Monthly Archives: January 2014

In Re: Maurice C. Jones, and and Citizen Center, v. Christian R. Samora, Treasurer; Town of Center; Herman Dickey Sisneros; Edward W. Garcia; and Geraldine Martinez, 2014CO4 (Jan. 27, 2014, as modified Feb. 24, 2014)

“[B]y 1896, the vast majority of states had adopted the Australian [secret] ballot system.” – Opinion. The Town of Center held an election recalling its mayor and trustees. A recalled trustee sued to have the election declared void, arguing that leaving absentee ballot stubs attached during the counting process violated the secrecy guarantee of the CO Constitution, Art. VII, Sec. 8. The trial court, relying on precedent set in Taylor v. Pile voided the election, even though the election’s fundamental integrity remained uncompromised. After reviewing the history of ballot secrecy and changes to Colorado election law, the Court reversed. The Court held 1) Sec. 8 applies only to marking ballots, not to detachable stubs, and 2) an election must be set aside only when an entire election is not secret. The statutory violations of CRS 31-10-607 and 1007 were not sufficient.

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Filed under Constitutional, Government

The Cases Pending Review page has been updated

The page now has an updated photograph of the new Colorado Supreme Court, including the Hon. William Hood III.

Also, two new grants of certiorari and three new grants under CAR 21 have been added:

13SA332, In Re: Plaintiff: Cindy Wagner, v. Defendants: James Brian McMahill; Allen, Vahrenwald & Johnson LLC, n/k/a Vahrenwald, Johnson & McMahill, LLC a Colorado limited liability company; Pelegrin & Radeff P.c.; Jon Slaughter Pelegrin; and Rebekah Warfield Brown; and Concerning Defendant: Attorney H.

13SA124, In re: Plaintiff: Scott R. Simpson v.Defendants: Cedar Springs Hospital, Inc., a d/b/a Cedar Springs Behavioral Mental Health Systems; Roger Dwight Pumphrey, M.D.; and Charles J. Peck, M.D.

No. 13SC497, Oasis Legal Finance Group, LLC; Oasis Legal Finance, LLC; Oasis Legal Finance Operating Company, LLC; and Plaintiff Funding Holding, Inc., d/b/a LawCash, v.  John W. Suthers  and Julie Ann Meade, Court of Appeals Case No. 12CA1130

No. 13SC556, Allstate Insurance Company v. Medical Lien Management, Inc.,Court of Appeals Case No. 12CA691

2014SA13, In Re: Lillian R. Malm v. Marion Villegas,

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In Re: Michael Young and Amy Larson et. al. v. Jefferson County Sherriff and Deputy John E. Hodges and Cristian Robinson, 2014CO1 (January 13, 2014)

“Click it or ticket” does not apply to law enforcement when a deputy is transporting a juvenile and does not secure the juvenile’s seat belt. This case’s first interlocutory appeal involved the County’s unsuccessful claim for immunity under the CGIA. On remand, the County then sought immunity under CRS 19-2-508, which provides for immunity for law enforcement officers who, in good faith, transport a juvenile under the direction of the court. The statute creates a presumption of good faith. After a hearing, the trial court determined that by failing to secure the juvenile’s seat belt, the officers acted in bad faith. On review, pursuant to CAR 21, the Court disagreed and held that allegations of negligence alone are not sufficient to overcome the presumption of good faith, and thus the granting of immunity. The case was sent back to the trial court, again.

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Filed under Government, Interlocutory Review, Personal Injury

In Re the Marriage of Marta Cardon and Jamie Castro, 2014CO3 (January 13, 2014)

“Millennial Moms Focused on ‘Me’ Time, Study Says.” Time has value in a marriage; so it has value in a divorce. As a matter of first impression, the Court considered whether accrued time off earned during a marriage is marital “property” subject to equitable distribution. The trial court divided husband’s accrued time; the court of appeals reversed finding the value too uncertain to be deemed property and remanded. The Court affirmed on different grounds, examining two strains of thought: 1) leave as an alternative form of wages is not property; or 2) leave as deferred compensation and is property. The Court held that leave has value as time off or as cash, so if an enforceable right to be paid for leave exists, it is property. If its value can be reasonably ascertained it is divisible; if not, the time should be treated as an economic circumstance when equitably dividing property.

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Filed under Family Law, Property

Alva Hickerson v. Thomas Vessels, 2014CO2 (January 13, 2014)

“Don’t wait for the last judgment – it takes place every day.” Albert Camus. In this case, four issues are at play: 1) the equitable doctrine of laches (prevents a party from waiting too long to bring a claim); 2) the statute of limitations for collecting a debt (six years); 3) the doctrine of partial payment (restarts the six years after a partial payment); and 4) the separation of powers doctrine (prevents application of equitable doctrines to expressly conflicting statutes). The court of appeals held that laches cannot shorten a limitations period because the separation of powers doctrine prevented it. The Court reversed because laches does not conflict with the statute of limitations, and the partial payment doctrine does not preclude laches, even though it effectively lengthens the time within which a claim can be brought. The Court remanded for review of the laches claim.

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Filed under Constitutional, Contracts

Chief Justice Bender joins Perkins Coie law firm

Following 20 years as a highly respected trial attorney, and 17 years on the Colorado Supreme Court, three as the Chief Justice, Former Chief Justice Michael Bender is joining the Denver office of Perkins Coie. Before his appointment to the Supreme Court by Gov. Roy Romer, his career included acting as the Deputy Public Defender for Jefferson County, Associate Regional attorney of the Denver Regional Litigation Center Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, and a Deputy State Public Defender.

For more about Chief Justice Bender and Perkins Coie, click HERE for the story as reported in the Denver Business Journal.

For additional reflections on his career, follow this link: Former Colorado Chief Justice Bender reflects on his legacy, looks ahead to private practice

The CLR congratulates Chief Justice Bender and Perkins Coie.

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William W. Hood, III to be sworn in as Colorado Supreme Court Justice

William W. Hood, III to be sworn in as Colorado Supreme Court Justice on Monday, Jan. 13, 2014, at 2:30

This special session of the Colorado Supreme Court will be streamed live to the Internet:
From the Colorado Supreme Court’s press release:

· Justice-designate Hood will be sworn in by Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice.
· Remarks will be made by Governor John Hickenlooper and Andrew J. Field, Staff Attorney for the Colorado Supreme Court.
· There will be a reception in atrium of the Judicial Center immediately after the ceremony. All who attend the ceremony are invited to attend the reception.

The Court has granted Expanded Media Coverage. Cameras are welcome in the Courtroom. Pooling arrangements do not apply, but media may pool if desired.

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