September 21, 2017

Archives for June 23, 2011

Colorado Supreme Court Approves Civil Access Pilot Project

The Colorado Supreme Court has voted to implement the Proposed Civil Access Pilot Project, which was the subject of a lengthy public hearing in January. The program will go into effect on January 1, 2012. The pilot stage of the project will last two years and be applicable to the much of the Denver metro area:

  • First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin Counties);
  • Second Judicial District (Denver County);
  • Seventeenth Judicial District (Adams County);
  • Eighteenth Judicial District (Arapahoe and Douglas Counties); and
  • Twentieth Judicial District (Boulder County).

The goal of the program is to increase access to justice and provide for a more speedy resolution of cases. This is achieved through civil rule changes designed to streamline civil lawsuits; changes to the discovery rules in certain cases will, if effective, cut down on excessive delays and costs.

The pilot project rules changes will apply generally to business actions with some exceptions. The program was originally designed and proposed to include discovery changes for medical malpractice suits as well, but the Colorado Supreme Court specifically excluded those or professional malpractice cases from the final project implementation. The pilot project rules will also not apply to employment cases, construction defect actions, cases where the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act may provide a defense, and cases involving wages and forcible entry.

A final version of the pilot project rules will ultimately be published in the The Colorado Lawyer and will also be sent to interested bar associations and/or specialty bar websites.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 6/23/11

On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued ten published opinions and forty-two unpublished opinions.

Published

People v. Davis

People v. Wilson

People v. Montoya

Bledsoe Land Company LLLP v. Forest Oil Corp.

Hotaling v. Hickenlooper

Justi v. RHO Condominium Ass’n

Sure-Shock Electric, Inc. v. Diamond Lofts Venture, LLC

Kailey v. Chambers

Dillabaugh v. Ellerton

Colorado Real Estate Comm’n v. Bartlett

Summaries of published cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Tenth Circuit: District Court May Order More than One Psychological Examination of Defendant when Prudent

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Martinez-Haro on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s order. Petitioner was indicted with two counts of possession with intent to distribute methamphetamine. Before trial, Petitioner’s counsel requested that a psychiatric examination be performed to determine Petitioner’s mental competency to stand trial. The doctor who performed the examination concluded that Petitioner was likely not competent to stand trial; however, the doctor recommended that more testing be done “in Spanish by a Spanish speaking neuropsychologist to assist the court in making its competency determination and indicated [that she was willing] to revise her conclusion of incompetency based on the outcome of that examination.” The district court granted the government’s motion for a second competency determination; Petitioner filed this interlocutory appeal to challenge that order.

The Court found that the statute in question, 18 U.S.C. § 4241, authorizes district courts to order competency hearings as need be or when appropriate. “The statute does not contain any language restricting a district court from ordering multiple hearings. The statute does not state that the court may order only one psychiatric or psychological examination.” There were legitimate reasons for the district court to order a second competency examination; in doing so, the district court was acting prudently and did not abuse its discretion.

Tenth Circuit: Neither the IJ Nor BIA Has Authority to Adjudicate the Constitutionality of an Underlying Criminal Conviction

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Waugh v. Holder, Jr. on Wednesday, June 22, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit denied the petition to review. Petitioner, a Jamaican citizen and lawful permanent resident of the United States, petitioned for review of the decision of the Board of Immigration Appeals (BIA) ordering him removed based on his guilty plea and conviction in Utah state court for one count of unlawful sexual contact with a minor. While Petitioner’s removal proceedings were pending, the Supreme Court issued its opinion in Padilla v. Kentucky, 130 S. Ct. 1473, 1486 (2010), “in which it held that, for a non-citizen defendant, the Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel includes the right to be advised of the risk of removal resulting from a guilty plea.” Petitioner now claims that he should be allowed to withdraw his guilty plea based on Padilla and that removal proceedings should be terminated because the conviction underlying his removal did not comport with his right to effective assistance of counsel as described in Padilla.

The BIA and the Tenth Circuit disagreed. The Court agreed with the immigration judge (IJ) that unless Petitioner’s conviction was overturned by the state court (which it was not), it was final for immigration purposes; neither the IJ nor the BIA has authority to adjudicate the constitutionality of an underlying criminal conviction. Additionally, Petitioner’s attempt the read Padilla as putting the burden on the government to prove as part of its case that his conviction was constitutional under the Sixth Amendment is misguided; “Padilla merely established another way in which a criminal defendant’s Sixth Amendment rights may be violated.”

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/22/11

On Wednesday, June 22, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

Unpublished

United States v. Summers

United States v. Sanchez

Nunn v. Chapman

Alexander, Sr. v. Daniels

No case summaries are available for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

The Larimer County Child Support Enforcement Unit Has Moved

As of May 24, 2011, the Larimer County Child Support Enforcement Unit has moved.

Their new address is 2601 Midpoint Drive, Suite 112, Fort Collins, Colorado 80525.  While this is their physical address, their mailing address is remaining the same; please continue to mail things to 1501 Blue Spruce Drive, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524.

Additionally, the Unit also has a new phone number, (970) 498-7600, and a new fax number, (970) 498-7605.

Office hours are Monday – Friday, 8:00 am to 4:30 pm.