“[A] municipality certainly need not wait for more accidents to happen before addressing a perceived danger.” Opinion. Condominium owners in Dillon were parking on a road that is a public right-of-way. Dillon passed ordinances to improve a bike lane, drainage and traffic safety and gave the police chief the power to designate no-parking zones on any of Dillon’s right-of-way streets. Citing safety concerns, Chief did so on the road where the owners were parking . The owners successfully sued, claiming the ordinances were an unconstitutional abuse of Dillon’s police power by reducing property values despite less burdensome alternatives. The Court reversed, holding that the proper test for constitutional due process challenges to ordinances is whether an ordinance has a reasonable relation to public health, safety, morals, or welfare. The burden of compliance is not a factor.
Monthly Archives: May 2014
Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association, Steve Delaney, and Robert R. Duncan, 2014CO37 (May 27, 2014)
Nicole S. Hanlen, Lynn D. Ussery, James H. Joy, June Marie McNees, Kelly L. McNees, Karen Marquez, Meagan Gabaldon, and David J. Rodenbaugh, v. Scott Gessler as Colorado Secretary of State, and Karen Long, as Clerk and Recorder for Adams County; Jim F. Candelarie, as Clerk and Recorder for the City and County of Broomfield; and Frances E. Mullins, as Designated Election Official for Adams 12 Five Star School District, 2014CO24 (April 7, 2014)
“Employ every economy consistent with thoroughness, accuracy and reliability.” – Arthur C. Nielsen. An election official failed to notice a candidate was ineligible until after ballots were printed. The Secretary issued an emergency Rule of general applicability allowing election officials to declare the candidate ineligible and direct that votes are invalid and must not be counted. The Court held the Rule invalid. First, it conflicts it conflicts with a statute allowing votes for a disqualified candidate in a partisan election to be counted. Second, it usurps the court’s express authority to determine eligibility issues after the ballot is certified. The Court’s appellate jurisdiction was not based on the election code, however. Rather, the Court invoked CAR 21 sua sponte and it limited its decision to determining the validity of the Rule under the APA, not the validity of the election.
Today the Colorado Judicial Branch launches a Web site providing online educational resources about the judiciary and rule of law
The Colorado Supreme Court issued the following press release today launching an online resource center to increase the public’s understanding and access to Colorado’s Judicial System and the rule of law:
DENVER – The Colorado Judicial Branch today launched www.cjlc.org, a Web site dedicated to the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Learning Center and other online educational resources about the judiciary and rule of law. “I am very excited about the cjlc.org site and showcasing what I believe are some of the best educational resources available in any courthouse anywhere in the country,” said Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice. “I personally invite you, your family and friends to check out the site and then come visit the building and experience the Judicial Learning Center in person.”
The Web site features a video welcome message from the Chief Justice, as well as a virtual tour and description of the Judicial Learning Center’s 10 exhibits. The site also provides educators with downloadable lesson plans from the Colorado Department of Education and Supreme Court’s Courts in the Communityprogram.
Housed in the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center (2 E. 14th Avenue, Denver, CO 80203), the 3,800-square-foot Judicial Learning Center is an innovative and engaging educational environment designed to provide visitors, young and old alike, with a better understanding of the laws and freedoms that govern our citizens, state and country. The Judicial Learning Center is open Monday-Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and admission is always free.
The Learning Center offers numerous interactive and standalone exhibits that teach the importance of the rule of law, how the state and federal court systems operate and even offers interactive role-playing opportunities. A group of judges, lawyers, educators and others spent more than 3 years designing and building the learning center.
Visitors to the Website may also book a guided tour of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center for groups of 15 or more. Guided tours include a visit to one or more of the courtrooms (as available), discussion about the Colorado court system and the Colorado Judicial Branch, a tour of the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center and its public art, a visit to the Colorado Supreme Court Library, and time in the Colorado Judicial Learning Center.
Erin A. Young, individually and on behalf of and as next friend of C.Y.; and C.Y., a minor, through his parent Erin A. Young, v. Brighton School District 27J, 2014CO 32 (May 19, 2014)
“When sidewalks are not available, pedestrians are forced to share the street with motorists, access to public transportation is restricted, and children might not have safe play areas.” – US DOT. Here, a child slipped on a puddle in a walkway running between a public school and its playground. Examining the CGIA, the Court rejected the argument that the “icy walkway waiver” was mutually exclusive of the “recreation waiver.” Rather, each waiver provides a potential avenue for waiver of tort liability, any one of which might suffice. Next it held that, unlike a playground or a parking lot, the walkway is not a “public facility” because: 1) it lacked an intrinsic recreational connection with the playground; 2) it did not broadly promote the purpose of the playground; and 3) excluding walkways like this one was consistent with the legislature’s intent. The school was immune from suit.
“My dream is to have the park system privatized, and run entirely for profit by corporations. Like Chuck E. Cheese.” – Ron Swanson, Parks and Recreation. People can sue governments for injuries occurring at a 1) “public” 2) “facility” 3) “located in” a 4) “recreation area.” The Court defined those 4 terms as follows: 1) accessible and benefiting the public; 2) includes parking lots; 3) promotes recreation; and 4) an area whose primary purpose is recreation. Here, a parking lot next to a public golf course met the criteria. The parking lot was accessible to the public, allowed golfers to conveniently access the course, and golfing was the primary recreational purpose promoted by the lot. The city was not immune from plaintiff’s suit arising from her injury in the parking lot. Two justices would arrive at the same conclusion, but by allowing the city’s designation to drive the analysis.
St. Vrain Valley School District RE-1J and Cathy O’Donnell v. A.R.L. a minor; Randy Loveland; and Mary Nicole Loveland, 2014CO33 (May 19, 2014)
A playground through a lawyers eye: “Although the individual pieces of equipment each promote specific play activities (e.g., swinging or playing in the sand), they nevertheless collectively promote the common purpose of play and together make a playground a ‘facility’ by virtue of the strong relationship between the individual components.” – Opinion. In this case, applying and expanding on the analysis set forth in Daniel v. Colorado Springs, the Court concluded that a public school playground and its collection of equipment is a “public facility” “located in” a “recreation area.” The case focused on what a “public facility” is: 1) relatively permanent or affixed to land; 2) man-made; 3) accessible to the public; and 4) maintained by a public entity for a common public purpose. The zip line that injured the plaintiff was merely a “dangerous condition,” not itself a “facility.”