November 1, 2014

e-Legislative Report: 2012 Legislative Session Kicks Off

Wednesday, January 11 marked the first day of the 2012 Legislative Session, as lawmakers formally opened the State Capitol for business. The session will run for 120 days, and conclude no later than May 9, although there have been rumors about early adjournment. However, given the magnitude of issues facing the Legislature this session, the prospect of an early adjournment is slim. As is tradition, leadership in both the House and Senate gave opening day speeches showcasing their caucus’ legislative priorities for the session. Both parties stressed the importance of working together across party lines, however as political pundits and the media have reported, this session will likely be hyperpartisan as a result of the upcoming 2012 election and the aftermath of the reapportionment decisions made late last year.

Michael Valdez, the Colorado Bar Association’s Legislative Relations Director, recaps the week’s highlights:

House of Representatives

Speaker McNulty

Speaker of the House Frank McNulty (R-Highlands Ranch) opened the 2012 Legislative Session, and welcomed newly appointed Representative Dave Young (D-Greeley) who fills former Representative Jim Riesberg’s seat. Speaker McNulty’s comments focused on the Republican caucus agenda, and he stressed the importance of bi-partisan work across the aisle to solve Colorado’s problems. He discussed the House Republicans’ “Building a Better Colorado” tour over the summer, and highlighted bill ideas that come directly from that citizen outreach. The central theme in all legislation offered by the Republican caucus will be job creation and elimination of burdensome regulations. He specifically called out his intention to protect Amendment 35 Tobacco Tax funds and direct them towards their intended purposes, for which there is bi-partisan support. In addition, he highlighted two contentious issues where the parties differ – the state’s Medicaid program and the Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption. Speaker McNulty concluded his remarks by welcoming newly elected Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino, and pledging to work collaboratively to address issues important to Coloradans.

Click here to read his full speech.

Representative Mark Ferrandino

Minority Leader Mark Ferrandino (D-Denver) takes the reins of the House Democrat caucus from Representative Sal Pace (D-Pueblo) who resigned his leadership post to focus on his Congressional election. He too shared Speaker McNulty’s desire to partner with colleagues across the aisle, and offered a challenge to lawmakers to “prove the pundits wrong” and function in a bi-partisan manner. He highlighted his caucus’ main goals of bringing good paying jobs to Colorado, improving the state’s education system and addressing Colorado’s changing demographics and economic realities. He offered a sneak preview of the House Democrats “Start-Up Colorado Jobs Package,” which will be introduced in the coming weeks and focuses on assistance for small businesses, incentives for angel investors, and helping to move innovations from lab to market more rapidly. Minority Leader Ferrandino directly addressed the Speaker’s remarks surrounding Medicaid and the Homestead Exemption, and challenged lawmakers to look at everything when debating the budget and clearly stated that there are no sacred cows this year.

Click here to read his full speech.

Senate

President Shaffer

After a delay in opening the session due to the snowy weather (a running joke with the House as the Senate is known for late starts on snow days), Senate President Brandon Shaffer (D-Longmont) offered his remarks on the 2012 session. He reflected back on his time in office, and shared that the privilege of serving in the Senate is too short to waste on petty skirmishes and partisan arguments. He stated his caucus’ number one priority is to “revitalize the engine of Colorado’s economy” and get Colorado back to work. He highlighted the Senate Democrats’ “Colorado Works Jobs Package,” and offered SB 12-001, the Hire Colorado Act, as an example of how his caucus is putting Colorado back to work. Shaffer concluded his speech by stating that process is important as product in the Senate and that he and his colleagues were here to solve problems, not to argue about how to get the work done.

Click here to read his full speech.

Senator Bill Cadman

Newly elected Minority Leader Bill Cadman (R-Colorado Springs) was introduced, and shared his appreciation for his new role. At the same time, he offered condolences to former Senator Mike Kopp who resigned his leadership post and seat to tend to family needs. He shared that his caucus has a similar desire to find common ground on the challenges that lie ahead. He offered that there are two ways in which the Senate can make a difference in the lives of Coloradans: policies and principles. He broadly highlighted his caucus’ agenda, which is focused on easing regulations for business, and creating private sector jobs across the state. He challenged his fellow Senators to be keenly aware is the civility and tone as they begin their legislative work in earnest. Known as the Senate jokester, Senator Cadman’s speech was peppered with jokes about his colleagues, some subtle and some not so subtle.

Click here to read his full speech.

State of the State

Governor Hickenlooper

On Thursday, Governor John Hickenlooper addressed a joint session of the Colorado General Assembly and delivered his annual State of the State Address. It was standing room only as the gallery was packed with community leaders, state officials, lobbyists and staff members. The Governor’s second State of the State address covered a wide array of topics from Colorado’s entrepreneurial history to education reform to civil unions to regulatory issues. He drew his largest applause when he mentioned the Denver Broncos and cheered them along in the upcoming playoff game. The crowd was equally enthused when Hickenlooper offered his position on civil unions and challenged the legislature to pass a “civil unions” bill this session.

Governor Hickenlooper also took the opportunity to introduce a new program titled “T.B.D. Colorado,” in which his administration will travel the state in a large-scale civic engagement project to learn what Coloradans want from their government. He also took the liberty to defend his Administration’s continued stance on the suspending the Senior Homestead Property Tax Exemption, which has drawn fire from the Republican caucus. Throughout the address he called out special guests in the audience, including leadership from Arrow Electronics, Level 3 Communications, the USA Pro Cycling Challenge, and several Colorado veterans. He closed by challenging all Coloradans to make the Centennial State the “healthiest, most entrepreneurial state in the nation.”

Click here to read his full speech.

Click here to read the full e-Legislative Report.

Colorado Supreme Court: Reasonable Person in Defendant’s Position Would Not Have Felt Deprived of Freedom of Action to Degree Associated with Formal Arrest; Miranda Not Implicated

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Mumford v. People on January 17, 2012.

Criminal Law—Criminal Procedure—U.S. Constitution—Fifth Amendment—Miranda Warnings—Custody.

Andrew Mumford challenged his conviction for possession of one gram or less of cocaine, arguing, among other things, that an incriminating statement he made to a law enforcement officer should have been suppressed because it was obtained without proper warnings under Miranda v. Arizona, 384 U.S. 436 (1966). The court of appeals affirmed Mumford’s judgment of conviction, holding that Mumford was not in custody for purposes of Miranda at the time he made the statements.

The Supreme Court affirmed. The Court concluded that under the totality of the circumstances, at the time he made the incriminating statement, a reasonable person in Mumford’s position would not have felt deprived of his or her freedom of action to a degree associated with a formal arrest.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Police Did Not Remove Defendant to Avoid His Objection to Searching Home; Common Law Wife Gave Valid Consent to Second Warrantless Search

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Strimple on January 17, 2012.

U.S. Constitution—Fourth Amendment—Suppression of Evidence—Co-Tenant’s Consent to Police Search of Shared Premises in Absence of Physical Presence of Other Co-Tenant.

The prosecution charged defendant Christopher Strimple with possession of an explosive or incendiary device and other crimes after a police search of the home he shared with Gabriele Thompson, his common law wife. Police responded to the home when Thompson complained of domestic abuse. When police arrived, Strimple refused to let them in, threatened to kill officers if they entered, and engaged officers in a tense stand-off for nearly forty-five minutes. He eventually surrendered peacefully, and police took him into custody.

The police conducted an initial warrantless search of the home to locate and ensure the safety of children in the home and locate a handgun Strimple said was inside the home. Thompson consented to an additional search, during which the police discovered knives, a pipe bomb, and drug paraphernalia. The trial court suppressed this evidence on the basis that, during the stand-off, Strimple had refused consent for entry into the home.

The Supreme Court held that Thompson validly gave her consent to the second warrantless search. Strimple was not physically present at the time, and the police did not remove him from the scene to avoid his objection to the search. The order was reversed.

Summary and full case available here.

State Judicial Begins Amending Forms to Comply with New Civil Procedure Rule Changes

Colorado State Judicial has begun to issuing forms that have been amended to comply with the new civil procedure rules adopted as part of Rule Change 2011(18), effective as of January 1, 2012. The changes are being made to time calculation requirements in the forms, which now must reflect the “rule of 7″/multiples of a week.

State Judicial is reviewing all JDF forms and instructions, however it is always the Parties’ responsibility to ensure compliance with the Supreme Court rules. It is therefore important to review the time calculation rule changes prior to filing, as many of the forms have not been reviewed and changed yet.

Below is a list of forms that have been amended so far. Most forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats; Word templates are forthcoming. Download the new forms from State Judicial’s individual forms pages, or below.

Adoption

  • JDF 530 – “Notice & Summons for Adult Adoption” (revised 1/12)

County Civil / District Civil

  • Form 1.1 – “Summons by Publication” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 82 – “Instructions on How to Collect a Judgment and Completing a Writ of Garnishment” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 96 – “Instructions for Filing an Answer and/or Counterclaim” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 100 – “Instructions for Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED) / Evictions” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 107 – “Order for Entry of Judgment with Issuance of Interrogatories” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 108 – ” Pattern Interrogatories Under CRCP 369(g) – Business” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 110 – ” Instructions for a County Court Civil Case (Money Demand)” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 112 – “Instructions for Reviving a Judgment” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 114 – “Notice to Show Cause for Revival of Judgment” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 115 – ” Instructions for Replevin” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 116 – “Verified Complaint in Replevin” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 119 – “Prejudgment Order for Possession After Hearing” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 122 – “Instructions for Issuance of Contempt Citation” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 123 – “Motion and Affidavit for Citation for Contempt of Court” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 137 – ” Instructions for Filing a Foreign Judgment” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 385 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name to Obtain Identity-Related Documents” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 420 – ” Instructions for filing a Change of Name – Minor” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 432 – ” Instructions for Filing a Change of Name – Adult” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 600 – “District Court Civil Summons” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 605 – ” Instructions for Appealing Property Tax Assessment” (revised 1/12)
  • CRCCP 9 – “Disclosure Statement” (revised 1/12)

Criminal

  • JDF 385 – ” Instructions for Filing a Change of Name to Obtain Identity-Related Documents” (revised 1/12)

Domestic/Family

  • JDF 1099 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation if there are no Children of this Marriage or the Children are Emancipated” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1100 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation With Children” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1102 – “Summons for Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1215 – “Evaluation of a Foreign Decree” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1220 – “Instructions to File a Foreign Decree” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1222 – “Summons for Registration of Foreign Decree” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1325 – “Instructions to Convert Decree of Legal Separation to Decree of Dissolution of Marriage” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1399 – “Instructions to File a Motion or Stipulation to Modify or Terminate Maintenance” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1400 – “Instructions to File a Motion to Relocate Minor Children” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1401 – “Motion to Modify or Terminate Maintenance” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1403 – “Motion to Modify Child Support” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1403I – “Instructions to File a Motion or Stipulation to Modify Child Support” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1406 – “Motion to Modify/Restrict Parenting Time” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1406I – “Instructions to File a Motion to Modify/Restrict Parenting Time” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1407 – “Motion to Relocate Minor Children” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1408 – “Motion to Terminate Child Support Per §14-10-122, C.R.S.” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1411 – “Instructions to File a Motion or Stipulation to Modify Decision-Making Responsibility” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1413I – “Instructions for Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1414 – “Summons to Respond to Petition for Allocation of Parental Responsibilities” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1418I – “Instructions to File a Motion Concerning Parenting Time Disputes” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1426 – “Instructions to File a Motion to Terminate Child Support” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1524 – “Instructions to File a Motion to Modify or Set Aside Parentage” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1525 – “Verified Motion to Modify or Set Aside an Order Determining Parentage” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1600 – “Instructions to File for a Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage (Annulment)” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1602 – “Summons for Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1700 – “Instructions to File for Grandparent Visitation” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1701 – “Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent Visitation” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 1800 – “Instructions for Filing Motions to Enforce Orders” (revised 1/12)

Filing Fees

  • JDF 1 – “Filing Fees, Surcharges, and Costs effective on and after January 23, 2012″ (revised 1/12)

Juvenile

  • JDF 385 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name to Obtain Identity-Related Documents” (revised 1/12)

Miscellaneous

  • JDF 83 – “Notice of Withdrawal as Attorney of Record” (revised 1/12)

Probate

  • JDF 709 – “Instructions to Set a Hearing and to Complete a Notice of Hearing” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 712 – “Notice of Non-Appearance Hearing Pursuant to C.R.P.P. 8.8″ (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 722 – “Objection to Non-Appearance Hearing” (revised 1/12)
  • JDF 963 – “Notice of Non-Appearance Hearing on Petition for Final Settlement” (revised 1/12)

Spark the Discussion: The Inevitability of Marijuana Legalization

“Spark the Discussion” is a monthly Legal Connection column highlighting the hottest trends in the emerging field of medical marijuana law. This column is brought to you by Vicente Sederberg, LLC, a full-service, community-focused medical marijuana law firm.

In an impressive step forward in citizen activism, advocacy groups in both Colorado and Washington recently turned in ample signatures to place marijuana legalization measures on the 2012 Presidential ballot in their respective states.  These measures, which seek to regulate marijuana like alcohol at the statewide level—limiting its use to those 21 and over and requiring sales to take place in strictly regulated stores—would shake the foundation of the nation’s long-standing and increasingly unpopular War on Drugs.  And here’s the kicker: these measures are likely to pass.

Both national and local polling shows the country trending toward marijuana reform.  For the first time in thirty years of polling, the Gallup poll showed a record-high 50% of Americans support making marijuana legal.  This data is matched by a series of regional polls that show western states, in particular, are ready to end the decades-old policy of marijuana prohibition.

Why this surge in support?  Increasingly, marijuana reform is being recognized as a pressing social justice issue that demands attention.  At a recent drug policy reform conference in Los Angeles, Ira Glasser, former head of the national ACLU, gave an impassioned speech citing the Drug War’s disparate impact of people of color and likening the nation’s drug laws with Jim Crow laws.  This sentiment has been echoed by the NAACP, who came out in support of a California measure to legalize marijuana in 2010 with Hilary O. Shelton, vice president of advocacy for the NAACP, saying “We are usually conservative in terms of the issues that we support, but disproportionate prosecution of [African-Americans for] drug-related offenses for marijuana has called us to fight for decriminalization in our community.”

Joining this call for reform are increasing numbers of Latinos, an important and growing section of the electorate, who are growing weary of racial profiling and the inescapable disproportionate racial impact of current drug laws.  Studies indicate that Latinos are arrested for marijuana possession at much higher rates than whites, despite their lower usage rate.  For major cities in California, the 2006-08 arrest rate for Latinos is two to three times higher than for whites.  In New York City, the rate is almost four times higher.  Minority communities are becoming increasingly weary of the collateral consequences experienced by those convicted of drug possession offenses, consequences like denial of federal student loan and housing benefits and lifelong difficulty in securing employment due to a lingering “criminal” record.

In Colorado, where 69% of people in state prisons for drug offenses are people of color, the pending Regulate Marijuana Like Alcohol Act is inspiring a coalition of supporters that includes leaders in the Latino community like Kim Cordova, president of the state’s largest union, and civil rights organizations like the ACLU and the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar.  Just last week, columnists from both sides of the political spectrum penned their support for legalization in both the conservative Colorado Springs Gazette and the mainstream Denver Post.

Together these groups represent the changing face of the drug policy reform movement with impacted parties, opinion makers, and civil rights defenders adding their voices to the call for systemic change.  Given national opinion trends and a growing and diverse coalition in support of reform, it seems increasingly likely that this targeted push back signals the beginning of the end of the failed policy of marijuana prohibition.

Brian Vicente, Esq., is a founding member of Vicente Consulting, LLC, a law firm providing legal solutions for the medical marijuana community. He also serves as executive director of Sensible Colorado, the state’s leading non-profit working for medical marijuana patients and providers. Brian is the chair of the Denver Mayor’s Marijuana Policy Review Panel, serves on the Colorado Department of Revenue Medical Marijuana Oversight Panel, and coordinates the Colorado Bar Association’s Drug Policy Project.

The opinions and views expressed by Featured Bloggers on CBA-CLE Legal Connection do not necessarily represent the opinions and views of the Colorado Bar Association, the Denver Bar Association, or CBA-CLE, and should not be construed as such.