documents held government
officials are public documents, subject specific, limited exceptions. C.R.S. 24-72-201.
21.
When responding CORA request, the Secretary must narrowly construe all
exceptions disclosure.
22.
Any person may request access inspect and obtain copies any public record.
C.R.S 24-72-203(1)(a).
23.
Under CORA, record constitutes public record, the custodian may deny
access only there specific exception that requires permits the withholding that record.
C.R.S. 24-72-203(1)(a).
24.
Any person denied the right inspect any record may apply the district
court the district wherein the record found for order directing the custodian such
record show cause why the custodian should not permit the inspection such record.
C.R.S. 24-72-204(5).
25.
Unless the court finds that the denial the right inspection was proper,
shall order the custodian permit such inspection and shall award court costs and reasonable
attorney fees the prevailing applicant amount determined the court. C.R.S.
24-72-204(5).
26.
The records requested Plaintiff its February 2019, CORA request are
public records within the meaning 24-72-202(6)(a)(I).
27.
Because Defendants have unlawfully denied Plaintiff access the requested
public records, Plaintiff entitled order compelling Defendants allow Plaintiff access
all responsive public records Defendants possession, custody, control.
28.
Plaintiff also entitled award its reasonable attorney fees and costs
enforcing its right public access these public records, authorized 24-72-204(5).
APPLICATION FOR ORDER SHOW CAUSE
Under C.R.S. 24-72-204(5), C.R.S., Plaintiff entitled to, and hereby applies
for, Order Show Cause directing Defendants show cause why Plaintiff should not
allowed access the requested public records. required CORA, the Court should set
date for show cause hearing the earliest time practicable. proposed Order this effect attached for the Court convenience.
PRAYER FOR RELIEF
WHEREFORE, Plaintiff prays that the Court:
enter forthwith Order directing Defendants show cause why Plaintiff should
not allowed access the public records described Plaintiff February 2019 CORA
request;
conduct hearing pursuant such Order the earliest practicable time,
which time the Court may make the Order Show Cause absolute;
enter Order requiring Defendants allow Plaintiff access any and all
responsive public records Defendants possession, custody, control;
award Plaintiff its reasonable attorneys fees and costs associated with the
preparation, initiation, and prosecution this action, mandated 24-72-204(5); and
DATED:
grant such other and further relief the Court deems proper and just.
June 13, 2019
KLENDA GESSLER BLUE LLC Scott Gessler
Scott Gessler Counsel:
James Peterson (D.C. Bar No. 450171)
Judicial Watch, Inc.
425 Third St., S.W., Suite 800
Washington, 20024
Telephone: (202) 646-5172
E-mail: jpeterson@judicialwatch.org
Plaintiff Address:
750 Port St, Apt 524, Alexandria, 22314