May 24, 2018

Archives for August 27, 2014

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 8/27/2014

On Wednesday, August 27, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and seven unpublished opinions.

Lovern v. Dorscheid

Jaramillo v. Colvin

Bushyhead v. Wade

United States v. McGuire

United States v. Garcia

Reed v. Heimgartner

Chen v. Dillard Store Services, Inc.

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.

All Are Welcome at Denver Lawyers’ Arts & Literature Reception on September 10

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The winners of the The Docket’s Third Annual Arts & Literature Contest have been announced, and a reception will be held on September 10, 2014, in their recognition and to honor all entrants. This year’s winners are Barry Bartel (photography and sculpture), Joel Sayres (fiction), Ilona Dotterrer (nonfiction), Erin Agee (poetry), and Brett Godfrey (painting). Their works are featured in the September 2014 issue of The Docket.

Everyone is welcome to attend the reception and enjoy complimentary drinks and appetizers at the DBA offices on September 10, 2014 from 5:30 to 7 p.m. RSVP by September 5 to lunches@cobar.org, or register online here.

Civil Access Pilot Project Extended to June 30, 2015

Chief Justice Directive 11-02 was amended in July to extend the period for the Civil Access Pilot Project until June 30, 2015. In June 2013, the project was extended to December 31, 2014. The court extended the pilot project for an additional six months in order to eliminate confusion, give the court time to determine whether the project achieved its stated goals, and consider what changes should be made to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure, if any.

The Civil Access Pilot Project was developed in order to streamline the litigation process by identifying and narrowing issues at the earliest stage of litigation, require active ongoing case management by a single judge, and attempt to keep litigation costs proportionate to the issues being litigated. It applies to certain business actions, including claims for breach of contract, business tort actions, actions regarding the application of the Uniform Commercial Code, actions involving commercial real property, private actions for securities fraud, actions involving intellectual property, and more.

For CJD 11-02 regarding the Civil Access Pilot Project, click here. For all the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Doctors who Instituted Medical Hold to Prevent Child’s Discharge Not Entitled to Absolute Immunity

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Thomas v. Kaven on Tuesday, August 26, 2014.

M.T., the minor daughter of plaintiffs Legina and Todd Thomas, was placed in a mental health center after revealing suicidal ideation to a police officer who was interviewing her after her parents learned she may have been sexually assaulted. While in the hospital, M.T.’s doctors diagnosed her with a panoply of psychiatric disorders and wanted to start psychotropic medicine. Plaintiffs refused, concerned that the diagnoses were inaccurate and worried about serious side effects. The doctors reported Plaintiffs to the New Mexico Child, Youth, and Families Department (CYFD) for their resistance to M.T.’s treatment. After several weeks, Plaintiffs attempted to remove M.T. from the hospital, and the doctors instituted a medical hold to prevent Plaintiffs from removing M.T. The doctors and hospital initiated court proceedings five days later, but discharged M.T. after holding her for seven days because her insurance would no longer authorize treatment. The doctors again reported Plaintiffs to CYFD for medical neglect based on their decision not to medicate their child. M.T. returned to school and nothing came of the report.

Plaintiffs sued, alleging violations of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 based on violations of their Fourteenth Amendment right to direct their child’s medical care and right to familial association. The defendant doctors asserted absolute and qualified immunity and moved to dismiss. The district court granted the motion to dismiss, holding Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity. Plaintiffs appealed, arguing the district court erred in granting the motion to dismiss because their complaint alleged sufficient facts to sustain their claims of violations of their right to direct their child’s medical care and right to familial association.

The Tenth Circuit clarified that Defendants are not entitled to absolute immunity for seeking a judicial order regarding M.T.’s care. Defendants’ decision to prevent M.T.’s discharge was based on a medical hold that did not invoke the judicial process. The Tenth Circuit next evaluated whether dismissal was appropriate based on qualified immunity, which is usually applied at the summary judgment stage rather than in a motion to dismiss.

As to Plaintiffs’ claims that their right to direct their child’s medical care was violated, the Tenth Circuit disagreed, noting that Plaintiffs’ claim rested on Defendants’ report to CYFD, and since nothing ever came of the report, mere allegations were not enough to violate their parental rights. However, as to Plaintiffs’ claim of violation of the right to familial association, the Tenth Circuit determined Plaintiffs alleged sufficient facts to illustrate a violation. The Tenth Circuit could not tell from the record whether Defendants were entitled to qualified immunity and remanded for this determination.

The district court’s dismissal was affirmed in part, reversed in part, and remanded for further proceedings.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 8/26/2014

On Tuesday, August 26, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

United States v. Reyes-Gonzales

Lewis v. Clark

United States v. Claycomb

United States v. Gruver

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.