Tag Archives: Due Process

Obergefell et. al. v. Hodges, Ohio Dep’t Health, 135 S.Ct. 1039 (June 26, 2015) Part II: Dissents

The CLR does not normally post summaries of US Supreme Court decisions. In this case, there are immediate implications for Family Law practitioners in Colorado, as well as other civil litigators pursuing or defending claims under the Equal Protection and Due Process Clauses of the Fourteenth Amendment. Therefore, the CLR will issue 2 posts related to this decision. Part I is a summary of the majority opinion and Part II is a summary of the dissenting opinions.

“The fundamental right to marry does not include a right to make a State change its definition of marriage.” Roberts, C.J. The 4 dissenting justices raised various arguments against extending marriage to same-sex couples by Court decree including (in no particular order): 1) the decision should rest with the people, resolved through elected representatives, not 5 lawyers; 2) courts do not substitute their judgment for that of the people; 3) limiting marriage is not an unconstitutional act by a State; 4) liberty is freedom from government action not a claim to government benefits; 5) dignity is neither granted nor taken away by government; and 6) children are best served by a marriage between a man and woman. A shared theme is that by deciding the scope of a Constitutional right, the Court has taken a power it should not claim, has created more division, and ended democratic debate.

The following are all the cases on Writs of Certiorari To The United States Court Of Appeals For The Sixth Circuit decided in this decision:

14–556, James Obergefell, et. al., Petitioners v. Richard Hodges, Director, Ohio Department of Health, et. al.;

14–562, Valeria Tanco, et. al., Petitioners v. Bill Haslam, Governor of Tennessee, et. al.;

14–571, April DeBoer, et. al., Petitioners v. Rick Snyder, Governor of Michigan, et. al.;

14–574, Gregory Bourke, et. al., Petitioners v. Steve Beshear, Governor of Kentucky.

Leave a comment

Filed under Constitutional, Family Law

Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association, Steve Delaney, and Robert R. Duncan, 2014CO37 (May 27, 2014)

“[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.

https://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2012/12SC104.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=9374&courtid=2

Leave a comment

Filed under Constitutional, Government

M.S. and S.S. v. The People In the Interest of A.C., and A.C., by and through his Guardian ad Litem.

“AC was born with cocaine in his system.” (Opinion). So begins a series of unfortunate events. AC’s third foster home parents are the petitioners (MS). They wanted to adopt AC. Initially the Denver DHS (DHS) called them “prospective adoptive parents,” until a report raised concerns about the mother. DHS removed AC without notice to anyone; a hearing was eventually held and the removal affirmed. MS appealed, arguing they had a constitutionally protected liberty interest in their relationship with AC based on their reasonable expectation that their relationship with A.C. would continue. The Court held they did not because neither CRS 19-3-507 (foster parents have a right to notice and participation), nor the 14th Amendment creates such an interest absent significant progress towards actual adoption. MS never started the adoption process and only had a foster parent’s rights.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2011/11SC733.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8978&courtid=2

Leave a comment

Filed under Constitutional, Family Law, Government

A.M. by and through his Guardian ad Litem, and L.H. and R.H. v. A.C., and the People in the Interests of A.M. v. N.M., 2012CO16M (February 25, 2013; Modified March 18)

As family structures change, so do the way in which we determine what may be in the best interests of a child. In dependency and neglect (D&N) proceedings, which can lead to the termination of parental rights, courts consider many factors and take evidence from many sources. With this opinion, the Court holds that foster parents of a child in the middle of a D&N proceeding can fully participate in such hearings, so long as they meet the requirements for intervention in CRS 19-3-507. A parent’s due process rights at a hearing are preserved by ensuring notice and using higher evidentiary standards. Full foster parent participation still provides the parental protections in Mathews v. Eldridge. Here, foster parents properly gave opening and closing statements, cross-examined witnesses, raised objections, and fully participated in the termination hearing without limitation.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/userfiles/file/Court_Probation/Supreme_Court/Opinions/2011/11SC53.pdf [Opinion modified, and as modified, Petition for Rehearing DENIED (March 18, 2013).]

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8837&courtid=2

Leave a comment

Filed under Constitutional, Family Law

John Stulp, Commissioner of Agriculture, v. Dean Schuman and Schuman Cattle, LLC, 2012COA144 (August, 30, 2012)

The Constitution does not protect a right to own cattle if the evidence overwhelmingly shows that animals under his care were subjected to severe abuse and neglect. Here, a court entered a permanent injunction in a civil action preventing a rancher from even owning cattle. The rancher had already been convicted of 14 counts of cruelty to animals. In this case, the rancher argued a total ban was too broad and it violated his Constitutionally protected property rights. The court of appeals, comparing his actions to parental neglect, and noting the lack of any remorse or willingness to change, found the remedy of a complete ownership ban appropriate. The determination that the rancher was unfit to own livestock was upheld.

http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion/2012/11CA1825-PD.pdf

http://www.cobar.org/opinions/opinion.cfm?opinionid=8644&courtid=1

Leave a comment

Filed under Administrative, Constitutional, Government