May 23, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: Non-resident’s Harassment and Threatening of Colorado Victim Sufficient to Establish Long-arm Jurisdiction for Civil Protection Order

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Parocha v. Parocha on Monday, May 21, 2018.

Personal Jurisdiction.

The supreme court considered whether and when a civil protection order is available to a victim of alleged domestic abuse who comes to Colorado seeking refuge from a non-resident. The court concluded that an out-of-state party’s harassment of, threatening of, or attempt to coerce an individual known by the non-resident to be located in Colorado is a tortious act sufficient to establish personal jurisdiction under the state’s long-arm statute, C.R.S. § 13-1-124. The court also concluded that such conduct creates a sufficient nexus between the out-of-state party and Colorado to satisfy the requisite minimum contacts such that the exercise of jurisdiction by a Colorado court to enter a protection order comports with traditional notions of fair play and substantial justice.

The court reversed the district court’s order vacating the permanent civil protection order and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Special Prosecutor Unnecessary for Post-Trial Proceeding

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Ehrnstein on Monday, May 21, 2018.

Special Prosecutors—Colo. RPC 3.7—Post-Trial Proceedings.

In this interlocutory appeal, the supreme court reviewed the trial court’s order appointing a special prosecutor for the purpose of litigating defendant’s post-trial motion for a new trial. In his motion, defendant alleged that the prosecution had improperly instructed a witness to evade a defense subpoena. The trial court concluded that the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct compelled it to appoint a special prosecutor for the purposes of the hearing on this motion because, subject to exceptions not pertinent here, Colo. RPC 3.7 prohibits an attorney from acting as both an advocate and a witness during the same proceeding.

The court concluded that the trial court abused its discretion in appointing a special prosecutor because that court misapplied the law when it found that Colo. RPC 3.7 required the appointment of a special prosecutor in the circumstances present here. Specifically, the rule serves to prevent prejudice that arises from jury confusion in cases in which an attorney serves as both counsel and witness. Because this proceeding arose in the context of a post-trial motion, that concern is not implicated.

The court reversed the trial court’s order and remanded this case for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Defendant Did Not Establish Significant Nexus Between Potential Alternative Perpetrators and Crimes

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Meisel on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

In 2014, Detective Wright saw a user on the Ares file-sharing network offering child pornography. After identifying the IP address, Wright obtained a search warrant for a home Meisel shared with Thomas. Meisel’s personal computer was found to have child pornography on the external hard drive, with some pictures added just three days prior to the execution of the warrant. Meisel attributed the child porn to his son, W.R., who lived in the home previously. During the investigation, however, there was evidence of the child porn being viewed frequently after W.R. moved out of the home. Meisel continued to assert there was a sufficient nexus between three individuals, J.H., S.H., and W.R., and the child pornography. On appeal, Meisel asserted the district court (1) violated his right to present a complete defense by preventing him from presenting alternative perpetrator evidence; and (2) erred in denying his request to instruct the jury on “identity.”

As for the argument of J.H., Meisel asserted that J.H., Thomas’s caregiver, had unfettered access to the computer and external hard drive at times Meisel was absent from the home. Meisel asserts that the computer was logged into and child pornography was downloaded at times that Meisel was not at the home. Further, Meisel contends that J.H. has a high level of technical knowledge.

S.H. is J.H.’s brother, and Meisel contends that S.H. would often visit the home when the computer was accessible and that S.H. previously lived at the home and knew the wifi password.

W.R., Meisel’s son, lived at the home previously, and Meisel argue that he found W.R. accessing child pornography sites on his computer.

The district court determined that Meisel had not proffered sufficient evidence to establish the necessary nexus between any of the proposed perpetrators and the crimes with which Meisel was charged.

Meisel argued that the district court did not allow him to utilize the term “alternate perpetrator” in presenting his case to the jury. The question was whether the evidence was sufficient to allow Meisel to argue that a particular person was the one who placed the child pornography on his hard drive. The Tenth Circuit found that the district court did an appropriate balancing of evidence in finding that Meisel did not satisfy requirements for arguing that anyone else was responsible for downloading the child pornography.

The Supreme Court has noted that special considerations arise when a court is faced with a defense theory of an alternative perpetrator: “Evidence tending to show the commission by another person of the crime charged may be introduced by accused when it is inconsistent with, and raises a reasonable doubt of, his own guilt; but frequently matters offered in evidence for this purpose are so remote and lack such connection with the crime that they are excluded.”

The Tenth Circuit reexamined the three potential perpetrators Meisel provided. The information on S.H. was not admitted into evidence, as mere proximity and potential access are not sufficient to argue an alternative perpetrator to a crime. Further, the evidence implicating W.R. as the actual perpetrator set out a speculative and remote outcome. And at most, the evidence at trial demonstrated that W.R. used Meisel’s computer; however, there was no evidence indicating that W.R. was anywhere near Meisel’s computer for at least one year before the events at issue. J.H., however, seemed to be a viable alternative perpetrator for these crimes, as J.H. was present in the home four days a week and was present while Thomas slept during the day. Further, child pornography was downloaded on a day Meisel was possibly absent from the home, but J.H. was there. However, the theory that J.H. was responsible for the child pornography was presented to, and rejected by, the jury.

The Tenth Circuit found that the evidence of Meisel’s guilt was, contrary to protest, overwhelming. Unrebutted and unexplained forensic evidence demonstrated that Meisel’s assertion that he was unaware of the child pornography was implausible. Instead, the evidence overwhelmingly proved that after Thomas found child pornography on Meisel’s computer, Meisel took extraordinary efforts to limit access to his computer. For that very reason, Meisel stated during his interview that if child pornography was found on the computer, he was the responsible party. Although Meisel attempted to explain away that statement at trial with the theory he was only accepting ultimate responsibility for the computer, the Tenth Circuit found the evidence to the contrary to be overwhelming.

Lastly, Meisel asserted the district court refused to give his proffered identity instruction to the jury. The Tenth Circuit found that the district court did not abuse its discretion in determining that the existing jury instructions made it clear to the jury that Meisel was legally responsible for the charges if he personally and knowingly possessed and distributed the child pornography found on his computer. The Tenth Circuit found that the district court’s jury instructions were not erroneous or inadequate as given.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals AFFIRMED the district court’s conviction.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Statutory Amendment Deprived State of Authority to Prosecute Conviction on Appeal

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Cali on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Theft—Theft by Receiving—Appeal—Statutory Amendment—Collateral Attack—Crim. P. 35(c)(2)(VI)—Postconviction Remedies.

Cali was convicted of theft and theft by receiving, both class 4 felonies, as well as two habitual criminal counts. The trial court sentenced him to 18 years in the custody of the Department of Corrections. Cali directly appealed his convictions, and his theft conviction was vacated. After Cali had filed his notice of appeal in the direct appeal and while the appeal was still pending, the legislature reclassified theft by receiving, as committed by Cali, to a class 6 felony. After his direct appeal became final, Cali timely filed a pro se Crim. P. 35(c) motion asserting, as relevant here, that he was entitled to the benefit of the changed statute. The postconviction court denied Cali’s motion without a hearing.

On appeal, Cali argued that the trial court erred by analyzing his postconviction claim as a request for retroactive application of the statutory amendment. He contended that because the amendment took effect while his direct appeal was pending and before his conviction became final, he is entitled to the benefit of the amendment. The amended statute applied to Cali because before Cali’s conviction became final, the State lost the authority to prosecute him for committing the class 4 felony of theft by receiving. That a different statute classifying theft by receiving as a class 6 felony could then be applied to Cali does not change the fact that the State lost the authority to enforce the statute under which Cali had been convicted. Although Cali did not raise the State’s loss of authority to prosecute him before his conviction became final on appeal, he could collaterally attack his conviction under Crim. P. 35(c)(2)(VI). Cali asserted a timely postconviction claim that entitles him to reversal of his conviction. But the trial court must convict him of the class 6 felony and sentence him accordingly.

The postconviction order was reversed. Cali’s conviction was vacated, and the case was remanded with directions.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Disposition of Stolen Property Governed by Restitution Agreement, Not UCC or Conversion Principles

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Madison on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

Restitution Agreement.

Madison stole scores of bottles of expensive wine from multiple liquor stores. He pleaded guilty, and the court sentenced him to a two-year term of probation and ordered restitution. As part of the restitution agreement, Madison was permitted to take possession of the stolen property if he paid restitution to the victims within a contractual period of time. (The liquor stores declined to accept the recovered wine because the storage method could not be confirmed, and thus the wine was not marketable.) Madison and the prosecution also entered into an “Evidence Disposition Agreement.” Defendant did not pay the restitution and, five years later, the sheriff’s office moved for an order authorizing it to destroy the stolen property. The motion was granted by the court.

On appeal, Madison argued that he had an ownership interest in the wine. He contended that the court should have either permitted him to sell the wine or ordered the sheriff’s office to sell it, with any proceeds applied to his restitution obligation. Disposition of the wine was governed by the restitution agreement, which expressly provided for the destruction of the wine if Madison failed to both pay the restitution and pick up the wine within 90 days. Because Madison failed to meet that deadline, the sheriff’s office had the right to dispose of the wine without seeking approval from the court or notifying Madison. Further, the agreement did not give Madison the right to determine the particular disposition of the wine or to demand that any proceeds from the disposition be distributed to the victims and then applied to reduce his restitution balance.

Madison also contended that the agreement gave him an ownership interest in the wine, notwithstanding his failure to satisfy its requirements, based on the Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) and conversion principles. Disposition of the stolen property is governed by the agreement, not by the UCC or conversion principles. Madison had a right to obtain the property only upon satisfaction of conditions precedent, which he failed to satisfy.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Finding of Half-empty Schnapps Bottle in Vehicle Did Not Negate Police Officers’ Reasonable Suspicion

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Kessler on Thursday, May 3, 2018.

DUI—Evidence—Possession of a Controlled Substance—Search and Seizure—Search Incident to Arrest—Motor Vehicle—Reasonable Suspicion—Cross-Examination.

Defendant was pulled over by the police for speeding. Upon approaching the car with a flashlight, an officer spotted a half-empty schnapps bottle on the floor behind the passenger’s seat. The officer asked defendant for his license, registration, and proof of insurance multiple times before defendant presented his registration and proof of insurance. Defendant admitted he did not have a valid driver’s license. Because defendant showed signs of intoxication, the officer asked him to step out of the vehicle. Defendant needed to use the car door for support to get out of the car, and he eventually admitted he had drunk from the schnapps bottle. Defendant performed roadside sobriety maneuvers unsatisfactorily, and his breath test registered .154g/210L. Defendant was arrested for DUI and placed in the back of the police car. Two other officers then searched the car for further evidence of alcohol consumption and found a bag of cocaine in the console, inches from where defendant sat. Among other things, defendant was convicted of possession of a controlled substance (cocaine).

On appeal, defendant contended that the evidence was insufficient to convict him of possessing a controlled substance (cocaine). He argued that he was not in exclusive possession of the car on the date in question and denied knowing the cocaine was on the car. The possibility that someone else was in the car earlier that day does not change the fact that defendant was in exclusive possession of the vehicle when it was stopped and searched, making him subject to the inference that he knowingly possessed the cocaine. Further, the location of the cocaine and defendant’s testimony that no one else had interacted with the console support the inference. There was sufficient evidence for the jury to convict him on this charge.

Defendant next contended that the trial court should have suppressed evidence related to the recovery of cocaine from his car because the police lacked sufficient grounds to search the car once they seized the half-empty bottle of schnapps. The police are permitted to search a vehicle incident to a lawful arrest. Here, the officer had probable cause to arrest defendant on a DUI charge, defendant initially denied consuming alcohol, and it was likely the officers would find evidence of alcohol while searching defendant’s vehicle. The officers’ reasonable suspicion that the car contained alcohol did not evaporate once the officers found some alcohol. Therefore, the search that uncovered the cocaine was proper.

Finally, at trial, the amount of alcohol in the schnapps bottle when the officer discovered it was contested: the officer said it was half full, while defendant testified it was two-thirds full. During cross-examination, the prosecution asked defendant if the officer “made up” the amount of schnapps in the bottle. Although the prosecution’s question was improper, it did not cast doubt on the reliability of the conviction. The error was not substantial and did not warrant reversal under the plain error rule.

The judgment of conviction was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Signed Changing Definition of “Similar Coverage” for Workers’ Compensation Coverage of Certain Commercial Vehicle Operators and More

On Friday, May 4, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed 12 bills into law. To date, he has signed 223 bills and sent two to the Secretary of State without a signature. The bills signed Friday include a bill changing procedures for recalls of directors of special districts, a bill changing the definition of “similar coverage” for workers’ compensation purposes for certain operators of commercial vehicles, and more. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • SB 18-076 – “Concerning a Ban on Vote Trading,” by Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. Jovan Melton. The bill makes it a misdemeanor criminal offense for a person to trade a vote or offer to trade a vote with another elector in this state or a person in another state in exchange for the other person’s vote for or against a particular candidate, ballot issue, or ballot question.
  • SB 18-143 – “Concerning Measures to Increase Revenue for the Parks and Wildlife Division, and, in Connection Therewith, Setting Certain Hunting, Fishing, Parks, and Recreation Fees,” by Sens. Steven Fenberg & Don Coram and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & James Wilson. The bill makes several changes to the statutes in the “Hunting, Fishing, and Parks for Future Generations Act.”
  • SB 18-178 – “Concerning the Definition of Similar Coverage for Workers’ Compensation for Certain Operators of Commercial Vehicles,” by Sen. Jim Smallwood and Rep. Tracy Kraft-Tharp. Current law requires independent operators of commercial vehicles to have workers’ compensation or a private insurance policy that provides similar coverage. The bill changes ‘private insurance policy’ to ‘occupational accident coverage insurance policy’ and specifies the requirements for when such a policy may be considered as providing similar coverage.
  • SB 18-207 – “Concerning Authority for the Department of Human Services to Retain Amounts from Certain Cash Funds for its Indirect Costs,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Bob Rankin. The bill authorizes the department of human services to retain money for its indirect costs, based on a federally approved cost allocation plan, from the older Coloradans cash fund and the nurse home visitor program fund.
  • HB 18-1040 – “Concerning Incentives for Provision of Sex Offender Services in the Department of Corrections,” by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez and Sen. Rhonda Fields. The bill requires the department of corrections to monitor the number of inmates who need sex offender treatment or services and the number who are not receiving such treatment or services, develop an incentive plan to contract for more mental health professionals to provide sex offender treatment or services in difficult-to-serve geographic areas, and report to the joint budget committee the number of inmates needing treatment or services, the number not receiving the treatment or services, and the impact of the incentive plan.
  • HB 18-1235 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Custom Meat Processors, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2017 Sunset Report of the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Reps. Chris Hansen & Hugh McKean and Sen. Ray Scott. The bill implements the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies in its sunset review and report on the ‘Custom Processing of Meat Animals Act.’
  • HB 18-1240 – “Concerning the Continuation of a Grant Program to Prevent Motor Vehicle Theft, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Sunset Review Recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Reps. Jeff Bridges & Jon Becker and Sen. John Cooke. The bill continues the automobile theft prevention authority and the automobile theft prevention board until 2029.
  • HB 18-1265 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Stroke Advisory Board in Accordance with the Recommendation in the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ 2017 Sunset Report,” by Reps. Susan Lontine & Susan Beckman and Sen. Larry Crowder. The Bill implements the recommendation in the department of regulatory agencies’ sunset review of the stroke advisory board by continuing the board but imposes a 10-year sunset period rather than continuing the board indefinitely, as was recommended.
  • HB 18-1268 – “Concerning the Procedures to Recall a Director of a Special District,” by Rep. Matt Gray and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill requires the court as defined for the special district to appoint a designated election official to oversee the recall election. The director and the director’s spouse or civil union partner cannot serve as the DEO. The bill requires that recall petitions must be approved as to form by the DEO before being circulated.
  • HB 18-1305 – “Concerning a Voluntary Contribution Designation Benefiting the Young Americans Center for Financial Education Fund that Appears on the State Individual Tax Return Forms,” by Reps. James Coleman & Patrick Neville and Sen. Tim Neville. The bill creates the Young Americans Center for Financial Education fund in the state treasury. A voluntary contribution designation line for the fund will appear on the state individual income tax return form for the 5 income tax years following the year that the executive director of the Department of Revenue certifies to the revisor of statutes that there is space on the form and the fund is next in the queue.
  • HB 18-1329 – “Concerning a Supplemental State Payment to Qualified Providers of Durable Medical Equipment who Experienced a Decrease in Reimbursement in the 2017-18 State Fiscal Year as a Result of the Implementation of the Federal ’21st Century Cures Act,’ and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Dominick Moreno. The bill authorizes a supplemental payment of state-only money to qualified providers of durable medical equipment who experienced a decrease in reimbursement in the 2017-18 state fiscal year as a result of the implementation of the federal ’21st Century Cures Act.’
  • HB 18-1338 – “Concerning Transfers to Address the Reduction of Revenues in the Severance Tax Operational Fund,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. Under current law, money is transferred from the severance tax operational fund to certain cash funds to benefit programs that are commonly referred to as the tier 2 programs. On June 30, 2018, the bill requires the state treasurer to transfer money to the operational fund from specified cash funds to recoup money that was previously transferred in this fiscal year for tier 2 programs.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2018 legislative decisions, click here.

Bills Signed Changing Revenge Pornography Crimes, Amending Laws Related to Bicycles Approaching Intersections, and More

On Thurdsay, May 3, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law. To date, he has signed 211 bills and sent two to the Secretary of State without a signature. The bills signed Thursday include a bill changing the laws concerning revenge pornography crimes, a bill requiring state agencies to conduct analyses to determine which businesses are not complying with their rules, a bill permitting municipalities to adopt rules concerning bicycles approaching intersections, and more. The bills signed Thursday are summarized here.

  • SB 18-132 – “Concerning a Waiver of Federal Law to Permit Insurance Carriers to Offer Catastrophic Health Plans to Any Individual Residing in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Jim Smallwood and Rep. Chris Kennedy. The bill requires the commissioner of insurance to conduct an actuarial analysis to determine if the sale of catastrophic health plans to Colorado residents 30 years of age and older and not meeting a hardship requirement would result in a reduction in advanced premium tax credits received by Colorado residents or increase the average premiums of individual health plans.
  • SB 18-144 – “Concerning the Regulation of Bicycles Approaching Intersections,” by Sen. Andy Kerr and Reps. Yeulin Willett & Chris Hansen. The bill permits a municipality or county to adopt a local ordinance or resolution regulating the operation of bicycles approaching intersections with stop signs or illuminated red traffic control signals. Under a local regulation, a bicyclist approaching a stop sign must slow to a reasonable speed and, when safe to do so, may proceed through the intersection without stopping. A bicyclist approaching an illuminated red traffic control signal must stop at the intersection and, when safe to do so, may proceed through the intersection.
  • SB 18-177 – “Concerning Procedures when Certain Private Schools Cease Operations,” by Sens. Kevin Priola & Nancy Todd and Reps. Jeff Bridges & Lang Sias. Under existing law, private occupational schools and certain private degree-granting schools are required to provide a bond or other form of surety that is used to facilitate transfer or to provide tuition and fee reimbursement for students in the event that the school closes. When a private occupational school closes, that school’s records must be maintained by the private occupational school board in the Division of Private Occupational Schools. The bill allows the Department of Education to make a claim on a surety bond for reimbursement of actual administrative costs associated with a school closure.
  • HB 18-1193 – “Concerning the Advanced Placement Incentives Pilot Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. James Wilson & Barbara McLachlin and Sens. Ray Scott & Rachel Zenzinger. The bill extends the pilot program three years. It requires the Department of Education to report the number of students in the pilot program who enrolled in advanced placement courses during the prior school year and to collect disaggregated data from the advanced placement exam vendor to capture the performance of students who are participating in the pilot program on the end-of-course advanced placement exams.
  • HB 18-1250 – “Concerning an Analysis to Improve Compliance with Departmental Rules by Regulated Businesses,” by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Lang Sias and Sen. Kevin Priola. The bill equires each state agency to conduct an analysis of noncompliance with its rules to identify rules with the greatest frequency of noncompliance, rules that generate the greatest amount of fines, how many first-time offenders were given the opportunity to cure a minor violation, and what factors contribute to noncompliance by regulated businesses. The analysis will guide each department on how to improve its education and outreach to regulated businesses on compliance with the department’s rules.
  • HB 18-1257 – “Concerning a Correction to House Bill 16-1316 by Reinserting the Word ‘Not,'” by Rep. Paul Rosenthal and Sen. John Cooke. House Bill 16-1316 amended the venue statute for transferring child welfare proceedings between counties and inadvertently struck the word ‘not’ in one sentence. Due to this error, courts are not allowed to transfer child welfare proceedings between counties after adjudication even though the intent of House Bill 16-1316 was to allow post-adjudication transfers. The bill reinserts the word ‘not’ to allow such transfers.
  • HB 18-1264 – “Concerning Measures to Clarify the Scope of Revenge Porn Criminal Offenses,” by Reps. Dominique Jackson & Terri Carver and Sens. John Cooke & Rhonda Fields. Currently, Colorado criminalizes posting nude images of another person for harassment purposes or for pecuniary gain. The bill adds images of sex acts that may not include nude images, removes the requirement that the defendant intend to inflict serious emotional distress removes as an exception to the crimes that the image relates to a newsworthy event, and clarifies that the images subject to the crimes may be disclosed by law enforcement personnel, human or social services personnel, prosecutors, and court personnel in the course of their normal business.

For a complete list of the governor’s 2018 legislative actions, click here.

Bills Signed Allowing Out-of-State Workers in Colorado Access to Workers’ Compensation Benefits, Allowing Dispensary Employees to Sample Marijuana, and More

On Monday, April 30, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed 21 bills into law and sent one bill to the Secretary of State without a signature. To date, he has signed 204 bills and sent two to the Secretary of State without signature. Some of the bills signed Monday include the Long Appropriations Bill, a bill providing access to workers’ compensation benefits for out-of-state workers temporarily in Colorado, a bill requiring fingerprint-based background checks for employees with access to federal tax information, and more. The bills signed on Monday are summarized here.

  • HB 18-1069 – “Concerning the Allowable Uses of Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater, and, in Connection Therewith, Allowing Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater to Be Used for Toilet Flushing and Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Dan Thurlow and Sen. Don Coram. The bill codifies rules promulgated by the water quality control commission of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment concerning allowable uses of reclaimed domestic wastewater, which is wastewater that has been treated for subsequent reuses other than drinking water.
  • HB 18-1186 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Colorado Youth Advisory Council, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Sunset Review Recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies and Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. James Wilson & Judy Reyhar and Sen. Vicki Marble. The bill implements the recommendation of the department of regulatory agencies to concerning the Colorado youth advisory council and extends the sunset date to September 1, 2023.
  • HB 18-1259 – “Concerning Providing Marijuana Samples to Employees for Business Purposes,” by Rep. Matt Gray and Sen. Vicki Marble. The bill permits a medical marijuana optional premises cultivation licensee, a medical marijuana-infused products manufacturing licensee, a retail marijuana cultivation facility licensee, and a retail marijuana products manufacturing licensee to provide samples to managers for quality control and product development purposes. The bill specifies limits on the amount that can be provided as a sample per batch.
  • HB 18-1284 – “Concerning the Cost of Prescription Drugs Purchased at a Pharmacy,” by Reps. Janet Buckner & James Wilson and Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & John Kefalas. The bill enacts the ‘Patient Drug Costs Savings Act.’ The act prohibits a carrier that has a contract with a pharmacy or pharmacist, or a pharmacy benefit management firm acting on behalf of a carrier, from preventing a pharmacist from disclosing the cost of prescription drugs or requiring a pharmacy to collect a copay that exceeds the pharmacy’s costs.
  • HB 18-1308 – “Concerning an Exemption from the “Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado” for Nonresident Employers whose Employees are Temporarily Working in Colorado,” by Reps. Tracy Kraft Tharp & Jon Becker and Sens. Owen Hill & Daniel Kagan. The bill establishes an exemption from the ‘Workers’ Compensation Act of Colorado’ for an out-of-state employer whose employees are working in Colorado on a temporary basis as long as the employer furnishes workers’ compensation coverage in the state in which the employee is regularly employed and the home state is contiguous to Colorado.
  • HB 18-1322 – “Concerning the Provision for Payment of the Expenses of the Executive, Legislative, and Judicial Departments of the State of Colorado, and of its Agencies and Institutions, For and During the Fiscal Year Beginning July 1, 2018, Except as Otherwise Noted,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. This is the Long Appropriations Bill, which budgets for various monies to be applied to different state agencies.
  • HB 18-1323 – “Concerning Transfers of Money to a Newly Created Office of State Planning and Budgeting Youth Pay for Success Initiatives Account within the Pay for Success Contracts Fund, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Dominick Moreno. The bill requires the state treasurer to transfer specified amounts from the general fund and the marijuana tax cash fund to a newly created Office of State Planning and Budgeting Youth Pay for Success Initiatives account within the pay for success contracts fund for state fiscal years 2018-19 through 2021-22.
  • HB 18-1324 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Governor’s Commission on Community Service, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill codifies the existing governor’s commission on community service, which was created through executive order.
  • HB 18-1325 – “Concerning Measures to Address Coverage Gaps in the Statewide Digital Trunked Radio System, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. The statewide digital trunked radio system (DTRS) provides interoperable radio communications that allow personnel from multiple agencies in different levels of government to rapidly share information and coordinate efforts in emergency situations. The General Assembly established the public safety communications trust fund for the acquisition and maintenance of public safety communications systems, including the DTRS.
  • HB 18-1326 – “Concerning Support for Persons Interested in Transitioning from an Institutional Setting, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations,” by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide community transition services and supports to persons who are in an institutional setting, who are eligible for Medicaid, and who desire to transition to a home- or community-based setting.
  • HB 18-1328 – “Concerning the Children’s Habilitation Residential Waiver Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing an Appropriation,” by Rep. Dave Young and Sens. Kent Lambert & Dominick Moreno. The bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to initiate a stakeholder process for purposes of preparing and submitting a redesigned children’s habilitation residential program waiver for federal approval that allows for home- and community-based services for children with intellectual and developmental disabilities who have complex behavioral support needs.
  • HB 18-1331 – “Concerning Expanding the Use of Open Educational Resources at Public Institutions of Higher Education, and, in Connection Therewith, Creating the Colorado Open Educational Resources Council, Creating a Grant Program to Support the Creation and Use of Open Educational Resources, and Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Dave Young & Bob Rankin and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. The bill creates the Colorado open educational resources council in the Department of Higher Education and assigns tasks to the new council.
  • HB 18-1332 – “Concerning Creation of a Grant Program to Support Collaborative Educator Preparation Initiatives to Address the Teacher Shortage in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin and Sen. Dominick Moreno. The bill creates in the Department of Higher Education the collaborative educator preparation grant program to support joint initiatives among educator preparation programs, alternative teacher programs, school districts, boards of cooperative services, and public schools for preparing and placing educators.
  • HB 18-1333 – “Concerning Part C Child Find Responsibilities of State Departments, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill defines ‘early intervention evaluations’ as evaluations performed pursuant to part C child find. The bill requires the state Department of Human Services and the Department of Education to enter into an interagency agreement to study the administration of early intervention evaluations. The departments are required to enter into the agreement by October 1, 2018, and to report the results of the study performed pursuant to the agreement to the joint budget committee by June 30, 2019.
  • HB 18-1334 – “Concerning an Extension of the Transitional Jobs Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill extends the transitional jobs program for five more years.
  • HB 18-1336 – “Concerning the Repeal of the Local Government Retail Marijuana Impact Grant Program,” by Rep. Dave Young and Sen. Kent Lambert. On July 1, 2019, the bill repeals the local government retail marijuana impact grant program, under which the Department of Local Affairs awards grants to eligible local governments for documented marijuana impacts.
  • HB 18-1337 – “Concerning a Veterans One-stop Center in Grand Junction, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill provides that on and after November 1, 2018, the Division of Veterans Affairs in the Department of Military and Veterans Affairs may operate a veterans one-stop center in Grand Junction for the purpose of providing a central and accessible location where veterans, service members, and their family members in the western portion of the state may have access to assistance and resources.
  • HB 18-1339 – “Concerning a Requirement for Fingerprint-Based Criminal History Record Checks for Individuals with Access to Federal Tax Information, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill requires fingerprint-based criminal history record checks for every applicant, contractor, employee, or other individual who has or may have access to federal tax information received from the federal government by a state agency in accordance with federal Internal Revenue Service Publication 1075.
  • SB 18-066 – “Concerning an Extension of the Operation of the State Lottery Division Beyond July 1, 2024,” by Sens. Jerry Sonnenberg & Leroy Garcia and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Cole Wist. The bill extends the scheduled termination on July 1, 2024, of the state lottery division in the Department of Revenue to July 1, 2049.
  • SB 18-195 – “Concerning a Requirement that the Money in the Healthcare Affordability and Sustainability Fee Cash Fund be Appropriated Annually rather than Continuously Appropriated,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Bob Rankin. Current law specifies that money in the healthcare affordability and sustainability fee cash fund is continuously appropriated to the Colorado healthcare affordability and sustainability enterprise for specified healthcare related purposes. Beginning with state fiscal year 2018-19, the bill makes the expenditure of money from the fund by the enterprise subject to annual appropriation by the General Assembly.
  • SB 18-202 – “Concerning the Exemption of the Colorado Firefighting Air Corps Fund from the Maximum Reserve,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill exempts the Colorado firefighting air corps fund from the maximum reserve, which currently limits the year-end uncommitted reserves in the cash fund to 16.5% of the amount expended from the cash fund during the fiscal year.

Additionally, on Monday, the Governor sent one bill to the Secretary of State without a signature. That bill was HB 18-1093, “Concerning the Allowable Uses of Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater, and, in Connection Therewith, Allowing Reclaimed Domestic Wastewater to Be Used for Food Crops and Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Jeni James Arndt and Sen. Don Coram. The bill codifies rules promulgated by the water quality control commissio of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment concerning allowable uses of reclaimed domestic wastewater, which is wastewater that has been treated for subsequent reuses other than drinking water.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2018 legislative actions, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Suppression Not Warranted where Defendant Dropped Drugs Prior to Seizure

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Taylor on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Arrest—Seizure—Suppression.

Pursuant to C.A.R. 4.1, the People challenged an order of the district court granting Taylor’s motion to suppress drug evidence. The supreme court held that the district court erred in granting Taylor’s motion to suppress because no seizure had yet taken place when Taylor dropped the drugs.

The court reversed the district court’s suppression order and remanded the case for further proceedings.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Respondent Neither Waived Nor Invited Error with Respect to Simple Variance Claim

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Smith on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Invited Error—Waiver—Simple Variance—Plain Error Review.

In this case, the supreme court reviewed two issues: (1) whether respondent waived or invited error with respect to his claim of a prejudicial simple variance when his defense counsel stated that the proposed jury instructions were generally acceptable, and (2) whether a jury instruction on menacing that does not identify the particular victim named in the charging document creates a simple variance warranting reversal when the jury could potentially have deemed either of two people to be the victim.

In light of the supreme court’s opinion in People v. Rediger, 2018 CO 32, ___ P.3d  ___, the court concluded that respondent neither waived nor invited error with respect to his simple variance claim. The court thus reviewed respondent’s variance claim for plain error and concluded that because the evidence presented at respondent’s trial would not obviously have allowed the jury to find that the respondent menaced a victim not named in his charging document, the trial court did not plainly err in instructing the jury on menacing without specifying the victim.

The court reversed the court of appeals division’s judgment.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Owner-Director of Nonprofit School is Not “Public Employee”

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Rediger on Monday, April 30, 2018.

Public Employee—Invited Error—Waiver—Constructive Amendment—Plain Error Review.

This case required the supreme court to decide two questions: (1) whether the owner–director of a nonprofit school regulated by various governmental entities is a “public employee” within the meaning of C.R.S. § 18-9-110(1), and (2) whether respondent waived or invited error with respect to a constructive amendment claim when his defense counsel stated that he was “satisfied” with the proposed jury instructions, notwithstanding the fact that the elemental instruction on the charge of interference with the staff, faculty, or students of an educational institution tracked C.R.S. § 18-9-109(1)(b) rather than C.R.S. § 18-9-109(2), which was the subsection charged in the information.

As to the first question, the court concluded that “public employee” means an employee of a governmental entity, and therefore an employee of a nonprofit school is not a public employee. Accordingly, the court agreed with the court of appeals division’s decision that respondent’s conviction for interference with a public employee in a public building cannot stand.

As to the second question, the court concluded that respondent neither waived nor invited error with respect to his constructive amendment claim because the record does not indicate that he or his counsel either intentionally relinquished a known right or deliberately injected the erroneous jury instruction as a matter of trial strategy. The court instead construed respondent’s general acquiescence to the instructions as a forfeiture and, reviewing for plain error, concluded that the constructive amendment of respondent’s charging document constituted plain error necessitating a new trial.

The court affirmed in part and reversed in part the court of appeals division’s judgment.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.