August 4, 2015

Tenth Circuit: No Qualified Immunity Where Officer Acted with Recklessly and with Deliberate Indifference

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Browder v. City of Albuquerque on Tuesday, June 2, 2015.

After finishing a shift, Sergeant Adam Casaus of the Albuquerque Police Department sped through city streets with his lights and sirens on, driving at an average of 66 miles per hour for 8.8 miles. He sped through a red light at one intersection and hit a car, killing Ashley Browder and causing serious injuries to her sister, Lindsay. Lindsay and her parents brought a § 1983 action in federal court, but Sergeant Casaus urged the district court to deny relief based on qualified immunity. The district court declined to dismiss the case and Casaus appealed.

The Tenth Circuit first noted that the parties did not dispute that Casaus’ conduct fell “under color of state law.” The Browders alleged a violation of their Fourteenth Amendment right to due process. The Tenth Circuit clarified that the alleged violation was a substantive due process claim, evaluating whether the claim was carefully described, whether the right is “fundamental,” and whether the government’s infringement was “direct and substantial,” next turning to the question of whether the government had substantial justification for its actions. Finally, the Tenth Circuit noted that when a state court claim can provide the same relief as a federal § 1983 claim, the federal court should abstain in favor of the state remedial process.

Evaluating the case at hand, the Tenth Circuit found no question that the Ashley’s death and Lindsay’s injuries qualified as direct and substantial impairments of their fundamental right to life, and that Sergeant Casaus’ actions were arbitrary in that they were performed capriciously or at his pleasure and without good reason. Although Casaus claimed he was acting on official business—pursuing a car operating in a dangerous manner—the facts in the complaint expressly contend Casaus was not pursuing official business of any kind. The Tenth Circuit also rejected Casaus’ contention that because he activated his lights and sirens he was not acting recklessly as a matter of law. Casaus argued he did not have time to form a reckless indifference to human life, because the accident occurred 2.5 seconds after he entered the intersection. However, the Tenth Circuit noted he had driven 8.8 miles at high speeds prior to the accident, and therefore he had about 8 minutes before the crash to form the requisite mens rea.

Finally, the Tenth Circuit evaluated whether the law was clearly established at the time of Casaus’ accident. Noting that “some things are so obviously unlawful that they don’t require detailed explanation and sometimes the most obviously unlawful things happen so rarely that a case on point is itself an unusual thing,” the Tenth Circuit found that although there was not much case law regarding officers causing fatal accidents on their own time, the Supreme Court ruled in 1986 that when a private person suffers a serious injury due to an officer’s intentional misuse of his or her vehicle a viable due process claim can arise, and the Tenth Circuit ruled in 1996 that a Fourteenth Amendment claim can arise from an officer speeding at 60 miles per hour. The Tenth Circuit also ruled in 2006 that a police officer could be liable under the Fourteenth Amendment for driving recklessly and with deliberate indifference. Taking all these cases together, the Tenth Circuit found ample support that the law was clearly established at the time of the accident.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court. Judge Gorsuch wrote a concurrence about the preference for tort claims to be resolved under state law rather than federal law.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Court Erred by Allowing Defense Counsel to Withdraw Without Questioning Defendant

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Cardenas on Thursday, July 16, 2015.

Motion to Withdraw—Reversal.

Defendant was found guilty of various counts of second-degree burglary, attempted second-degree burglary, and theft. On appeal, defendant contended that the court’s failure to include him in a hearing on his attorney’s motion to withdraw and failure to inquire about his objections to or confusion about that motion, before allowing the attorney to withdraw, require reversal of his convictions. Defense counsel, who had replaced a public defender, filed a motion to withdraw, citing substantial and irreconcilable differences of opinion concerning the course of scope of representation. The court asked defendant’s counsel about the reasons for withdraw without the presence of defendant, and then asked defendant about the reasons for withdrawal, including difficulties with communication, but did not rule on the motion. The case was transferred to another judge, who held an in camera review without the presence of defendant and thereafter allowed defense counsel to withdraw. Without knowing what communication occurred between counsel and the court, defendant’s absence created a risk that his right to a fair trial was impaired. For this reason and because defendant’s presence was required by the rules of criminal procedure, the second judge abused his discretion in granting the motion without including defendant in the proceedings. Accordingly, the judgment of conviction was reversed, defendant’s sentence was vacated, and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Sentence Longer than Three Times Presumptive Range Illegal

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Isom on Thursday, July 2, 2015.

Sexual Assault on a Child—Habitual Sexual Offender—Sentence—Extraordinary Aggravating Circumstances.

In 2003, a jury found defendant guilty of sexual assault on a child, enticement of a child, and contributing to the delinquency of a minor based on evidence that he had given a 14-year-old girl alcohol and then sexually assaulted her. The district court adjudicated him a habitual sex offender against children, and imposed consecutive sentences of forty years to life in prison on the sexual assault on a child count, and five years to life in prison on each of the counts of enticement of a child and contributing to the delinquency of a minor. The court later corrected the sentence for contributing to the delinquency of a minor to a determinate sentence of five years in prison.

On appeal, defendant argued that his sentence of forty years to life for sexual assault on a child is illegal. CRS §§ 18-3-412(2) and 18-1.3-1004(1)(c) require a district court to sentence a habitual sex offender against children to an indeterminate prison sentence with a lower term of three times the maximum of the presumptive range, unless the court finds extraordinary aggravating circumstances under CRS § 18-1.3-401, in which case the lower term can be up to six times the maximum of the presumptive range. Thus, under CRS § 18-1.3-1004(1)(c), the statutory minimum for the bottom end of defendant’s indeterminate sentence for this class 4 felony was eighteen years, and if extraordinary aggravating circumstances existed, the court could have imposed a bottom-end sentence of no more than thirty-six years. Because the court sentenced defendant to a bottom-end term of forty years, it was an illegal sentence. The sentence was vacated and the case was remanded for resentencing.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: District Scholarship Program Violates Colorado Constitution

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Standing—Aiding Religious Schools—Colo. Const. Art. IX, § 7.

Four years ago, the Douglas County School District implemented its Choice Scholarship Pilot Program (CSP), a grant mechanism that awarded taxpayer-funded scholarships to qualifying elementary, middle, and high school students. Those students could use their scholarships to help pay their tuition at partnering private schools, including religious schools. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether the CSP comports with both the Public School Finance Act of 1994, CRS §§ 22-54-101 to -135 (Act), and the Colorado Constitution. The Court first held that petitioners lacked standing to challenge the CSP under the Act. The Court further held, however, that the CSP violates Article IX, § 7 of the Colorado Constitution. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded the case so that the trial court may reinstate its order permanently enjoining the CSP.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Exclusion of Public During Trial was More Than Fleeting Occurrence and Violated Sixth Amendment

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Hassen on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Sixth Amendment Right to Public Trial.

At respondent’s trial, the trial court completely closed the courtroom during the testimony of two undercover officers. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider whether this closure constituted structural error. The Court held that the closure violated respondent’s Sixth Amendment right to a public trial and rejected the People’s argument that the closure was so trivial that it did not implicate respondent’s Sixth Amendment right. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant Waived Public Trial by Not Objecting to Closed Courtroom During Voir Dire

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Stackhouse v. People on Monday, June 29, 2015.

Sixth Amendment Right to Public Trial—Waiver.

At petitioner’s trial, the court closed the courtroom for a portion of voir dire because the large jury pool created the risk of interested members of the public intermingling with the jurors and potentially biasing them. Petitioner’s counsel did not object to the closure at that time or at any time during the trial. The Supreme Court granted certiorari to determine whether petitioner affirmatively waived his right to a public trial in accordance with Anderson v. People, 490 P.2d 47, 48 (Colo. 1971), by not objecting to the known closure. The Court held that Anderson remains controlling, and thus petitioner affirmatively waived his public trial right when he did not object to the known closure. The court of appeals’ judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Totality of Circumstances Provides Reasonable Suspicion for Extended Traffic Stop

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Pettit on Wednesday, May 13, 2015.

Michael Pettit was pulled over in Utah after crossing a highway’s fog line multiple times. During the traffic stop, Pettit seemed excessively nervous, produced a suspended Missouri driver’s license after passing over a California license, and reported unusual travel plans to the trooper. The trooper asked permission to search the trunk of the car, which Pettit granted, and conducted a cursory pat-down search of the luggage, finding nothing. The trooper checked Pettit’s licenses, discovered they were both suspended, and completed the citation paperwork, but instead of returning the citation and license to Pettit, the trooper decided to question him further. He requested consent to search the entire car, which Pettit granted, and soon a drug-sniffing dog arrived and alerted to the presence of drugs. Over 2.5 kilograms of cocaine was found hidden in a spare tire in the trunk. Pettit was indicted on one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute and was found guilty by a jury. He was sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment followed by eight years’ supervised release. He appealed the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress the evidence uncovered after the trooper completed the citation.

Pettit contended the trooper unlawfully extended the traffic stop based on “hunches and unjustified generalizations.” The parties agree that the initial traffic stop was lawful since Pettit crossed the fog line multiple times, and they agree that the initial stop ended when the trooper returned with the completed citation. However, since the trooper did not return Pettit’s license and registration at that time, the encounter did not become consensual. The parties disagree about whether there was reasonable suspicion justifying the continuation of the traffic stop at that time. The Tenth Circuit evaluated each factor supporting reasonable suspicion separately and in aggregate.

Pettit first argued his nervousness could not form the basis for reasonable suspicion. However, the Tenth Circuit examined the record and found that the trooper testified with particularity about the excessive nature of Pettit’s nervousness, including that his lower body would not stop shaking, Pettit said twice within 25 seconds that the officer was making him nervous, and his hand was shaking as he gave the trooper his license. The Tenth Circuit next addressed Pettit’s unusual travel plans. Although travel plans in themselves may not necessarily form the basis for reasonable suspicion, the court found that prior to the citation’s completion, the trooper had discovered Pettit was driving cross-country in a vehicle registered to an absent third party, which is consistent with drug trafficking. Next, Pettit argued that the two suspended licenses could not have given rise to reasonable suspicion, but the Tenth Circuit again disagreed, finding the licenses alone could have contributed to the formation of an objectively reasonable suspicion of illegal activity, and could also have heightened the officer’s suspicion about Pettit’s unusual travel plans. Finally, Pettit argued that the officer’s initial fruitless search militated against a finding of reasonable suspicion, but the Tenth Circuit again disagreed, finding the search was only cursory and occurred before much of the officer’s questioning.

Based on the totality of the circumstances, the Tenth Circuit found no error in the district court’s denial of Pettit’s motion to suppress, and found the officer had reasonable suspicion to extend the traffic stop.

Tenth Circuit: Excluding Evidence Based on Search Shown Later to be Legal Exacts High Toll on Justice System

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Huff on Tuesday, April 14, 2015.

A vehicle stopped at an intersection over the median line, then backed up and stopped the vehicle correctly. Two Kansas City police officers witnessed the violation and initiated a traffic stop. The officers approached on either side of the vehicle, and the passenger-side officer spotted a handgun under the driver’s seat as he approached. The officers ordered the two men to put their hands on the dash, but the driver, Dana Huff, made movements toward the center console that led the officers to believe he was about to drive away. The passenger-side officer opened the door, reached into the car, and removed the keys from the ignition. He spotted another weapon, a sawed-off shotgun, when he opened the door. The officers removed the men from the vehicle and Huff was subsequently indicted on one count of being a felon in possession of a firearm and one count of possession of an unregistered short-barreled rifle.

At trial, Huff sought to suppress evidence of the firearms, arguing the officers lacked reasonable suspicion of criminal activity when searching his vehicle, and also arguing that they unlawfully arrested him without a warrant and without probable cause to believe he had committed a crime. The trial court held the initial stop to be lawful because of the moving violation, and held that the officer who removed the keys from the vehicle acted lawfully, but granted the motion to suppress the firearm evidence because at the time of the arrest the officers had found no evidence of a legal violation. The government moved to reconsider suppression, citing a Kansas City municipal ordinance that prohibits transporting uncased loaded weapons. The trial court granted the government’s motion and found the officers had probable cause for the arrest. A jury convicted Huff of being a felon in possession, but did not convict on the unregistered rifle count. Huff appealed.

The Tenth Circuit first considered whether the district court properly granted the government’s motion to reconsider. Huff argued the government provided no excuse for its failure to bring the municipal ordinance to the trial court’s attention, but the Tenth Circuit found it need not do so. The government’s motion for reconsideration related to an omission of a legal argument, not the failure to present evidence on a particular issue, so the trial court concluded there was no police misconduct to deter by suppressing the evidence. Revealing a circuit split on the issue of how district courts should handle motions to reconsider suppression orders, the Tenth Circuit found persuasive the reasoning of the Second, Fifth, Seventh, and Ninth Circuits, which do not require a bright-line justification rule. Citing Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Circuit found that application of the exclusionary rule provides no meaningful deterrence when suppressed evidence later turns out to have been legally obtained, and instead exacts a high toll on the justice system by potentially allowing guilty defendants to go free.

The Tenth Circuit next evaluated Huff’s argument that the officers arrested him without probable cause. Huff contended that because the officer who reached into the vehicle and removed his keys did not specifically cite the municipal ordinance in his testimony, it seems unlikely that the officer’s action was based on that ordinance and therefore the officer lacked probable cause. Again following Supreme Court precedent, the Tenth Circuit found these arguments foreclosed, since an officer’s subjective reason for making an arrest may be different from the criminal offense from which probable cause arises. Upon seeing the uncased weapon, the officers in this case had probable cause to conduct a search of the vehicle and arrest Huff based on the weapons violation.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the judgment of the district court.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Bond Condition Does Not Impermissibly Impair Defendant’s Right to Parent his Children

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Fallis on Thursday, June 4, 2015.

Bond Conditions—Right to Parent.

A Weld County grand jury indicted petitioner for second-degree murder of his wife. The trial court released petitioner on bond. One of the bond conditions was that petitioner remain in Colorado during the pendency of this criminal case. Petitioner filed a motion to reconsider the bond condition, which was denied.

On appeal, petitioner argued that the trial court transgressed on his presumption of innocence in setting the bond condition and unconstitutionally interfered with his right to parent his children, who reside in Indiana. The court did not treat petitioner as guilty of the charged offense; instead, the court properly considered the nature of the charged offense and the penalty that would be imposed if he was found guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Further, the court did not limit petitioner’s right to parent his children. Any such restrictions arise from circumstances outside the trial court’s control: petitioner’s decision to move himself and his children to Indiana after his wife’s death, and the temporary decision of an Indiana court prohibiting the children from being removed from Indiana. Accordingly, the court did not abuse its discretion in imposing the bond condition. The petition for review of the bail order was dismissed.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: SORNA is a Proper Exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause Power

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. White on Monday, April 6, 2015.

James White took indecent liberties with the 7-year-old daughter of his girlfriend in North Carolina in 2005. When the Sex Offender Registration and Notification Act (SORNA) was implemented in 2007, it applied to all convictions, including those that occurred prior to its passage. In 2013, Mr. White moved from Oklahoma to Texas without updating his SORNA registration or registering in Texas. He was charged in Oklahoma with failing to register as a sex offender. Mr. White moved to dismiss the indictment, arguing that SORNA violates the Commerce Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and the Ex Post Facto Clause. The district court denied his motion, and Mr. White entered a conditional guilty plea, reserving his right to appeal the denial of the motion to dismiss and his sentence.

The district court adopted the probation office’s Presentence Investigation Report (PSR), which treated Mr. White as a Tier III offender and assigned an offense level of 13 after credits. His sentencing range was 18 to 24 months, and the district court sentenced him to 18 months, overruling his objection to the tier classification. The district court also imposed special conditions of supervised release, including prohibiting Mr. White from being at a residence where any person under the age of 18 reside without prior approval from the probation office and requiring a responsible adult who was aware of Mr. White’s history to be present at all such approved visits. Mr. White timely appealed, reiterating his argument that SORNA violates the Commerce Clause, the Tenth Amendment, and the Ex Post Facto Clause. Mr. White also appealed his sentence, arguing he was incorrectly classified as a Tier III offender and challenging the special conditions.

The Tenth Circuit first addressed the Commerce Clause argument, noting it rejected a similar argument in United States v. Hinckley. Mr. White argued that Hinckley was wrongly decided and that it was superseded by the Supreme Court in National Federation of Independent Businesses v. Sebelius (NFIB). The Tenth Circuit first noted that in Hinckley it held the third prong of the Commerce Clause was unnecessary to determine SORNA’s constitutionality since it was confirmed by the first two prongs. Next, the Tenth Circuit examined NFIB in detail, distinguishing its holding in Hinckley because NFIB discussed only the third prong of the Commerce Clause. The Tenth Circuit found that SORNA is a proper exercise of Congress’s Commerce Clause power.

Turning next to Mr. White’s argument that SORNA violated the Ex Post Facto Clause, the Tenth Circuit similarly disagreed, relying on prior Tenth Circuit precedent in United States v. Lawrance, which squarely addressed the same issue. Lawrance upheld SORNA because it is a regulatory statute and criminal penalties apply only for future conduct, not retroactively. The Tenth Circuit then turned to Mr. White’s argument that SORNA violates the Tenth Amendment by directing state officials to implement a federally mandated program. The Tenth Circuit found no constitutional violation, because states retain the authority to opt-out of regulation under SORNA even if they must forego federal funding to do so.

Mr. White’s fourth contention on appeal averred that he was wrongly classified as a Tier III offender and therefore his sentence is procedurally unreasonable. The Tenth Circuit agreed. The Tenth Circuit found the district court should have applied a categorical approach in order to determine Mr. White’s sentencing tier, but it instead applied a circumstance-specific approach, rendering Mr. White’s sentence procedurally unreasonable and requiring reversal. On remand, the Tenth Circuit directed the district court to classify Mr. White as a Tier I offender. The Tenth Circuit addressed Mr. White’s arguments related to the special conditions in order to guide the district court on remand, and noted that further findings were necessary to determine whether Mr. White had a parental or parental-like relationship with his minor grandchildren and nieces that would require express findings of compelling circumstances.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s denial of Mr. White’s motion to dismiss but reversed his sentence, remanding for further findings.

Colorado Supreme Court: Debt Services Company Cannot Avoid DMSA Regulation by Associating with Attorneys

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Coffman v. Williamson on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Uniform Debt-Management Services Act—Legal Services Exemption—CRS § 12-14.5-202(10).

The Supreme Court examined the legal services exemption in the Uniform Debt-Management Services Act (UDMSA) to determine whether the original version of the exemption applies to Morgan Drexen, Inc., a company of non-lawyers. The Court also analyzed whether the amended version of the exemption violates the separation of powers doctrine in the Colorado Constitution and the Commerce Clause and Privileges and Immunities Clause in the U.S. Constitution because certain out-of-state attorneys may be subject to regulation under the UDMSA.

The Court held that the trial court erred by concluding that Morgan Drexen’s services fall within the scope of the legal services exemption in the original UDMSA, CRS § 12-14.5-202(10)(A). The original exemption encompasses non-lawyer assistants; however, Morgan Drexen’s activity here does not fall within the scope of that exemption because it performs substantive debt-management services without meaningful instruction and supervision by an attorney. The Court also held that the amended UDMSA does not violate the separation of powers doctrine in Article III of the Colorado Constitution or the Commerce and Privileges and Immunities Clauses of the U.S. Constitution. The Court reversed the trial court’s order and remanded that case for further proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Regarding Community Association Manager Licensure, Peace Officer Transparency, and More Signed

On Wednesday, May 20, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed 14 bills into law. To date, he has signed 241 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1323 – Concerning Assessments in Public Schools, and, in Connection Therewith, Codifying the Consensus Recommendations of the Standards and Assessments Task Force Created in House Bill 14-1202, and Reducing an Appropriation, by Reps. John Buckner & Jim Wilson and Sens. Chris Holbert & Andy Kerr. The bill modifies the system of statewide assessments in English language arts.
  • SB 15-056 – Concerning Reducing the Frequency of Administering the Statewide Assessment in Social Studies and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Andy Kerr and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. The bill eliminates the requirement that each public school administer an assessment in social studies and instead allows school districts to administer the test in a representative sampling of schools.
  • HB 15-1317 – Concerning Pay for Success Contracts, by Reps. Alec Garnett & Bob Rankin and Sens. Michael Johnston & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill creates “pay for success” contracts, into which the Office of State Planning and Budgeting can enter to increase economic opportunity and improve living conditions.
  • HB 15-1129 – Concerning Disaster Prediction and Decision Support Systems by the Department of Public Safety, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sen. Ellen Roberts. The bill requires the Division of Fire Prevention and Control to develop systems to predict disasters, specifically wildfires.
  • HB 15-1344 – Concerning the Financing of State Capital Construction Projects that are Included in the National Western Center or Capitol Complex Master Plans, and, in Connection Therewith, Authorizing the State to Enter Into Lease-Purchase Agreements to Finance Facilities for Colorado State University that are Included in the National Western Master Plan, Creating the National Western Center Trust Fund, and Creating a Capitol Complex Master Plan Implementation Fund as a Funding Source for Projects that are Included in the Capitol Complex Master Plan, by Reps. Crisanta Duran & Jon Becker and Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Pat Steadman. The bill authorizes the state treasurer to enter into lease-purchase agreements with CSU to construct facilities at the National Western Complex and CSU’s main campus.
  • HB 15-1285 – Concerning Use of Body-Worn Cameras by Law Enforcement Officers and, in Connection Therewith, Establishing a Grant Program and a Study Group to Recommend Policies on the Use of Body-Worn Cameras and Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Daniel Kagan & Angela Williams and Sens. John Cooke & Jessie Ulibarri. The bill creates the body-worn camera fund to purchase body-worn cameras and train officers in their use, as well as study best practices.
  • HB 15-1287 – Concerning Measures to Improve Peace Officer Training, by Rep. Angela Williams and Sen. John Cooke. The bill expands the scope of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board in the Department of Law.
  • HB 15-1290 – Concerning Prohibiting a Peace Officer from Interfering with a Person Lawfully Recording a Peace Officer-Involved Incident, by Reps. Joseph Salazar & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Lucia Guzman & David Balmer. The bill specifies that people have the lawful right to record officer-involved incidents.
  • HB 15-1303 – Concerning Eliminating the Application of Certain Sentencing Provisions to Certain Persons who are Convicted of Assault in the Second Degree, by Rep. Jovan Melton and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill removes mandatory crime of violence sentencing for assault against first responders.
  • SB 15-217 – Concerning Data Collection Related to Peace Officer-Involved Shootings of a Person, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Cooke and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill creates a process for public reporting of specified data concerning officer-involved shootings.
  • SB 15-218 – Concerning Requiring a Law Enforcement Agency to Disclose Whether a Peace Officer has Made a Knowing Misrepresentation in Certain Settings, by Sens. Ellen Roberts & John Cooke and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill requires a law enforcement agency to report any knowing instance of misrepresentation by a peace officer to the district attorney.
  • SB 15-219 – Concerning Measures to Provide Additional Transparency to Peace Officer-Involved Shootings, by Sens. John Cooke & Ellen Roberts and Rep. Joseph Salazar. The bill requires local law enforcement agencies to make public its protocols regarding contacting other agencies following officer-involved shootings.
  • HB 15-1262 – Concerning Separate Legal Entities Established by a Contract Between Two or More Political Subdivisions of the State, and, in Connection Therewith, Clarifying the Legal Status and Scope of Powers of Such an Entity, by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. David Balmer. The bill specifies the legal status and powers of an entity formed by two or more governments to provide public improvements.
  • HB 15-1343 – Concerning a Streamlined Process to Simplify the Licensure of Persons who Manage the Affairs of Common Interest Communities Under the “Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Angela Williams & Dan Thurlow and Sens. Nancy Todd & David Balmer. The bill makes several changes to the community association manager licensure program.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.