April 29, 2017

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 4/24/2017

On Monday, April 24, 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court issued nine published opinions.

People v. Jacobson

People v. Larsen

City & County of Denver School District No. 1 v. Denver Classroom Teachers Association

People v. Reyes-Valenzuela

City & County of Denver v. Expedia, Inc.

Rocky Mountain Retail Management, LLC v. City of Northglenn

People v. Beauvais

People v. Jefferson

Martinez v. People

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Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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: Warrantless Blood Draw on Unconscious Driver Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Hyde on Monday, April 17, 2017.

Searches and Seizures—Warrantless Blood Draw— Consent to Search.

In this interlocutory appeal, the Colorado Supreme Court considered whether a warrantless blood draw conducted on an unconscious driver pursuant to Colorado’s Expressed Consent Statute, C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1, violates the Fourth Amendment’s prohibition on unreasonable searches. The court explained that by driving in Colorado, the driver consented to the terms of the statute, including its requirement that “[a]ny person who is dead or unconscious shall be tested to determine the alcohol or drug content of the person’s blood.” The court concluded that the driver’s prior statutory consent satisfied the consent exception to the warrant requirement under the Fourth Amendment; therefore, the blood draw conducted in this case was constitutional. Consequently, the court reversed the trial court’s order suppressing the blood-draw evidence.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: All Motorists in Colorado Consent to Colorado’s Expressed Consent Statute by Driving

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Simpson on Monday, April 17, 2017.

Searches and Seizures—Warrantless Blood Draw—Consent to Search.

Colorado’s Expressed Consent Statute, C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1, provides that any motorist who drives on the roads of the state has consented to take a blood or breath test when requested to do so by a law enforcement officer with probable cause to suspect the motorist of driving under the influence. In this interlocutory appeal, the court reviewed the trial court’s ruling that an advisement accurately informing defendant of the statute amounted to coercion that rendered his consent to a blood test involuntary and required suppression of the test result. The court explained that by driving in Colorado, defendant consented to the terms of the statute, including its requirement that he submit to a blood draw under the circumstances present in this case. The court concluded that defendant’s prior statutory consent satisfied the consent exception to the warrant requirement under the Fourth Amendment; therefore, the blood test conducted in this case was constitutional. Consequently, the court reversed the trial court’s suppression of the test result.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Use of Refusal to Consent to Blood Test as Evidence Does Not Violate Fourth Amendment

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fitzgerald v. People on Monday, April 17, 2017.

Searches and Seizures—Refusal to Submit to 12 Blood-Alcohol Testing—Admission of Refusal Evidence.

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether the prosecution’s use of a defendant’s refusal to consent to blood-alcohol testing as evidence of guilt at trial for a drunk-driving offense, in accordance with the terms of Colorado’s Expressed Consent Statute, C.R.S. § 42-4-1301.1, violates the Fourth Amendment. Because the use of such refusal evidence does not impermissibly burden a defendant’s right to be free from unreasonable searches, the court concluded that the use of such refusal evidence does not violate the Fourth Amendment. The court therefore affirmed the judgment of the district court.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: General Personal Jurisdiction Only Appropriate when Business “Essentially at Home” in Colorado

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Clean Energy Collective, LLC v. Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. on Monday, April 17, 2017.

Constitutional Law—Personal Jurisdiction—General Jurisdiction—Corporations and Business Organizations.

The Colorado Supreme Court issued a rule to show cause to review the trial court’s  conclusion that defendant Borrego Solar Systems, Inc. is subject to general  personal jurisdiction in Colorado. Because the trial court did not assess whether Borrego was essentially at home in Colorado, the court concluded it did not fully apply the test announced in Magill v. Ford Motor Co., 2016 CO 57, 379 P.3d 1033, and therefore erred in exercising general personal jurisdiction over Borrego. Applying the complete test, the court further concluded that Borrego is not subject to general jurisdiction in this state. The rule to show cause was made absolute and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Privity of Contract Must Exist for Breach of Warranty of Suitability Claim

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Forest City Stapleton, Inc. v. Rogers on Monday, April 17, 2017.

Implied Warranty of Suitability—Privity of Contract—Implied Warranties.

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether privity of contract is necessary for a home buyer to assert a claim for breach of the implied warranty of suitability against a developer. The court concluded that because breach of the implied warranty of suitability is a contract claim, privity of contract is required in such a case. Here, the home buyer was not in privity of contract with the developer and thus cannot pursue a claim against the developer for breach of the implied warranty of suitability. Accordingly, the court of appeals’ judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 4/17/2017

On Monday, April 17, 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court issued five published opinions.

Forest City Stapleton, Inc. v. Rogers

People v. Hyde

People v. Simpson

Fitzgerald v. People

Clean Energy Collective, LLC v. Borrego Solar Systems, Inc.

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: Speedy Trial Deadlines Not Violated by Prosecution’s Requested Continuance

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Mosley v. People on Monday, April 10, 2017.

Criminal Trials—Speedy Trial—Continuances.

The Colorado Supreme Court reviewed the Colorado Court of Appeals’ construction of Colorado’s speedy trial statute, C.R.S. § 18-1-405. The court rejected Mosley’s contention that the exclusions of time listed in subsection (6) of the statute apply only to the speedy trial calculation for an initial trial, and not for a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal under subsection (2). The court concluded that subsection (1) of the statute establishes the basic right to a speedy trial, and that subsection (2) clarifies that right by identifying the trial court’s receipt of the mandate as the event that triggers the six-month speedy trial period for a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal. Because a defendant’s speedy trial right—whether in an initial trial or on retrial—derives from subsection (1), the exclusions of time listed in subsection (6) apply to both an initial trial and a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal.

The court further rejected Mosley’s contention that the trial court erred in granting a continuance and extending the speedy trial deadline in this case. The court therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Trial Court’s Grant of Continuance Did Not Violate Speedy Trial Act

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Delacruz v. People on Monday, April 10, 2017.

Criminal Trials—Speedy Trial—Continuances.

The Colorado Supreme Court reviewed the Colorado Court of Appeals’ construction of Colorado’s speedy trial statute, C.R.S. § 18-1-405. Following Mosley v. People, 2017 15 CO 20, the court rejected Delacruz’s contention that the exclusions of time listed in subsection (6) of the statute apply only to the speedy trial calculation for an initial trial, and not for a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal. The court concluded that subsection (1) of the statute establishes the basic right to a speedy trial, and that subsection (2) clarifies that right by identifying the trial court’s receipt of the mandate as the event that triggers the six-month speedy trial period for a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal. Because a defendant’s speedy trial right—whether in an initial trial or on retrial—derives from subsection (1), the exclusions of time listed in subsection (6) apply to both an initial trial and a new trial following reversal of a conviction on appeal.

The court further rejected Delacruz’s contention that the trial court erred in granting a continuance and extending the speedy trial deadline in this case. The court therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Membership Interest of Non-Colorado LLC Member Located in Colorado for Charging Order Purposes

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. McClure on Monday, April 10, 2017.

Limited Liability Companies—Membership Interests—Charging Orders—Priority.

This case concerns the relative priority of competing charging orders filed by multiple judgment creditors against a foreign judgment debtor’s membership interests in several Colorado limited liability companies (LLCs). The Colorado Supreme Court concluded that for purposes of determining the enforceability of a charging order, a membership interest of a non-Colorado citizen in a Colorado LLC is located in Colorado, where the LLC was formed. The court further concluded that when, as here, a judgment creditor obtains a foreign charging order that compels certain action by a Colorado LLC, the charging order is ineffective as against the LLC until the creditor has taken sufficient steps to obligate the company to comply with that order. Although the authorities are not uniform as to the steps to be taken, under any of the applicable scenarios, the charging orders obtained by the petitioner did not become effective until after the respondents had obtained and served their competing charging orders. Accordingly, the court concluded that respondents’ charging orders are entitled to priority over petitioner’s competing charging orders and therefore affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 4/10/2017

On Monday, April 10, 2017, the Colorado Supreme Court issued three published opinions.

Mosley v. People

Delacruz v. People

JP Morgan Chase Bank, N.A. v. McClure

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 Cannot Impose Probationary Sentence Without Defendant’s Consent

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Veith v. People on Monday, March 6, 2017.

Probation—Sentencing.

The Colorado Supreme Court considered whether a defendant has consented to a probationary sentence imposed in addition to a sentence of incarceration when he or she requested probation in lieu of incarceration. The court held that a trial court cannot impose a sentence of probation without the defendant’s consent.

Accordingly, the supreme court held that in this case the trial court exceeded the scope of Veith’s consent when it imposed a 10-year prison sentence in addition to the probationary sentence. The  judgment of the court of appeals was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.