Raptor Education Foundation, Inc., v. Colorado Department of Revenue, Division of Motor Vehicles, 2012COA219 (December 27, 2012)

The individual freedom to contract, enshrined in the US and Colorado Constitutions and known as the Contract Clause, can add another case to its storied history – specialty license plates. In 2000, the Raptor Education Foundation contracted with the Department of Revenue for the exclusive right to buy a specialty plate. In 2002, the Department was court-ordered to sell the plates only to members of the REF. In 2009, the Legislature amended the law (CRS 42-3-208) to allow non-REF members to buy the plates. The REF sued. The court of appeals, after finding that the constitutional challenge could be addressed even though it was not raised in a pleading, struck down the legislation as unconstitutional. The law violated the Contracts Clause because it was not directed at a general social problem and was an unforeseeable substantial impairment to the existing contractual relationship.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/11CA2446-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8787&courtid=1

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Filed under Appellate Review Challenged, Constitutional, Contracts, Government

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