June 23, 2017

Archives for January 26, 2016

Hon. R. Michael Mullins to Retire and Hon. Ann Frick to Resign from Second Judicial District Court

On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced that Hon. R. Michael Mullins will retire from the Second Judicial District Court, effective July 1, 2016, and Hon. Ann Frick will resign from that court, effective July 1, 2016.

Judge Mullins was appointed to the district court bench in 1990. Prior to his appointment, he practiced in the litigation section of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office and was a trial attorney in the Denver Office of the Colorado State Public Defender. He was also an attorney in private practice, specializing in criminal, administrative, and workers’ compensation law. He received his undergraduate degree from St. Louis University and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

Judge Frick was appointed to the district court bench in June 2010. Prior to her appointment, she spent several years at the boutique firm, Kelly, Haglund, Garnsey & Kahn, and also worked at Holme Roberts Owen (now Bryan Cave) and the Denver District Attorney’s Office. She also was a founder and name partner of the Jacobs Chase firm, where she practiced complex business and real estate litigation.

Applications are now being accepted for the vacancies. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Second Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website and are also available from the ex officio chair of the Second Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Monica Marquez. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on March 8, 2016. Anyone wishing to nominate another person must do so in writing no later than 4 p.m. on March 1, 2016.

For more information about the vacancies, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 1/25/2016

On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued three published opinions.

P.W. v. Children’s Hospital Colorado

Esquivel-Castillo v. People

Ryals v. City of Englewood

Summaries of these 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Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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.

Colorado Supreme Court: Hospital Assumed Duty to Protect Suicidal Patient from Self-Harm

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in In re P.W. v. Children’s Hospital Colorado on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Torts—Medical Malpractice—Comparative Negligence.

In this original proceeding arising out of a medical malpractice action, the Supreme Court considered whether the defendant hospital’s comparative negligence and assumption of risk defenses were properly dismissed on summary judgment. First, the Court analyzed the nature of defendant’s duties toward the patient and determined that defendant undertook to render mental healthcare services to prevent the patient from engaging in self-harm. The Court then reasoned that the scope of defendant’s assumption of duty subsumed any legal duty the patient had not to engage in foreseeable self-destructive behavior. Accordingly, the Court concluded that defendant cannot assert the patient’s comparative negligence under the facts of the case and discharged the rule.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Felony Murder Instruction Adequately Apprised Jury of Elements of Kidnapping

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Esquivel-Castillo v. People on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Sufficiency of an Information—Notice of Charges—Felony Murder.

Esquivel-Castillo petitioned for review of the judgment of the court of appeals affirming his conviction of felony murder. A jury acquitted him of a separate count of kidnapping, charged according to the “seized and carried” alternative way of committing that crime, but convicted him of felony murder for a death caused during his commission or attempted commission of kidnapping the same victim, during the same charged timeframe, by a different statutorily qualifying act of kidnapping. As pertinent to the issue on review in the Supreme Court, the court of appeals rejected Esquivel-Castillo’s assertion that the more specific kidnapping charge necessarily limited the scope of the more generally charged felony murder count to a charge of death caused in the course of or in furtherance of the commission of kidnapping by seizing and carrying the victim from one place to another, resulting in his having been convicted of a crime with which he had never been charged.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. Because one count of an information is not circumscribed by another count of that information unless the latter is incorporated in the former by clear and specific reference, the Court determined that the crime of kidnapping alleged more generally as an element of felony murder was not limited to the specific alternative act of kidnapping alleged in the separate kidnapping count. Therefore, jury instructions as to all statutory forms of kidnapping supported by the evidence did not constructively amend the felony murder charge.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: City Ordinance Effectively Barring Sex Offender Residence Does Not Conflict with State Law

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ryals v. City of Englewood on Monday, January 25, 2016.

Home Rule—Local Government Law—Land Use—Sex Offenders—Conflict in Matter of Mixed State and Local Concern—Preemption.

Having accepted jurisdiction over this certified question of law from the Tenth Circuit, the Supreme Court held that state law does not preempt Englewood’s Ordinance 34. The ordinance implicates a matter of mixed state and local concern by effectively barring sex offenders from residing in Englewood, but it does not conflict with Colorado’s statutory regime for regulating sex offenders as required for state preemption. Nothing in the state regulatory regime prevents home-rule cities from barring sex offenders from residing in their communities, nor is there anything that suggests sex offenders are permitted to live wherever they wish. Furthermore, a state statutory provision specifically authorizes local law enforcement to decline an offender’s application for residency if it violates local law. As such, Ordinance 34 does not conflict with state law and thus is not preempted. This Court therefore answered the certified question in the negative and returned this case to the Tenth Circuit for further proceedings.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 1/25/2016

On Monday, January 25, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and eight unpublished opinions.

United States v. Sparks

Mancell v. McHugh

Cain v. Aragon

United States v. Lewis

Pemberton v. Patton

Montoya v. Hunter Douglas Window Fashions, Inc.

White v. City of Albuquerque

Pemberton v. Patton

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