April 17, 2014

Colorado Supreme Court Amends Four Colorado Appellate Rules

The Colorado Supreme Court has approved four amendments to the Colorado Appellate Rules (C.A.R).

The first change, Rule Change 2010(3) (pdf), adds language to C.A.R. 5(b), “Entry of Appearance and Withdrawal,” indicating that a client that is not a “natural person … must be represented by counsel in any appellate proceeding unless it is a closely held entity and first complies with section 13-1-127, C.R.S.”

The second change, Rule Change 2010(4) (pdf), amends C.A.R. 3.3, “Appeals of Grant or Denial of Class Certification,” to correct erroneous citations.

The third change, Rule Change 2010(5) (pdf), amends C.A.R. 35, “Determination of Appeal,” with clarifying language.

These changes were approved, en banc, by the Colorado Supreme Court on April 5, 2010. They went into effect immediately.

The fourth change, Rule Change 2010(8) (pdf), amends C.A.R. 4, “Appeal as of Right — When Taken,” which describes the procedure for appealing death penalty cases. This amendment was approved by the court, en banc, on May 10, 2010, and was effective immediately.

Resource: State Judicial Posts Two New Probate Forms

State Judicial recently updated two probate forms of interest to all Colorado attorneys practicing trusts and estate law. The new forms are already in effect, and practitioners should begin using them immediately.

All forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats. They are also available as Word templates; download templates from State Judicial’s Probate Instructions and Forms page.

  • JDF 725, “Notice of Change Regarding Contact Information”
  • JDF 752, “Notice of Change of Address – Ward or Protected Person”

State Judicial is in the process of translating all of its forms into Spanish, but not all forms are available in Spanish yet. Please note that regardless of whether a form is English or Spanish, state statute (§ 13-1-120, C.R.S.) requires all forms to be completed in English.

Judge Ruckriegle to Retire in August; State Seeks Successor

Longtime district court judge W. Terry Ruckriegle on Tuesday morning announced his intention to retire from Colorado’s Fifth Judicial District Court bench on August 31, according to a press release (pdf) issued by State Judicial.

The Fifth District Judicial Nominating Committee will convene on Friday, August 20, to review applications and recommend nominees to fill the vacancy. The meeting will be held in the training room of the Summit County Justice Center, 501 N. Park Ave., in Breckenridge. Following the interviews, the Commission will recommend finalists for Gov. Bill Ritter to consider for appointment, and the governor will announce his appointee within 15 days.

The Fifth Judicial District Court hears domestic relations, felony criminal, juvenile delinquency and dependency, civil, mental health, and probate cases for the 92,000-plus year-round residents of the four central-mountain counties of Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake, and Summit. The District has a highly transient population, particularly during the winter months, when resident numbers usually triple in the ski and snowboard season. District court judges receive a provisional, two-year appointment by the governor, after which they are retained by voter approval every six years. The annual salary is $128, 598. Judge Ruckriegle’s successor will begin his or her term on January 1, 2011.

All attorneys licensed to practice in Colorado for at least five years and who are registered electors in the Fifth Judicial District are eligible to apply for the judgeship. Detailed information about the Fifth Judicial District and the application are available online. Application packages (consisting of one original application plus seven copies) must be received by the office of Commission ex officio chair, Justice Michael L. Bender, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Eighth Floor, no later than Monday, August 2 at 5:00 p.m.

A 1973 graduate of the law school at Indiana University, Judge Ruckriegle dedicated his professional life to public service, having spent the first nine years of his legal career as a prosecutor in the Fifth District’s District Attorney’s Office, followed by his appointment to the district court bench in 1984. He has been chief judge of the Fifth District since 1994.

Judge Ruckriegle has also served on the CBA CLE board of directors since 2000.

(image source: State Judicial)

Tenth Circuit: Opinions, 6/21/10

The Tenth Circuit on Monday issued four published opinions and no unpublished opinions.

Published

In Golan v. Holder, the Court reversed the district court’s decision by finding that the Uruguay Round Agreements Act (URAA), Pub. L. No. 103-465, § 514, 108 Stat. 4809, 4976–81 (1994) (codified as amended at 17 U.S.C. §§ 104A, 109), does not violate the freedom of expression under the First Amendment. Section 514 of the URAA, “which granted copyright protection to various foreign works that were previously in the public domain in the United States,” was enacted within Congressional authority under the Copyright Clause; no freedom of speech violations exist under the First Amendment as the section advances an important government interest and is not substantially broader than necessary to advance that interest.

In United States v. Salazar, the Court reversed the district court’s decision by finding that Respondent did not submit to a highway patrol trooper’s initial show of authority in turning on his emergency flashing lights. Respondent’s actions of backing his car away from the trooper’s vehicle, coupled with other reasonably suspicious conduct observed prior, provided the trooper with sufficient grounds to suspect that “criminal activity was afoot;” Respondent was not detained until he obeyed the trooper’s command to get out of the truck and, at that point, the trooper had reasonable suspicion to detain him.

In Sines v. Wilner, the Court affirmed the district court’s dismissal of Petitioner’s application for writ of habeas corpus. Petitioner failed to argue that his petition’s denial would lead to an inadequate or ineffective remedy. Additionally, Petitioner failed to appropriately appeal the decision and attempts to do so through alternative means are insufficient to grant relief.

In Fredericks v. Jonsson, the Court affirmed the district court’s decision finding that Respondent, a licensed psychologist, had no duty to warn Petitioners about the dangers posed to them by one of Respondent’s patients; the patient, with a history of stalking Petitioners, attempted to break into Petitioners’ home after his evaluation by Respondent. Respondent’s profession qualifies her for protection from civil claims under Colorado’s mental-health-professional liability statute, Colo. Rev. Stat. § 13-21-117. Additionally, the patient never communicated to Respondent any serious threat of imminent physical violence against Petitioners; only by such express communication would a duty to warn arise.