December 10, 2017

Archives for July 8, 2016

CJD 16-02 and CJD 04-05 Regarding Court Appointed Counsel Amended Effective July 1, 2016

On Thursday, July 7, 2016, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the amendments of two Chief Justice Directives, both effective July 1, 2016. Chief Justice Directive 16-02, “Court Appointments Through the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel,” was amended to include an income eligibility guideline chart as Attachment B for parents who request appointment of respondent parents’ counsel based on indigency. The amendments to CJD 16-02 also include guidelines on the procedures for determination of indigency, and criteria for establishing indigency.

CJD 04-05, “Appointment and Payment Procedures for Court-appointed Counsel, Guardians ad litem, Child and Family Investigators, and Court Visitors paid by the Judicial Department in proceedings under Titles 12, 13, 14, 15, 19 (special respondents in dependency and neglect only), 22, 25.5, and 27, C.R.S.,” was amended to incorporate changes to the structure of the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel. On July 1, 2016, pursuant to legislation, the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel (ORPC) assumed responsibility for the contracts and payment for the attorneys with whom the ORPC contracts.  The State Court Administrator’s Office no longer has authority over RPC appointments. The revisions to the directive address payment procedures and remove provisions that dealt with policy and procedural matters related to respondent parent representation. Additionally, non-substantive formatting and organizational changes were made to the Directive.

For all of the Colorado Supreme Court’s Chief Justice Directives, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Property Owners Lacked Standing to Assert Claims for Relief

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Wibby v. Boulder County Board of County Commissioners on Thursday, June 30, 2016.

Lack of Standing.

Plaintiffs are property owners in unincorporated Boulder County (the Owners) who sued to try to force the Boulder County Board of County Commissioners (the County) to maintain their subdivision roads. The roads were part of the county road system and, by statute, are assigned to the County for maintenance. They were maintained by the County until the mid-1990s, but since that time the County has reduced its road funding and the Owners claimed this has resulted in “severe deterioration” of the roads. The Owners brought claims for breach of contract, declaratory relief, and mandamus. After various amendments to the complaint and motions, the district court granted the County’s motion to dismiss for lack of standing. The Owners appealed.

The Court of Appeals analyzed whether the Owners had standing. To establish standing, a plaintiff must demonstrate that (1) plaintiff suffered an injury in fact and (2) the injury was to a legally protected interest. The Owners claimed standing by alleging that a contract was created through the statutory subdivision approval process that they could enforce. However, there is a presumption that statutory enactments alone do not create contractual relationships. The Owners alleged no facts to overcome this presumption and therefore lacked standing to sue the County for breach of contract.

The Owners requests for declaratory relief and mandamus alleged that the County violated its “statutory duty” to maintain subdivision roads under the county highway statutes. Because the statutory county road provisions do not in indicate an intent that they can be enforced by private citizens, the Owners lacked standing. Moreover, the statute clearly entrusts the County with the discretion to allocate funds for developing and overseeing its county road policies.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 7/7/2016

On Thursday, July 7, 2016, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and seven unpublished opinions.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 7/7/2016

On Thursday, July 7, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and one unpublished opinion.

Lane v. Maye

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