November 23, 2017

Archives for September 15, 2011

Application Period Open for Forty-Five Vacancies on Judicial Nominating Commissions

On behalf of Governor John Hickenlooper, Attorney General John Suthers, and Chief Justice Michael L. Bender, the Colorado Judicial Branch announced on Thursday, September 15, 2011, the opening of the application period for forty-five vacancies on judicial nominating commissions across the state.

Some positions are open now, but the majority of vacancies will occur when current commissioners’ six-year terms end December 31, 2011. All commissioners serve as volunteers. Applications are due on or before October 14.

Thirty-two vacancies must be filled by non-attorneys selected by the Governor. Thirteen vacancies must be filled by attorneys selected by joint action of the Governor, Attorney General, and Chief Justice. Vacancies will occur in twenty judicial district nominating commissions.

Each judicial district in Colorado has a nominating commission comprised of three attorneys and four non-attorneys who are tasked with selecting nominees for appointment to county and district judgeships. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is made up of seven attorneys, seven non-attorneys, and one non-attorney at-large member. Each of Colorado’s seven Congressional Districts is represented by one attorney and one non-attorney on the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, which selects nominees for positions on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Application forms for vacancies on the various commissions can be found here. Completed application forms should be mailed to Romaine Pacheco, Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions, 136 State Capitol Bldg., Denver, Colorado 80203.  They also can be faxed to (303) 866-6368 or sent by e-mail to boards@state.co.us.

Article VI, Section 24 of the Colorado Constitution requires that for any nominating commission, “no more than one-half of the commission members plus one, exclusive of the Supreme Court justice serving as ex officio chair, shall be members of the same political party.” The Constitution also requires that at least one commissioner reside in each of the counties of the district. Applicants must reside in the judicial district – or, for the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, the congressional district – to which they are applying for appointment.

Here is a list of upcoming nominating commission attorney vacancies along with any applicable residency and political-affiliation requirements:

  • First Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Second Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Fourth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. Only one position may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Fifth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have two non-attorney vacancies. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of Eagle County, one other by a resident of Lake County.
  • Sixth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of San Juan County.
  • Seventh Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must reside in Ouray County.
  • Ninth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. One appointee must be a resident of Rio Blanco County and one a resident of Pitkin County.
  • Thirteenth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have three non-attorney vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of Yuma County, one a resident of Phillips County, one a resident of Sedgwick County, and one a resident of Logan County.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Supreme Court: One vacancy. Appointee must be a resident of the Fifth Congressional District.

Here is a list of non-attorney vacancies, along with any applicable residency and political-affiliation requirements:

  • Second Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Third Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Fourth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. Only one position may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Fifth Judicial District: Two vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of Eagle County, one other by a resident of Lake County.
  • Sixth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of San Juan County.
  • Eighth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must not be a registered Democrat.
  • Ninth Judicial District: Three vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. At least one appointee must be a resident of Rio Blanco County and one a resident of Pitkin County.
  • Tenth Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Eleventh Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Twelfth Judicial District: Two vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of Mineral County and one a resident of Costilla County.
  • Thirteenth Judicial District: Three vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One appointee must be a resident of Yuma County, one a resident of Phillips County, one a resident of Sedgwick County, and one a resident of Logan County.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Fifteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Twentieth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither appointee may be a registered Democrat.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must be a resident of Dolores County.
  • Supreme Court: Two vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of the Second Congressional District and the other a resident of the Seventh Congressional District.

Click here to read the full release about the commission vacancies from State Judicial.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 9/15/11

On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and thirty-one unpublished opinions.

Published

People v. Gibbons

People v. Dep’t of Revenue of the State of Colorado

People v. DeWitt

Hire Quest, LLC v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office of the State of Colorado

People In the Interest of A.C., and Concerning M.S. and S.S.

In re the Parental Responsibilities Concerning G.E.R., and Concerning Terrell

People In the Interest of S.X.M., and Concerning T.M.

Adams v. Corrections Corp. of America

In re the Marriage of Walker

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.

State Judicial Posts Information about Conservation Easement Tax Credit Appeals for Land Owners

HB 11-1300, which was passed in the 2011 Legislative Session, created an appeal process in the District Court for land owners related to conservation easement tax credits.

Colorado State Judicial has posted the following information about Conservation Easement Case Processing:

What is a Conservation Easement Case?

House  Bill 11-1300 provides that persons who hold tax credits derived from a conservation easement and who have received a notice of deficiency, disallowance, or rejection of their credit may appeal that decision through the person or entity that created the conservation easement, called the Tax Matters Representative.

The Act permits the Tax Matter Representative to appeal through either the District Court or an enhanced administrative process.

Cases filed with the District Courts generally fall into one of two categories.

  1. The first group includes litigants that choose to leave the Department of Revenue’s (DOR) administrative appeal process without receiving a final ruling to instead have the District Court rule on the issues. It is anticipated that the majority of cases filed will fall in this group. These cases must be filed by October 1, 2011.
  2. The second group is composed of litigants that may choose to stay in the DOR appeal process, including those who may want to appeal the DOR ruling in District Court per HB 11-1300. This type of appeal will be filed at a later date.

How do I file a case if I choose to proceed through the District Court?

Cases are filed in the District Court in the county in which the property is located. If the cases are filed by an attorney, it is mandatory that they are filed electronically (e-filed) . If a litigant is proceeding without an attorney, documents must be filed in the clerk’s office at the courthouse where the property is located. In both instances, a civil filing fee applies ($224).

Who will represent the Department of Revenue?

The Attorney General will represent the Department of Revenue in cases filed in District Court.

What happens during the course of the case?

The District Court will determine, in this order:

  1. Whether the tax credit claimed was valid;
  2. The value of the tax credit, along with any outstanding taxes, penalties, and interest due;
  3. How the tax credit, outstanding taxes, penalties, and interest are apportioned among the credit holders (if applicable); and
  4. Any other outstanding disputes between tax credit holder and land owner as determined by the Court.

What counties are in each region?

HB 11-1300 divides Colorado into three regions for the purpose of conservation easement filings. The regions include the following judicial districts:

  • Region 1: 1st, 2nd, 8th, 13th, 17th, 18th, 19th, and 20th
  • Region 2: 3rd, 4th, 10th, 11th, 12th, 15th, and 16th
  • Region 3: 5th, 6th, 7th, 9th, 14th, 21st, and 22nd

Click here to see a map of the districts: District Court Map

Who do I contact with questions?

The regional Clerk of Court or his/her designee:

Where can I get more information?

Further information may be obtained by reading House Bill 11-1300 as signed by the Governor. Additional information on HB11-1300 also can be obtained at the following websites. (NOTE: the Judicial Department is not the controlling authority on these websites, thus does not endorse any information on these sites.)

Colorado Coalition of Land Trusts
Colorado Department of Revenue
CBA-CLE Legal Connection

Click here to read these Conservation Easement Case Processing on the State Judicial Website.

U.S. Bankruptcy Court to Discontinue Mailing Proof of Claim Forms

Effective October 1, 2011, the United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado will no longer include a Proof of Claim form with Notices of Meetings of Creditors or Chapter 7 notices establishing a claims deadline.

Click here to access to a fillable Proof of Claim form.

Proof of Claim forms are also available on the U.S. Court’s website, on the Bankruptcy Court website, or at the Intake Counter of any bankruptcy court.

The change has been mandated by the Administrative Office of the United States Courts as a cost-saving measure. After a study, the Office determined that less than 5% of the Proof of Claim forms included with the Court’s notices were actually used and returned. The majority of the claims forms that are filed with the court are created electronically by the creditor’s software or through other electronic form creation tools.

Tenth Circuit: Erroneously Admitted Evidence Regarding Fraudulent Activity Was Harmless Given Overwhelming Amount of Evidence Linking Defendant to the Conspiracy

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Blechman on Wednesday, September 14, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s conviction. Petitioner was found guilty of of mail fraud, aggravated identity theft, and conspiracy to commit mail fraud and aggravated identity theft. Evidence introduced at trial showed that a co-defendant operated a business that he used to temporarily halt home foreclosures by “attaching” foreclosure properties to fraudulent bankruptcy cases in order to take advantage of the Bankruptcy Code’s automatic stay provision. Several different pieces of evidence connected Petitioner to his co-defendant’s scheme, and Petitioner now challenges the district court’s admission of some of that evidence. In question are an America Online (AOL) record that connected him to the e-mail address “rablechman@aol.com” and three PACER records revealing that he accessed fraudulent bankruptcy cases in Tennessee that were similar to the Kansas bankruptcies identified in the indictment. Petitioner argues that these records contained double hearsay and that the district court erroneously admitted them under the business records exception to the hearsay rule.

The Court agreed with Petitioner that the evidence should not have been admitted under FRE 803(6). However, the erroneous admission of this evidence does not automatically entitle Petitioner to relief; the Court will not reverse a defendant’s conviction on that basis if the error was harmless to the defendant. In this case, other overwhelming evidence linked Petitioner to the “rablechman@aol.com” e-mail address and Petitioner affirmatively put before the jury evidence of the link between himself and email address in order to advance his defense. Under these circumstances, the Court found the error to be harmless. Additionally, “given the amount of other evidence in the record that more directly linked [Petitioner] to [his co-defendant]’s scheme and the Kansas bankruptcies identified in the indictment, [the Court rejected Petitioner]’s argument that admission of [the PACER] exhibits influenced the outcome of the trial.”

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/14/11

On Wednesday, September 14, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Unpublished

United States v. Flores-Olmos

Hill v. City of Oklahoma City

United States v. Cortez, Sr.

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