September 25, 2017

Archives for May 5, 2017

Magistrate Priscilla Loew Appointed to District Court Bench in 17th Judicial District

On Wednesday, May 3, 2017, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the governor’s appointment of Priscilla Jeffrey Loew to the 17th Judicial District Court. Loew will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. John Popovich, effective May 31, 2017.

Loew is currently a magistrate in the 17th Judicial District, where she has been since 2016. Prior to her work as a magistrate, Loew was a Senior Deputy District Attorney in the 2nd Judicial District from 2008 to 2016, and a Deputy District Attorney in Weld County from 2006 to 2007. She also clerked for Hon. Larry Naves in the Denver District Court. Loew received her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Bills Requiring Mediation for CORA Disputes and Allowing Local Governments to Tax Marijuana More Signed

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the governor signed two bills into law. To date, he has signed 211 bills and vetoed one bill. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • HB 17-1177“Concerning the Use of Alternative Methods of Resolving Disputes that Arise Under the ‘Colorado Open Records Act,’ by Reps. Cole Wist & Alec Garnett and Sen. John Cooke. During the 14-day period before the person may file an application with the district court, the bill requires the custodian who has denied the right to inspect the record to either meet in person or communicate on the telephone with the person who has been denied access to the record to determine if the dispute may be resolved without filing an application with the district court.
  • HB 17-1203“Concerning the Authority of Certain Local Governments to Levy a Special Sales Tax on Retail Marijuana in Certain Circumstances Subject to Voter Approval by the Eligible Electors of the Local Government,” by Rep. Steve Lebsock and Sens. Larry Crowder & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill authorizes counties and municipalities to levy, collect, and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products; except that a county may levy, collect, and enforce a special sales tax on retail marijuana and retail marijuana products only under certain circumstances.

For a list of all of the governor’s 2017 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 5/4/2017

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued seven published opinions and 29 unpublished opinions.

People v. Thompson

People v. Davis

People v. Higgins

People v. Heisler

Cox v. Sage Hospitality Resources, LLC

People in Interest of M.S.

People in Interest of A.D.

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming.

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: Trial Court Erred in Admitting Non-expert Testimony on Sexual Predator Grooming

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Romero v. People on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Criminal Law—Expert Testimony—Jury Access to Exhibits.

This case required the Colorado Supreme Court to address two issues it recently addressed in two other cases, People v. Jefferson, 2017 CO 35, and Venalonzo v. People, 2017 CO 9. Specifically, the court resolved (1) whether a trial court commits plain error when it fails to limit, sua sponte, a jury’s access to recorded statements during jury deliberations, and (2) whether a trial court abuses its discretion when it allows a police officer to testify as a lay witness about the concept of grooming in the context of sexual predation. The court held that a trial court does not commit plain error when it does not limit a jury’s access to recorded statements without an objection, and that a trial court abuses its discretion when it allows a witness to testify about grooming without qualifying that witness as an expert. The court therefore reversed defendant’s convictions and remanded the case for a new trial.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Exculpatory Clauses Did Not Exculpate Property Owners Association

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in McShane v. Stirling Ranch Property Owners Association on Monday, May 1, 2017.

Exemption from Liability—Exculpatory Contracts— Corporation as Distinct Entity—Corporate Actions through Agents—Vicarious Liability.

The Colorado Supreme Court addressed whether a homeowners association may benefit from exculpatory clauses in the community’s declaration and bylaws when those clauses do not name the association as a protected party. Because the plain language of the exculpatory clauses at issue in this case does not limit the association’s liability, and the association, as an entity distinct from internal boards acting as its agents, cannot benefit from exculpatory clauses protecting those agents, the court concluded that petitioners may bring their claims against the association. Accordingly, the court of appeals’ decision was reversed and the case was remanded.

Summary provided courtesy ofThe Colorado Lawyer .

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/4/2017

On Thursday, May 4, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and five unpublished opinions.

United States v. Pena

Couch v. Mitchell

Farrakhan-Muhammed v. Oliver

Wheeler v. Allstate Insurance Co.

Russell v. Phillips 66 Co.

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