April 18, 2018

Archives for April 11, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: Ground Water Replacement Plan Violated Anti-Speculation Doctrine where Proponents Could Not Prove Beneficial Use

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Front Range Resources, LLC v. Colorado Ground Water Commission on Monday, April 9, 2018.

Designated Ground Water—Anti-Speculation Doctrine—Attorney Fees.

The supreme court held that the anti-speculation doctrine applies to replacement plans involving new appropriations or changes of water rights of designated ground water. Here, a private company applied for a replacement plan involving designated ground water in an over-appropriated alluvial aquifer, to which defendants (parties believing the plan would impair their water rights) objected. Because the company could not demonstrate that it or another end-user would put the replacement-plan water to beneficial use, the court concluded that the company’s replacement plan violated the anti-speculation doctrine. It further concluded that the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying defendants attorney fees. The district court’s judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Absent Statutorily Authorized Order Reserving Restitution, Final Judgment Finalizes Restitution Amount

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Belibi on Monday, April 9, 2018.

Sentencing—Restitution.

The People petitioned for review of the court of appeals’ judgment reversing the amended restitution order of the district court, which substantially increased Belibi’s restitution obligation after his judgment of conviction. See People v. Belibi, No. 14CA1239 (Colo. App. May 14, 2015). Following the acceptance of Belibi’s guilty plea, the imposition of a sentence to probation (including a stipulation to $4,728 restitution), and the entry of judgment, the district court amended its restitution order to require the  payment of an additional $302,022 in restitution. The court of appeals held that in the absence of anything in the court’s written or oral pronouncements reserving a final determination of the amount of restitution, the initial restitution order had become final  and could not be amended. The supreme court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. A judgment of conviction, absent a statutorily authorized order reserving a determination of the final amount of restitution due, finalizes any specific amount already set. Therefore, the sentencing court lacked the power to increase restitution beyond the previously set amount of $4,728.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Annotation “RR” on Form Guilty Plea Insufficient to Reserve Final Restitution

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Meza v. People on Monday, April 9, 2018.

Sentencing—Restitution.

Meza petitioned for review of the judgment of the district court (sitting as the court of direct appellate review pursuant to the simplified procedure for county court convictions), which affirmed the county court’s order granting a motion for additional restitution. See People v. Meza, No. 14CV33017 (Denver Dist. Ct. May 15, 2015). The county court ordered the requested additional amount of restitution, finding that the victim had suffered a loss of $936.85 that was not known to the People nor the court at sentencing, when restitution was initially, but not finally, set at $150. On appeal, the district court found that the annotation “RR” on the form guilty plea was sufficient to reserve the final amount of restitution and that the record supported the county court’s finding of an additional loss not known at sentencing; and it therefore affirmed the increase as having been sanctioned by C.R.S. § 18-1.3-603(3)(a). The supreme court reversed the district court’s judgment and remanded the case to the district court with directions to order reinstatement of the $150 restitution order entered prior to judgment of conviction. A judgment of conviction, absent a statutorily authorized order reserving a determination of the final amount of restitution, finalizes any specific amount already set. Because the court ordered no reservation in this case, it lacked the power to increase the amount of restitution it had previously set.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 4/10/2018

On Tuesday, April 10, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued three published opinions and six unpublished opinions.

Daniels v. Dowling

United States v. Rodarmel

United States v. Rhoads

Apodaca v. Smith

Bickham v. Allbaugh

Rudnick v. Raemisch

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