July 24, 2017

Archives for September 2, 2016

Happy Labor Day from CBA-CLE!

flagHappy Labor Day! The CBA and CLE offices will be closed on Monday, September 5, 2016, in observance of Labor Day.

Labor Day is always celebrated on the first Monday in September. It was established to honor the American labor movement and the social and economic achievements of American workers.

There is some debate as to who first proposed Labor Day. Many credit Matthew Maguire, a machinist who later became the secretary of Local 344 of the International Association of Machinists in Paterson, N.J. Others contend Labor Day was proposed by Peter J. McGuire, general secretary of the Brotherhood of Carpenters and Joiners and a cofounder of the American Federation of Labor. Regardless of whose idea it was, though, the first Labor Day was celebrated in New York City on Tuesday, September 5, 1882.

The Colorado legislature enacted Labor Day in 1887, and on June 28, 1894, Congress enacted a bill making the first Monday in September a national holiday, signed by President Grover Cleveland after the end of a bloody strike, the Pullman Strike.

Today, Labor Day is generally celebrated with barbecues and picnics, but the original plan for Labor Day was outlined in the first proposal as a street parade to exhibit to the public the strength and esprit de corps of the trade and labor organizations of the community, followed by a festival for the recreation and amusement of the workers and their families. Later, the day included speeches by prominent figures in the labor movement, although that has largely been abandoned today.

Denver celebrates Labor Day weekend with the Taste of Colorado festival, held in Civic Center Park. Additionally, the Colorado State Fair will take place in Pueblo this weekend, Colorado Springs will host its annual Labor Day Liftoff Hot Air Balloon festival, and the Buffs and Rams will have their annual showdown at Sports Authority Field at Mile High Stadium tonight.

No matter what your plans for the weekend include, we hope you have a happy and safe weekend, and a great Labor Day.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Terminate Parent-Child Relationship

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of J.W. on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Termination of Parent–Child Relationship—Lack of Jurisdiction.

The Clear Creek Department of Human Services (department) filed a petition in dependency or neglect concerning J.W. and N.W. Following a jury trial concerning mother, the jury answered “no” to the question of whether the children lacked proper parental care and stated that it was “unable to return an answer” as to whether the children’s environment was injurious to their welfare. Immediately following the jury trial, a hearing was held to discuss scheduling a new adjudication trial for mother. Mother instead chose to admit the children’s environment was injurious to their welfare, and the court accepted her admission. No order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected was entered. The court adopted the treatment plan already in place as the plan going forward. A few months later, the court terminated mother’s parental rights. More than a month after mother’s parental rights were terminated, the court entered a written order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to her.

Mother appealed the order purporting to terminate her legal relationship with her children. The Court of Appeals considered whether the trial court had jurisdiction to terminate mother’s parental rights before it entered an order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to her and concluded it did not. Without adjudication, a court does not acquire subject matter jurisdiction to terminate a parent–child relationship.

In addition, the Court found that the written adjudicatory order was entered several weeks after mother filed her notice of appeal. Once the notice of appeal was filed, the trial court lacked jurisdiction to take any action because jurisdiction had been shifted to the Court of Appeals.

The order adjudicating the children dependent or neglected with respect to mother and the judgment terminating her parental rights with respect to the children were vacated. The case was remanded for the trial court to resume proceedings at the adjudicatory stage.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: District Court Had Discretion Whether to Award Presentence Confinement Credit

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Garcia on Thursday, August 25, 2016.

Presentence Confinement Credit—Youthful Offender System.

Defendant was charged as an adult with multiple felonies in two cases for offenses he committed while a juvenile. The cases were resolved through a disposition in which defendant pleaded guilty to one felony in each case. The parties stipulated to concurrent sentences in the custody of the Department of Corrections (DOC) with a controlling sentence of 18 years. The parties also agreed that each DOC sentence would be suspended if defendant successfully completed six years in the Youthful Offender System (YOS). The district court refused to award presentence confinement credit (PSCC) at sentencing.

Defendant appealed the court’s refusal to award PSCC. C.R.S. § 18-1.3-407(2)(a)(I) provides that the court “may award an offender sentenced to the [YOS] credit for presentence confinement; except that such credit shall not reduce the offender’s actual time served in the [YOS] to fewer than two years.” Defendant argued that this section was not discretionary, and that “may” meant “shall.” The Court of Appeals disagreed. The language of the statute is not ambiguous. The use of the word “may” is indicative of a grant of discretion by the legislature, particularly where it is used in the same sentence with the word “shall.” The Court noted that if defendant does not successfully complete his six-year YOS sentence and is resentenced to DOC, he will be entitled to an award of PSCC under C.R.S. § 18-1.3-405.

Alternatively, defendant argued that even if “may” is permissive, the district court abused its discretion in refusing to award PSCC. The Court held it was not an abuse of discretion for the district court not to award PSCC for the 358 days defendant spent in jail before he was sentenced in one case and the 418 days in the other. The Court found ample documentation in the record to support the district court’s decision.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.