DENVER (AP) — Colorado has a new law encouraging citizens and state agencies to resolve public records disputes outside court.

Gov. John Hickenlooper signed the bill into law Thursday. It offers mediation as an option when a citizen wants to challenge a government agency’s denial of his or her request for public records.

colorado capitol generic Colorado Governor Approves Public Records Mediation

(credit: CBS)

Under Colorado’s Open Records Act, such challenges must go to court — an expense that deters many from pursuing their requests.

The new law keeps that court option. But it also requires the record-keeper to contact the citizen to determine if the dispute can be resolved outside of court, including through mediation.

(© Copyright 2017 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

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