July 28, 2016

Colorado Court of Appeals: Bank Could Waive Obligations Under C.R.S. § 38-38-106(6) Without Violating Public Policy

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Armed Forces Bank, N.A. v. Hicks on Thursday, June 5, 2014.

CRS § 38-38-306(6)—Waiver—Motion to Amend Answer—Counterclaim—Discovery.

In December 2006, Glenwood Commercial, LLC borrowed $6 million from Bank Midwest to build a condominium complex in Glenwood Springs. The loan was secured by a deed of trust on the property where the complex was to be built. The Hickses, who were principals of Glenwood Commercial, provided separate but identical personal guaranties for the loan. Bank Midwest assigned the loan and guaranties to Armed Forces Bank, which later filed suit against Glenwood Commercial and the Hickses for defaulting under the loan agreement. The district court thereafter granted the bank’s motion for summary judgment against the Hickses.

On appeal, the Hickses contended that the district court erred as a matter of law because the bank’s statutory obligations under CRS § 38-38-106(6) could not be waived, and that, in any event, the Hickses’ guaranty documents do not contain a waiver of the bank’s statutory obligations under CRS § 38-38-106(6). CRS § 38-38-106(6) does not contain a prohibition against waiver, and the ability to waive the provisions of CRS § 38-38-106(6) would not violate public policy. Here, the plain language in the guaranty agreements unambiguously waived all of the Hickses’ defenses against the bank other than actual payment of the debt. Therefore, the Hickses waived their defenses based on CRS § 38-38-106(6) in their guaranty agreements and the district court properly granted summary judgment in the bank’s favor.

The Hickses also contended that the district court erred by denying their motion to amend their answer to assert a counterclaim against the bank. The bank was presented the proposed final plat after the January 1, 2010 deadline had passed and after it had filed suit for breach of the note. Therefore, it had the right to repudiate the modification and forbearance agreements and proceed with its contractual remedies. The district court’s denial of the motion to amend on the basis that the counterclaim as alleged was futile and would not survive a motion to dismiss was not an abuse of discretion.

The Hickses further argued that the district court abused its discretion by denying their motion to compel production of documents requiring the bank to produce documents pursuant to its obligations under CRCP 26(a)(1). However, production of the documents was not required under CRCP 26(a)(1) and the Hickses had not requested such documents under CRCP 34 or by any other discovery mechanism. Thus, the district court did not abuse its discretion in denying the motion to compel. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

Probate, Domestic Relations, Juvenile Law, Workers’ Comp Bills, and More Signed by Governor

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign legislation, and has signed 54 bills in the last week. To date, he has signed 317 bills and vetoed two bills. Some of these are summarized here.

Thursday, May 29, 2014

  • SB 14-005 – Concerning Alternative Administrative Remedies for the Processing of Certain Wage Claims, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending the Provisions for Written Notices of a Wage Claim, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Jessie Ulibarri and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill authorizes the Division of Labor to develop an administrative process to handle wage claim cases.
  • SB 14-190 – Concerning Criminal Discovery, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating a Statewide Discovery Sharing System, a Criminal Discovery Surcharge, Civil Immunity for District Attorneys that Make a Good-Faith Effort to Redact Information from Discovery Documents, and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill implements the recommendations of the Discovery Task Force regarding creating and maintaining a statewide eDiscovery system.
  • SB 14-201 – Concerning Reestablishing a Child Protection Ombudsman Advisory Work Group to Develop a Plan for Accountable Autonomy for the Child Protection Ombudsman Program, by Sen. Linda Newell and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill creates a new advisory work group to evaluate the Office of Child Protection Ombudsman Program and recommend ways to improve efficiency.
  • SB 14-203 – Concerning the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse or Neglect, by Sens. Kent Lambert & Linda Newell and Reps. Jenise May & Bob Gardner. The bill creates the Office of Respondent Parents’ Counsel in the Judicial Department in order to provide legal representation to low income respondent parents in dependency and neglect cases.
  • HB 14-1273 – Concerning Human Trafficking, and, In Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Reps. Beth McCann & Jared Wright and Sens. Linda Newell & Gail Schwartz. The bill amends several statutory provisions concerning human trafficking.

Friday, May 30, 2014

  • HB 14-1080 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for the Colorado Ute Indians, by Reps. Mike McLachlan & Don Coram and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill clarifies that sales tax doesn’t apply to purchases made on reservations.
  • HB 14-1119 – Concerning an Income Tax Credit for the Donation of Food to a Hunger-Relief Charitable Organization, by Rep. Mike McLachlan and Sens. Mary Hodge & Ellen Roberts. The bill creates an income tax credit for individual and corporate taxpayers who donate food to hunger-relief charitable organizations.
  • HB 14-1222 – Concerning Modification of the Terms Under Which a County May Issue Tax-Exempt Private Activity Bonds on Behalf of an Eligible Applicant for the Purpose of Financing a Geothermal Energy Project on the Applicant’s Property, by Rep. Mike McLachlan and Sens. Gail Schwartz & Ellen Roberts. The bill changes several provisions regarding private activity bonds issued by counties.

Saturday, May 31, 2014

  • HB 14-1030 – Concerning the Establishment of Incentives for the Development of Hydroelectric Energy Systems, by Reps. Don Coram & Diane Mitsch-Bush and Sens. Gail Schwartz & Ellen Roberts. The bill facilitates the development of hydroelectric energy systems by the State Electrical Board and the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
  • HB 14-1275 – Concerning Authorization for the Parks and Wildlife Commission to Purchase Real Property to Build a Multi-Use Shooting Facility, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Don Coram and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Ellen Roberts. The bill allows the Parks and Wildlife Commission to purchase certain real estate in Mesa County to build a multi-use shooting facility.
  • HB 14-1303 – Concerning the Receipt of Public Testimony from Remote Locations Around the State by Legislative Committees, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Reps. Ray Scott & Mark Ferrandino and Sen. Gail Schwartz. The bill allows the Executive Committee of the Legislative Council to establish policies to allow remote testimony from more than one location in Colorado.

Sunday, June 1, 2014

  • HB 14-1278 – Concerning Continuation of the Workers’ Compensation Accreditation Program Administered by the Division of Workers’ Compensation, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2013 Sunset Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies, by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill continues the Workers’ Comp Accreditation Program and requires the DWC to conduct a study on the potential impact on the state of adopting the current version of the AMA Guides to Evaluation of Permanent Impairment.
  • HB 14-1323 – Concerning Restrictions on the Ability of a Government Entity to Access an Individual’s Personal Medical Information, by Rep. Dianne Primavera and Sens. Kevin Lundberg & John Kefalas. The bill places restrictions on the Department of Revenue’s use of personal medical information, and requires the DOR to receive an individual’s permission before accessing personal medical information.
  • HB 14-1322 – Concerning the Colorado Probate Code, by Rep. Mike McLachlan and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill makes several changes to the Colorado Probate Code provisions concerning control and distribution of estate assets.
  • HB 14-1363 – Concerning the Nonsubstantive Revision of Statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as Amended, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Imperfect, and Inoperative Law to Preserve the Legislative Intent, Effect, and Meaning of the Law, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Ellen Roberts. This bill, the Revisor’s Bill, makes several nonsubstantive changes to the Colorado Revised Statutes in order to repeal or amend obsolete or unclear provisions of the law.
  • HB 14-1379 – Concerning Clarifying the Application of the Spousal Maintenance Statutes, by Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill clarifies the applicability of prior spousal maintenance statutes in cases filed prior to January 1, 2014.
  • SB 14-184 – Concerning Oversight of the Industrial Hemp Program, by Sen. Gail Schwartz and Rep. Don Coram. The bill modifies existing statutes related to the industrial hemp program and creates an industrial hemp research grant program.
  • SB 14-191 – Concerning the Procedures for Resolution of Workers’ Compensation Claims, by Sen. Lois Tochtrop and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill makes several changes to provisions regarding the resolution of workers’ compensation claims.
  • SB 14-206 – Concerning Criminal Record Sealing Provisions, and, in Connection Therewith, Relocating the Record Sealing Provisions in a New Part, Clarifying when an Arrest Record can be Sealed, and Making Other Clarifying Changes, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill reorganizes statutes regarding sealing of criminal records and relocates them to another section of statute.

Tuesday, June 3, 2014

  • HB 14-1156 – Concerning Extending the Age of Eligibility for the Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Kevin Priola and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill expands eligibility for the Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Program from kindergarten through 2nd Grade to kindergarten through 12th Grade.
  • HB 14-1301 – Concerning the Safe Routes to School Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Dianne Mitsch Bush and Sen. Andy Kerr. The bill appropriates funds to the CDOT in order to continue the Safe Routes to School program, which distributes funds to projects to improve the safety of pedestrians and bicyclists in school areas.

For a list of Governor Hickenlooper’s legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Regarding Provision of Social Workers for Juveniles, Annual Reports for Public Benefit Corporations, and More Signed

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign legislation that cleared both houses this 2014 Legislative Session. He signed bills on Wednesday, May 14, 2014; Thursday, May 15; Friday, May 16; and Saturday, May 17. To date, he has signed 248 bills and vetoed two. Some of the bills signed each day last week are summarized here.

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

  • SB 14-164Concerning Aerial Firefighting Efforts Through the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing Recommendations Made by the Division Regarding the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps, by Sens. Morgan Carroll & Steve King and Reps. Bob Gardner & Mike McLachlan. The bill directs the Division of Fire Prevention to maximize its aerial firefighting capabilities.
  • HB 14-1010 – Concerning Corrections to Statutory Provisions Relating to the Prescribed Burning Program Administered by the Division of Fire Prevention and Control in the Department of Public Safety, by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. George Rivera. The bill renames “prescribed burn manager” as “certified burner” and removes persons with this credential from the list of persons who may attend a prescribed burn in a supervisory role.
  • HB 14-1023 – Concerning the Provision of Social Workers to Juveniles, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri. The bill allows
    the Office of the State Public Defender to hire social workers to assist in juvenile defense cases, and specifies that any reports generated are to be considered evidence in the case.

Thursday, May 15, 2014

  • SB 14-073 – Concerning the State Income Tax Credit for the Environmental Remediation of Contaminated Land in the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Sen. Cheri Jahn and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill creates an income tax credit for individuals, organizations, and “qualified entities” that perform any approved environmental remediation of contaminated property.
  • SB 14-092 – Concerning the Creation of the Crime of Insurance Fraud, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. George Rivera and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill classifies insurance fraud as a crime and identifies fraudulent actions for insurance claimants, agents, and brokers.
  • SB 14-156 – Concerning a Requirement that a Public Benefit Corporation file an Annual Report, by Sens. John Kefalas & Rollie Heath and Rep. Pete Lee. The bill requires Public Benefit Corporations to file annual reports that discuss the ways in which the corporation has promoted its specified public benefits and that assess its overall social and environmental performance against a third-party standard.
  • HB 14-1044 – Concerning Consequences for a Parolee who Tampers with an Electronic Monitoring Device that the Parolee is Required to Wear as a Condition of Parole, by Rep. Timothy Dore and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill provides that if a parolee tampers with an electronic monitoring device, he or she is subject to immediate warrantless arrest.
  • HB 14-1144 – Concerning Measures to Improve the Performance of District Attorneys, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill provides for cost-sharing of salaries for entry-level deputy district attorneys.
  • HB 14-1347 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days, by Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Linda Newell. The bill continues to revise statutes so that statutorily established time periods conform to the “rule of seven.”
  • HB 14-1353 – Concerning Powers of Appointment, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Mike Johnston. The bill creates the Uniform Powers of Appointment Act (act), as recommended by the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws.

Friday, May 16, 2014

  • SB 14-011 – Concerning the Colorado Energy Research Authority, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst. The bill changes the name of the Colorado Renewable Research Authority to the Colorado
    Energy Research Authority and creates a cash fund.
  • HB 14-1005 – Concerning Clarification of the Requirements Applicable to a Change of Point of Water Diversion, by Reps. Jerry Sonnenberg & Dave Young and Sens. Kevin Lundberg & John Kefalas. The bill clarifies that if a ditch owner relocates a headgate to a new surface point of diversion, as long as the relocation does not physically interfere with the complete use of or enjoyment of other water rights, the owner does not need to file a change of water right application.

Saturday, May 17, 2014

  • HB 14-1001 – Concerning the Creation of a Property Tax Reimbursement for a Taxpayer that Owes Property Tax on Property that has been Destroyed by a Natural Cause, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Jeanne Nicholson. The bill creates a reimbursement program for property taxes paid on a property that has been destroyed by a natural disaster.
  • HB 14-1159 – Concerning a State Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Components used in Biogas Production Systems, by Reps. Angela Young & Timothy Dore and Sens. Gail Schwartz & Larry Crowder. The bill creates a sales and use tax exemption for equipment used to capture biogas to be used as a renewable natural gas or the equipment used to turn biogas into electricity.
  • HB 14-1281 – Concerning the Allowance for Terminally Ill Patients to have Access to Investigational Products that have not been Approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration that Other Patients have Access to when they Participate in Clinical Trials, by Reps. Joann Ginal & Janak Joshi and Sens. George Rivera & Irene Aguilar. The bill allows terminally ill patients to have access to experimental drugs without participating in a clinical trial.
  • HB 14-1349 – Concerning the Creation of an Exemption from Property Taxes for Qualifying Business Entities Controlled by Nonprofit Organizations that are Formed for the Purpose of Qualifying for Federal Tax Credits, by Reps. Dickey Lee Hullinghorst & Brian DelGrosso and Sen. Rollie Heath. The bill broadens eligibility for nonprofits for federal tax credits to LLCs and limited partnerships.

For a list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2014 legislative decisions, click here.

HB 14-1379: Clarifying the Applicability of Prior Statute in Claims for Spousal Maintenance Filed Before January 1, 2014

On April 15, 2014, Rep. Beth McCann and Sen. Andy Kerr introduced HB 14-1379 – Concerning Clarifying the Application of Spousal Maintenance Statutes. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill clarifies that the spousal maintenance statute as it existed prior to January 1, 2014, governs claims for maintenance in dissolution of marriage and other actions filed prior to January 1, 2014.

The bill clarifies that, in addition to remarriage, maintenance also terminates upon the establishment of a civil union by the party receiving maintenance.

The bill was approved by the House on April 28. The Senate Judiciary Committee approved the bill on April 30, and on May 2 the bill was approved on 2nd Reading in the Senate.

Since this summary, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the Senate, unamended, and will go next to the governor’s desk.

HB 14-1347: Modifying Various Statutes to Comply with “Rule of Seven”

On March 28, 2014, Rep. Lois Court and Sen. Linda Newell introduced HB 14-1347 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Periods that are Multiples of Seven Days. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill changes time periods in certain court proceedings to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days to avoid actions being due on weekends. Similar changes to 7-day periods or periods that are multiples of 7 days were made to the Colorado Revised Statutes in 2012, pursuant to Senate Bill 12-175. The CBA LPC has voted to support this legislation.

On April 25, the bill passed 3rd Reading in the Senate and is now on its way to Gov. John Hickenlooper’s desk for signature.

 

First Bill Signed by Governor Enacts C.R.S. as Colorado Statutory Law

On Tuesday, February 11, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper signed into law the first bill of the 2014 Legislative Session. HB 14-1019 – Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2013 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado, introduced by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Pat Steadman, amends C.R.S. § 2-5-126 by specifying that the 2013 Colorado Revised Statutes are the state’s official statutory law.

Governor Hickenlooper’s 2014 legislative decisions will be listed here as the bills are signed.

 

Colorado Supreme Court: Grandparents and Relatives Allowed to Intervene in D&N Action Without 3-Month Time-Period Limitation

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People in Interest of O.C. on Monday, September 9, 2013.

Dependency and Neglect—CRS § 19-3-507(5)(a).

In this dependency and neglect case, the Supreme Court held that CRS § 19-3-507(5)(a) permits parents, grandparents, and relatives to intervene as a matter of right. The Court further held that the statute’s three-month requirement does not apply to parents, grandparents, or relatives. The Court therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary and full case available here.

HB 13-1300: The Revisor’s Bill – Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Conflicting, or Inconsistent Laws

On April 10, 2013, Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. John Morse introduced HB 13-1300 – Concerning Nonsubstantive Revisions of Statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as Amended, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Inconsistent, and Conflicting Provisions of Law and Clarifying the Language to Reflect the Legislative Intent of the Laws.  This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Committee on Legal Services—Revisor’s Bill

This bill amends or repeals various statutory provisions that are obsolete, inconsistent, or in conflict with other law, clarifies the language to more accurately reflect the legislative intent of the laws, and reconstructs provisions to follow standard drafting format. The specific reasons for each amendment or repeal are set forth in the appendix to this bill.

The amendments made by this bill are nonsubstantive in nature and, as such, are not intended to change the meaning or intent of the statutes, as amended.

The bill was introduced on April 10 and was assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The bill is scheduled for committee review on April 23 at 1:30 p.m.

Since this summary, the bill was amended in the Judiciary Committee and sent to the House Committee of the Whole for consideration on Second Reading.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several Bills Into Law

Governor Hickenlooper signed the first bills of the 2013 legislative session on January 31, 2013. Since then, he has signed an additional 116 bills, for a total of 118 bills.

On March 22, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper signed 29 bills. Five of them are summarized here.

  • HB 13-1126 – Concerning Statutorily Established Time Intervals, by Rep. Jared Wright and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill continues amending statutes in order to comply with “rule of seven” date calculations.
  • HB 13-1166 – Concerning the Repeal of Certain Crimes that Include Marital Status as an Element of the Crime, by Rep. Elena Kagan and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill repeals the crimes of adultery and promoting sexual immorality.
  • SB 13-012 – Concerning Reporting of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect by Youth Sports Organizations, by Sen. Rollie Heath and Rep. Jonathan Singer. The bill mandates that coaches, directors, and athletic personnel for youth sports organizations report suspected child abuse and neglect.
  • SB 13-078 – Concerning Points of Diversion that are Not Located at the Physical Location Specified in the Decrees for Diverted Water Rights, by Sen. Angela Giron and Rep. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill allows owners of water rights to correct established but erroneously recorded points of diversion without having to apply for a change in water right.
  • SB 13-118 – Concerning Clarification of the Exemptions from the Laws Regulating Mortgage Loan Originators, and, in Connection Therewith, Exempting Real Estate Licensees Representing Persons Providing Seller Financing for the Sale of a Limited Number of Residential Properties Annually as Allowed by Law, by Sen. Mary Hodge and Rep. Dan Pabon. The bill allows a private property owner to provide seller financing to up to five properties without needing to fulfill licensing and registration requirements of mortgage brokers.

Governor Hickenlooper signed 12 bills into law on March 29, 2013. Four of them are summarized here.

  • HB 13-1016 – Concerning the Distribution to Beneficiaries of Amounts on Payable-on-Death (POD) Financial Institution Accounts Pursuant to Written Designation in the Records of the Financial Institution, by Rep. Bob Gardner and Sen. Cheri Jahn. The bill  specifies that funds held in a payable-on-death account may be distributed in an unequal manner if such intent is clearly written in the records of the financial institution.
  • HB 13-1168 – Concerning an Expansion in the Ability of a Ditch to Operate as an Acequia Ditch, by Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Gail Schwartz. The bill allows acequia ditch corporations to operate on properties other than long lots.
  • SB 13-008 – Concerning Elimination of the Waiting Period for Children’s Eligibility Under the Children’s Basic Health Plan, by Sen. Linda Newell and Rep. Beth McCann. The bill removes the waiting period for CHP+ health insurance, in hopes that removing the waiting period will encourage people to leave group plans and join CHP+.
  • SB 13-177 – Concerning Changes to the Juvenile Corrections Programs Resulting in Cost Reductions and Reducing the Juvenile Detention Bed Cap, Reducing the Appropriation for Commitment Beds and Assessment Services, and Making an Appropriation for Transportation, by the Joint Budget Committee. The bill reduces the maximum number of beds available in the Division of Youth Corrections due to a decreased number of youth offenders.

Finally, Governor Hickenlooper signed one bill on April 1, 2013. It is summarized here.

  • SB 13-194 – Concerning a Repeal of a Telephone Assistance Program for Low-Income Individuals and Reducing an Appropriation, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Cheri Gerou. The bill repeals the Low-Income Telephone Assistance Program.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plain Language of Statute Requires Sex Offender Registration to Continue for 10 Years After Final Release

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Sheth on Thursday, March 14, 2013.

Declaratory Judgment—Sex Offender Registration—CRS § 16-22-113.

In this declaratory judgment action, petitioner Parag Sheth appealed the district court’s judgment denying his request for equitable relief to discontinue the requirement that he register as a sex offender. The judgment was affirmed.

In 2008, petitioner pleaded guilty to criminal attempt to commit Internet sexual exploitation of a child, a class 5 felony. He was sentenced to thirty-six months’ probation, which included a number of conditions, such as undergoing sex offender treatment and refraining from all contact with minors. He also was required to register as a sex offender under the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act (Act). In 2011, the district court reduced petitioner’s probationary sentence to two years, and his probation ended as a matter of law on that date.

Petitioner filed a CRCP 57 action seeking a declaratory judgment determining that his registration duties terminated when his probation terminated. The district court concluded that CRS § 16-22-113 was the relevant statutory section and that it requires a person to wait ten years after final release from the jurisdiction of the court for the offense triggering the registration duties before petitioning the court for termination of those duties.

On appeal, petitioner argued that the sentencing court has discretion to set the length of time that the petitioner is required to register, pursuant to its sentencing authority. The Court of Appeals disagreed, finding that the language of CRS § 16-22-113 is unambiguous and there are no exceptions to the waiting period.

Summary and full case available here.

The Intersection of Lawful Off-Duty Activities and Employment Discrimination

A few years ago, the national and local news ran a story about a man who was employed by a company that distributes Budweiser beer and was fired for drinking a Coors (click here for the Denver Post story). The man said that the company president’s son-in-law saw him sipping the Coors, and he was terminated two days later.

We know there are two sides to every story, and the article focused on the man’s story, not the employer’s. However, if what the man said was true, the employer violated the Lawful Activities Statute, C.R.S. § 24-34-402.5. This statute provides “It shall be a discriminatory or unfair practice for an employer to terminate the employment of any employee due to that employee’s engaging in any lawful activity off the premises of the employer during nonworking hours. . . .” The statute applies only to employees, not job applications.

The statute enumerates three exceptions to this rule, if the conduct: (1) relates to a bona fide occupational requirement; (2) creates a conflict of interest; and (3) is rationally related to the employment activities.

In the beer case, the employer claimed that the employee’s activity fell under all three exceptions–the employer stated that the employee was terminated to avoid a conflict of interest, and that his conduct was rationally related to a bona fide occupational requirement.

The beer case never went to trial, but the issue is not uncommon in employment disputes. Very few cases have interpreted the statute, however; Marsh v. Delta Air Lines, Inc., 952 F. Supp. 1458 (D. Colo. 1997) provides most of the guidance on the issue.

To learn more about the intersection of lawful off-duty activities and employment discrimination, don’t miss CBA-CLE’s Employment Law Conference April 4 and 5 at the Denver Marriott City Center. Click the links below to register online or call (303) 860-0608.

CLE Program: 2013 Employment Law Conference

This CLE presentation will take place on Thursday and Friday, April 4 and 5, 2013, at the Denver Marriott City Center. Click here to register for the live program.

Can’t make the live program? Click here to order the homestudy.

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Several Bills Into Law

Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign bills into law as they make it through the House and Senate. To date, he has signed 46 bills into law since January 31, 2013. Most recently, he signed 15 bills on March 8, 2013. Five of these bills are summarized here.

The governor also signed four bills on February 27, 2013, which are summarized here.

Prior to this, the governor signed 23 Joint Budget Committee bills and two other bills on February 19, 2013.

For a complete list of the governor’s legislative decisions to date, click here.