“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.
Tag Archives: Laches
Here is a short summary of the Court’s certiorari Orders from March. See the Certiorari page and the pages for each individual Justice for more detailed information. You can also follow the links to the CLR summaries or the underlying Court of Appeals opinions provided below.
On March 18, 2012, the Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari in one case, and denied a petition that Justice Coats would have granted.
In City of Brighton and CIRSA, v. Helen M. Rodriquez, (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA1868), the Court granted certiorari to address issues under the Workers’ Compensation Act, CRS 8-41-301 and 8-43-201, arising from a fall that occurred during the course of an employee’s employment, but whose exact cause/mechanism was unknown, and whether the employer, who initially admitted liability for the injuries of its employee, met its burden to prove that the employee’s injuries did not arise out of the employee’s employment.
Justice Coats would have granted certiorari in McLaughlin, et. al. v. Oxley, et. al. (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA1136) to review the district court’s denial of summary judgment under CRS 13-21-117.5.
On March 25, 2013, the Colorado Supreme Court granted certiorari in three cases, and denied a petition that Justice Eid would have granted.
In Hickerson v. Vessels (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA317), the Court granted certiorari to address the availability of the defense of laches against a timely filed claim for collection of a promissory note, where the statute of limitations period was extended by the partial payment doctrine.
In two related cases, the Court granted certiorari to address issues arising from the determination as to whether a worker is an employee or an independent contractor when they do not provide similar services to others at the same time they are working for a putative employer: Industrial Claim Appeals Office v. Softrock Geological Services, Inc., and Colorado Division of Unemployment Insurance (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA2331) and Western Logistics, Inc., d/b/a Diligent Delivery Systems v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office, et. al. (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA2461). In Western Logistics, the Court also agreed to address whether the delivery drivers were subject to petitioner’s control and direction.
Justice Eid would have granted certiorari in BNSF Railway Company v. McLaughlin (Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA751) to address giving a jury instruction on apportionment of damages when the plaintiff’s preexisting condition was asymptomatic at the time of the incident.