Monthly Archives: May 2012

Mercantile Adjustment Bureau v. Flood, 2012CO38 (May 29, 2012)

This $1,000 county court case involves an award of $185,000 in attorneys’ fees.  It started as a Fair Debt Collection Act claim.  It resulted in 2 trips to the Supreme Court.  On the first trip, plaintiff’s counsel paid appellate counsels’ fees. The Court found for the plaintiff and remanded for a fee award.  On remand, the trial court’s fee award included the appellate attorneys’ fees.  The debt collector, MAB, argued those fees, paid by trial counsel, were unethical financial assistance to a client.  This time, the Court made 3 findings: 1) MAB had standing to assert an ethical violation as a non-client; 2) trial counsels’ payment of appellate counsel fees was a permitted advance of litigation expenses and not financial assistance to a client; and 3) non-compliance with the Appeals Court’s fee application rules did not bar the fee award because they don’t apply to District Court appeals.


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Larson v. Sinclair Transportation Co., 2012CO36 (May 21, 2012)

Private pipeline companies can condemn property through the governmental power of eminent domain to construct pipelines across private property. That authority was delegated to private pipeline companies in 1907. A divided Court in this case held that companies with pipelines conveying petroleum were not given that power. This case narrowly construes the statute that confers condemnation power to pipeline companies. Descriptions of “pipeline companies” are specifically enumerated in the statute and refer to electrical infrastructure, not oil. Other statutes specifically address substances that may be conveyed by companies with condemnation authority. Here, finding that “pipeline company” refers to the conveyance of any substance through a pipeline would render other specific statutes superfluous. No express or implied authority means no power to condemn.

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Radcliff Properties, LLLP, et. al. v. City of Sheridan 2012COA82 (May 10, 2012)

Sewers, water, and road maintenance – these are the things that the City of Sheridan does not directly provide to its residents.  Unhappy, Radcliff wanted to leave Sheridan.  In order for a business to disconnect from a municipality under C.R.S. 31-12-119, a petition to disconnect must meet the statutory requirements of C.R.S. 31-12-601.  One of those requirements is that the municipality does not, upon demand, provide the parcel seeking to disconnect with the same services on the same general terms and conditions that the rest of the municipality receives.  Sheridan, however, does not own its water and sewer systems, and can’t pay for road maintenance anywhere.   The appeals court upheld the trial court’s finding that Radcliff does not receive services just like the rest of Sheridan does not receive services, and upheld the denial of the petition to disconnect.

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