April 19, 2018

Colorado Court of Appeals: Prior Public Use Doctrine Precludes Condemnation that would Eliminate Public Use

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in CAW Equities, L.L.C. v. City of Greenwood Village  on Thursday, March 22, 2018.

Eminent DomainPrivate CondemnationPrior Public Use DoctrineColorado Constitution Article XVI, Section 7.

CAW Equities, L.L.C. (CAW) sought private condemnation of a public equestrian and pedestrian trail (public trail) that bisects two of its adjacent properties to construct a ditch from the Highline Canal to the southern end of its properties. The City of Greenwood Village (City) owned the public trail from a plat dedication and separate dedication for equestrian and pedestrian use. The City moved to dismiss under CRCP 12(b)(1).The district court denied the petition and awarded the City attorney fees and costs.

On appeal, CAW argued that the district court erred in holding that CAW lacked the authority to condemn the public trail. The Court of Appeals agreed with the district court, finding that the legislature, through the eminent domain statutes, may regulate Colo. Const. art. XVI, section 7 (Section 7) so long as it does not unnecessarily limit or curtail the constitutional right.

CAW also argued that Section 7 is self-executing and cannot be limited or curtailed by the eminent domain statutes. The Court concluded that while Section 7 may be self-executing, well-settled law recognizes the legislature’s ability to regulate private condemnation, and the eminent domain statutes properly regulate the exercise of this right under Section 7.

CAW alternatively argued that even if the eminent domain statutes apply, its proposed plan does not violate them. It claimed that Section 7 does not require it to show a ditch is necessary, and that it provides an absolute right to condemn. The Court did not decide whether CAW must prove the ditch is necessary to access its water rights to be able to condemn the ditch because the land CAW sought to condemn was already in public use as a public trail. The Court decided, as a matter of first impression, that the prior public use doctrine applies to private condemnation proceedings under Section 7. Though Section 7 grants general authority to condemn public property for a right-of-way to access water, it does not expressly grant the authority to extinguish an existing public use on such property; it merely grants express authority to a right-of-way if that right-of-way does not extinguish the public use. Further, the right to condemn an entire tract of public land in public use is not a necessary implication of the general right to privately condemn a right-of-way for a ditch. Here, there were other ways of transporting the water without interfering with the public trail. Where a private condemnor can obtain a right-of-way without extinguishing the existing public use, the condemnation power does not necessarily imply such a power. The district court was correct in finding that CAW failed to (1) allege express authority for its right to condemn all of the public trail; (2) prove that the right to condemn property already in public use was a necessary implication of its private condemnation right; and (3) prove that some public exigency existed to justify the necessity of condemning the public trail.

The Court also affirmed the City’s award of its attorney fees and costs.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Modernizing Statutory Language, Requiring Rent Receipts from Landlords, and More Signed

On Thursday, March 22, 2018, the governor signed 25 bills into law. He also sent one  bill to the Secretary of State without a signature on Friday. To date, he has signed 81 bills and sent one to the Secretary of State without a signature. The bills signed Thursday include several bills modernizing and clarifying statutory language, as well as a bill requiring residential landlords to issue rent receipts, a bill adding two types of protection orders, and more. The bills signed Thursday and passed on Friday are summarized here.

  • SB 18-005 – “Concerning Economic Assistance for Rural Communities Experiencing Certain Significant Economic Events that Lead to Substantial Job Loss in those Communities, and, in Connection Therewith, Authorizing the Department of Local Affairs to Coordinate Nonmonetary Assistance to Assist Rural Communities with Job Creation or Retention,” by Sens. Kerry Donovan & Ray Scott and Rep. Dylan Roberts. The bill authorizes the Executive Director of the Department of Local Affairs (Executive Director) or the Executive Director’s designee to coordinate the provision of nonmonetary resources to assist with job retention or creation in a rural community experiencing a significant economic event, such as a plant closure or layoffs, including industry-wide layoffs, that has a significant, quantifiable impact on jobs within that community.
  • SB 18-009 – “Concerning the Right of Consumers of Electricity to Interconnect Energy Storage Systems for Use on their Property,” by Sens. Kevin Priola & Stephen Fenberg and Reps. Faith Winter & Polly Lawrence. The bill declares that consumers of electricity have a right to install, interconnect, and use energy storage systems on their property, and that this will enhance the reliability and efficiency of the electric grid, save money, and reduce the need for additional electric generation facilities.
  • SB 18-010 – “Concerning the Requirement that a Residential Landlord Provide a Tenant with Specified Documents Relevant to the Landlord-Tenant Relationship, and, in Connection Therewith, Specifying Rent Receipts and Copies of any Written Lease Agreement as Documents that Must be Provided,” by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Angela Williams and Rep. Tony Exum. The bill requires a residential landlord to provide each tenant with a copy of a written rental agreement signed by the parties and to give a tenant a contemporaneous receipt for any payment made in person with cash or a money order. For payments not made in person with cash or a money order, the landlord must provide a receipt if the tenant requests it.
  • SB 18-020 – “Concerning Mental Health Care Professionals who are Permitted to Perform Auricular Acudetox,” by Sen. Leroy Garcia and Rep. Daneya Esgar. The bill allows registered psychotherapists who have documented that they have undergone auricular acudetox training to perform auricular acudetox.
  • SB 18-046 – “Concerning Authorization to Increase the Minimum Donation Required to be Issued a Certificate that Qualifies a Person to be Issued a Group Special License Plate,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Reps. Dafna Michaelson Jenet & Faith Winter. The bill authorizes nonprofit organizations to increase by $10 the minimum donation for the issuance of special license plates.
  • SB 18-060 – “Concerning Protective Orders in Criminal Cases,” by Sen. Don Coram and Rep. Millie Hamner. The bill adds 2 new potential protection orders to the list of options available to the court. They are an order prohibiting the taking, transferring, concealing, harming, disposing of, or threatening to harm an animal owned, possessed, leased, kept, or held by the alleged victim or witness; and an order directing a wireless telephone service provider to transfer the financial responsibility for and rights to a wireless telephone number or numbers to the alleged victim or witness if the alleged victim or witness satisfies certain criteria.
  • SB 18-069 – “Concerning Enforcement of Statewide Degree Transfer Agreements,” by Sens. Chris Holbert & Rachel Zenzinger and Reps. Alec Garnett & Jon Becker. If an institution of higher education admits as a junior a transfer student who holds an associate of arts degree, associate of applied science degree, or an associate of science degree that is the subject of a statewide degree transfer agreement, the institution shall not require the student to complete any additional courses to fulfill general education requirements.
  • SB 18-093 – “Concerning the Repeal of Obsolete Provisions in the Colorado Medical Assistance Program Relating to the Inactive Home- and Community-Based Services Waiver for Persons Living with AIDS,” by Sen. Dominick Moreno and Rep. Jeni James Arndt. The bill repeals the inactive home- and community-based services waiver under the Colorado medical assistance program for persons with health complexes related to acquired immune deficiency syndrome (persons living with AIDS waiver).
  • SB 18-101 – “Concerning Student Admission to Colorado State University – Global Campus,” by Sens. Chris Holbert & Nancy Todd and Reps. Millie Hamner & Kevin Van Winkle. The bill removes a prohibition on admitting first-time freshman baccalaureate students who reside in Colorado and who are under 23 years of age.
  • HB 18-1005 – “Concerning Notice of Postsecondary Course Enrollment Options Available to High School Students,” by Reps. Brittany Petterson & Jon Becker and Sen. Kevin Priola. The bill requires a notice to students and parents of postsecondary course opportunities to include information regarding the local education provider’s timelines that affect student eligibility to take these courses and a statement informing students that they may significantly reduce college expenses, increase the likelihood of completing college, and earn marketable workforce skills by taking concurrent enrollment courses.
  • HB 18-1023 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to Legalized Marijuana from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Rep. Leslie Herod and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill creates Title 44 and relocates the statutes related to legalized marijuana from Title 12 to Title 44.
  • HB 18-1032 – “Concerning Access to Medical Records from the Department of Public Health and Environment’s EMS Agency Patient Care Database by Health Information Organization Networks,” by Reps. Chris Kennedy & Dan Thurlow and Sens. Rhonda Fields & Jack Tate. The bill requires the Department of Public Health and Environment to provide individualized patient information from the department’s EMS agency patient care database to health information organization networks for any use allowed under the federal “Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act of 1996.”
  • HB 18-1045 – “Concerning the Application of Silver Diamine Fluoride to Dental Patients,” by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill allows a dental hygienist to apply silver diamine fluoride under the direct or indirect supervision of a dentist.
  • HB 18-1050 – “Concerning Competency to Proceed for Juveniles Involved in the Juvenile Justice System,” by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Rhonda Fields. The bill establishes a juvenile-specific definition of ‘competent to proceed’ and ‘incompetent to proceed’ for juveniles involved in the juvenile justice system, as well as specific definitions for ‘developmental disability’, ‘mental capacity’, and ‘mental disability’ when used in this context. The bill clarifies the procedures for establishing incompetency, as well as for establishing the restoration of competency.
  • HB 18-1051 – “Concerning Statutory Provisions Enacted to Promote the Extinguishment of Unattended Fires,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Terri Carver and Sens. Don Coram & Michael Merrifield. The bill states that any person who starts or maintains a campfire commits the offense of leaving a campfire unattended if he or she knowingly or recklessly fails to reasonably attend the campfire at all times or fails to thoroughly extinguish the campfire before leaving the site.
  • HB 18-1052 – “Concerning Local Education Providers’ Receipt of Concurrent Enrollment Courses from a Two-year Institution of Higher Education Outside of the Institution’s Approved Service Area when the Institution Approved to Serve the Local Education Provider Declines to Provide Concurrent Enrollment Courses,” by Reps. Paul Lundeen & Jeff Bridges and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill requires the commission to establish a policy that allows a 2-year institution of higher education to provide a concurrent enrollment program or course to a local education provider that is not within its college service area if the designated 2-year institution of higher education chooses not to provide a concurrent enrollment program or course requested by the local education provider.
  • HB 18-1066 – “Concerning Clarifying that the Law Enforcement and Defense Counsel Exemption for Sexual Exploitation of a Child Crime Does Not Change the Discovery Procedures for Sexually Exploitative Material,” by Reps. Yeulin Willett & Mike Foote and Sen. John Cooke. The bill clarifies that the sexual exploitation of a child statute does not change the discovery procedure for sexually exploitative materials and that the defendant and defense counsel personnel are not allowed to receive copies of the materials.
  • HB 18-1073 – “Concerning Water Districts’ Ability to Enter into Contracts Regarding their Water-related Assets,” by Rep. Matt Gray and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill authorizes water districts, including water activity enterprises, to enter into contracts for water and the capacity in works and allows the contracts to be based on municipalities’ authority to contract for water and sewer facilities.
  • HB 18-1095 – “Concerning Educator Licenses Issued to Military Spouses,” by Reps. Terri Carver & Jeni James Arndt and Sens. Bob Gardner & Nancy Todd. The bill exempts military spouses from a requirement that teaching or special services experience be continuous, and instead requires 3 years of experience within the previous 7 years.
  • HB 18-1117 – “Concerning Liens that Attach to Personal Property that is Stored at a Self-service Storage Facility,” by Reps. Kevin Van Winkle & James Coleman and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill modifies the law governing the statutory lien that an owner of a self-storage facility has for the occupant’s late payment of rent or other charges.
  • HB 18-1141 – “Concerning the Removal of Outdated References in Statute to ‘Early Childhood Care and Education Councils,'” by Rep. Edie Hooten and Sen. Rachel Zenzinger. The bill removes outdated references in statute to “early childhood care and education councils.” The term is no longer used. Instead, these entities are referred to as “early childhood councils.”
  • HB 18-1142 – “Concerning Modernizing Language in Statutory Sections that Refer to Paupers,” by Reps. Edie Hooten & Dan Thurlow and Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Rachel Zenzinger. The bill modernizes the language in statutory sections by replacing the terms ‘pauper’ and ‘paupers’ with ‘indigent’ or ‘indigent persons’.
  • HB 18-1183 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Home Food Service Plans Pursuant to the “Sale of Meat Act”, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Department of Regulatory Agencies’ Sunset Review Recommendation to Repeal the Act,” by Reps. Edie Hooten & Kim Ransom and Sen. Randy Baumgartner. The bill implements the recommendation of the Department of Regulatory Agencies, as contained in the Department’s sunset review of home food service plans, by repealing the ‘Sale of Meat Act’, thereby eliminating the regulation of home food service plans by the department of agriculture.
  • HB 18-1210 – “Concerning Peace Officer Status for the Administrator of Judicial Security in the Colorado Judicial Department,” by Rep. Mike Foote and Sen. John Cooke. The bill designates an administrator of judicial security in the Colorado judicial department as a peace officer who must be certified by the peace officer standards and training board.
  • HB 18-1249 – “Concerning the Requirement that the State Treasurer Distribute any Federal Funds Related to the Naval Oil Shale Reserve Land to Specified Counties or their Federal Mineral Lease Districts,” by Reps. Bob Rankin & Millie Hamner and Sen. Kevin Lundberg. If the state receives any federal mineral lease revenue from oil and gas production on naval oil shale reserve land that was set aside prior to January 1, 2009, and withheld by the federal government, then instead of depositing the money in the mineral leasing fund the state treasurer is required to distribute the money to certain counties or a related federal mineral lease district.

The bill that the governor sent to the Secretary of State without a signature was HB 18-1086, “Concerning Allowing Community Colleges to Offer a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing,” by Reps. Janet Buckner & Paul Lundeen and Sens. Tim Neville & Irene Aguilar.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act Did Not Create Legislative Contract

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in School Dist. No. 1 v. Masters on Monday, March 12, 2018.

In this case, the supreme court considers two questions. First, it considers whether the General Assembly, by enacting the Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990 (“TECDA”), created a legislative contract that it later impaired by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) (2017). Second, it considers whether a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(IV) is deprived of due process. The supreme court holds that TECDA did not create a legislative contract or vest nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave with a property interest in salary and benefits. The supreme court therefore concludes that the General Assembly has not impaired a contractual obligation by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions, and that nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave have not suffered a violation of their right to due process.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Nonprobationary Teachers Placed on Unpaid Leave Have No Vested Property Interest in Salary and Benefits

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Johnson v. School Dist. No. 1 on Monday, March 12, 2018.

In this case, the supreme court considers two certified questions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The first is whether the unpaid-leave provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) (2017) apply to all nonprobationary teachers who are not employed in a “mutual consent” placement, or only to those who are displaced for the reasons enumerated in C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(VII). The second is whether a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63- 202(2)(c.5)(IV) is deprived of a state property interest in salary and benefits. The supreme court holds that the provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) apply to all displaced nonprobationary teachers, not just nonprobationary teachers who are displaced because of a reason stated in section 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(VII). The supreme court further holds that nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave have no vested property interest in salary and benefits, meaning a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(IV) is not deprived of a state property interest.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Bills Signed Regarding Continuation of Family Medical Benefits After Death of State Worker, Creating a Crime of Cruelty to Police Horse, and More

On Wednesday, March 7, 2018, the governor signed 10 bills into law. To date, he has signed 40 bills this legislative session. The bills signed Wednesday included a bill to continue family medical benefits after the death of a state employee, a bill adding free-standing emergency rooms to Colorado’s safe haven laws, a bill creating the crime of cruelty to a working police horse, a bill removing the 30-day waiting period for importation of alcoholic beverages, and more. The bills signed Wednesday are summarized here.

  • HB 18-1010 – “Concerning Youth Committed to the Department of Human Services, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring the Department to Report Certain Data and Adding Members to the Youth Restraint and Seclusion Working Group,” by Reps. Pete Lee & James Wilson and Sen. Don Coram. The bill requires the Department of Human Services to annually collect recidivism data and calculate the recidivism rates and educational outcomes for juveniles committed to the custody of the department who complete their parole sentences and discharge from department supervision.
  • HB 18-1024 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to the Regulation of Racing from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Daniel Kagan. The bill creates Title 44 and moves statutes related to the regulation of racing from title 12 to the new title.
  • HB 18-1026 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of the Law Creating the Liquor Enforcement Division and State Licensing Authority Cash Fund from Title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Rep. Leslie Herod and Sens. John Cooke & Bob Gardner. The bill creates Title 44 and moves statutes creating the liquor enforcement division and state licensing authority cash fund from title 24 to the new title.
  • HB 18-1041– “Concerning Adding Certified Police Working Horses to the Crime of Cruelty to a Service Animal or a Certified Police Working Dog,” by Rep. Marc Catlin and Sen. Don Coram. The bill adds a definition for “certified police working horse” to statute and adds certified police working horses to the crime of cruelty to a service animal or a certified police working dog.
  • HB 18-1048 – “Concerning the Expenditure of Money from the Hesperus Account by the Board of Trustees of Fort Lewis College,” by Rep. Barbara McLaughlin and Sen. Don Coram. The bill eliminates the requirement that spending from the Fort Lewis College Hesperus account is subject to an appropriation by the general assembly.
  • HB 18-1105 – “Concerning the Unlicensed Sale of Vehicles,” by Reps. Larry Liston & Jovan Melton and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill clarifies that money received as fines for certain violations may be deposited in the auto dealers license fund.
  • SB 18-025 – “Concerning Modernization of Election Procedures for the Urban Drainage and Flood Control District to Conform with the Current Requirements of State Law,” by Sen. Kevin Priola and Rep. James Coleman. The bill makes several changes to statutory provisions related to flood control district elections.
  • SB 18-050 – “Concerning Including Staff of Free-standing Emergency Facilities as Part of Colorado’s Safe Haven Laws,” by Sen. Jim Smallwood and Reps. James Coleman & Marc Catlin. The bill expands Colorado’s safe haven laws to include staff members of community clinic emergency centers as persons allowed to take temporary physical custody of infants 72 hours old or younger when the infant is voluntarily surrendered by its parent or parents.
  • SB 18-124 – “Concerning the Removal of the Thirty-day Waiting Period Related to the Sale of Imported Alcohol Beverages,” by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Dan Pabon. Current law requires a manufacturer or importer of imported alcohol beverages to file a statement and notice of intent to import with the state licensing authority at least 30 days before the import or sale of the imported alcohol beverages. The bill removes the 30-day waiting period requirement.
  • SB 18-148 – “Concerning the Continuation of Certain Benefits Through the ‘State Employee Group Benefits Act’ for Dependents of a State Employee who Dies in a Work-related Death,” by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Dominick Moreno and Reps. Polly Lawrence & Tony Exum. The bill specifies that dependents of an employee who dies in a work-related death are automatically qualified for the continuation of dental or medical benefits through the act for 12 months from the end of the month in which the work-related death occurred, so long as the dependents had dental or medical benefits pursuant to the act at the time of the employee’s work-related death.

For all of the governor’s 2018 legislative actions, click here.

Bills Signed Allowing Alcohol to be Auctioned at Special Events, Amending Employer Ability to Access FPPA Plans, and More

On Thursday, March 1, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper signed 26 bills into law. To date, he has signed 29 bills this legislative session. Many of the bills signed Thursday were supplemental appropriations bills or bills moving statutes from Title 12, C.R.S., but among the rest were bills allowing the auctioning of alcohol in sealed containers at special events, amending an employer’s ability to access Fire and Police Pension Association plans, and adopting the Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact. Summaries of the bills signed Thursday are available here.

  • HB 18-1022 – “Concerning a Requirement that the Department of Revenue Issue a Request for Information for an Electronic Sales and Use Tax Simplification System,” by Reps. Lang Sias & Tracy Kraft-Tharp and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Tim Neville. The bill requires the department of revenue to issue a request for information for an electronic sales and use tax simplification system that the state or any local government that levies a sales or use tax, including a home rule municipality and county, could choose to use that would provide administrative simplification to the state and local sales and use tax system.
  • HB 18-1031 – “Concerning Employer Entry into the Fire and Police Pension Association Defined Benefit System,” by Reps. Jovan Melton & Kim Ransom and Sens. John Cooke & Matt Jones. The bill allows an employer that provides a money purchase plan to apply to the board, with a single application, to cover some or all of the existing members of its money purchase plan in the defined benefit system. Current law requires the employer to apply to the board separately for each plan.
  • HB 18-1075 – “Concerning the Enactment of Colorado Revised Statutes 2017 as the Positive and Statutory Law of the State of Colorado,” by Reps. Pete Lee & Leslie Herod and Sens. Daniel Kagan & John Cooke. This bill enacts the softbound volumes of Colorado Revised Statutes 2017, including the corrected replacement volume consisting of titles 42 and 43, as the positive and statutory law of the state of Colorado and establishes the effective date of said publication.
  • HB 18-1079 – “Concerning a Requirement that the Works Allocation Committee Prepare Annual Recommendations for the Use of the Colorado Long-term Works Reserve,” by Rep. Susan Beckman and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill requires the works allocation committee to annually submit to the executive director of the Department of Human Services, the governor, and the joint budget committee recommendations for the use of the money in the Colorado long-term works reserve for the upcoming state fiscal year.
  • HB 18-1144 – “Concerning Certain Publishing Requirements for the Department of Revenue’s ‘Disclosure of Average Taxes Paid’ Table,” by Rep. Dan Thurlow and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill updates language regarding mailing of tax tables, and refers in general to the department’s website and also requires the department to provide the table on the software platform that the department makes available to taxpayers to file individual income taxes rather than refer to the “NetFile” link.
  • HB 18-1159 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Education,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Education.
  • HB 18-1160 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Offices of the Governor, Lieutenant Governor, and State Planning and Budgeting,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the offices of the governor, lieutenant governor, and state planning and budgeting.
  • HB 18-1161 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing.
  • HB 18-1162 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Human Services,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Human Services.
  • HB 18-1163 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Judicial Department,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Judicial Department.
  • HB 18-1164 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Personnel,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Personnel.
  • HB 18-1165 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Public Safety,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Public Safety.
  • HB 18-1166 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Regulatory Agencies.
  • HB 18-1167 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of Revenue,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of Revenue.
  • HB 18-1168 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of State,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of State.
  • HB 18-1169 – “Concerning a Supplemental Appropriation to the Department of the Treasury,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes a supplemental appropriation to the Department of the Treasury.
  • HB 18-1170 – “Concerning Funding for Capital Construction, and Making Supplemental Appropriations in Connection Therewith,” by Rep. Millie Hamner and Sen. Kent Lambert. The bill makes supplemental appropriations for capital construction projects.
  • HB 18-1173 – “Concerning a Supplemental Transfer of Money from the General Fund to the Information Technology Capital Account of the Capital Construction Fund for the 2017-18 State Fiscal Year,” by Rep. Bob Rankin and Sen. Kent Lambert. For the 2017-18 fiscal year, the bill transfers $2,888,529 from the general fund to the information technology capital account of the capital construction fund.
  • SB 18-019 – “Concerning an Expansion of the Duration for which the Colorado Water Resources and Power Development Authority may Make a Loan Under the Authority’s Revolving Loan Programs,” by Sens. Kerry Donovan & Don Coram and Reps. Chris Hansen & Jeni James Arndt. Current law limits the duration of any water pollution control loan to 20 years; this bill removes the 20-year limitation.
  • SB 18-027 – “Concerning the Enactment of the ‘Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact’, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Jim Smallwood & Nancy Todd and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Hugh McKean. The bill repeals the current ‘Nurse Licensure Compact’ and adopts the ‘Enhanced Nurse Licensure Compact’.
  • SB 18-030 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to Self-Propelled Vehicles from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Chris Holbert & Daniel Kagan and Reps. Mike Foote & Yeulin Willett. The bill creates Title 44 in the Colorado Revised Statutes and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-032 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Bob Gardner & John Cooke and Reps. Mike Foote & Leslie Herod. The bill relocates articles 26 and 26.1 from Title 12 to a new part in Title 18, and relocates the Uniform Unsworn Declarations Act to a new article in Title 13.
  • SB 18-034 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to the Regulation of Gaming from Title 12, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. John Cooke & Lucia Guzman and Reps. Cole Wist & Pete Lee. The bill creates a new Title 44 and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-035 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Relocation of Laws Related to Gambling Payment Intercept from Title 24, Colorado Revised Statutes, to a New Title 44 as Part of the Organizational Recodification of Title 12,” by Sens. Bob Gardner & John Cooke and Rep. Cole Wist. The bill creates Title 44 of the Colorado Revised Statutes and relocates certain statutory sections to Title 44.
  • SB 18-041 – “Concerning the Ability of Operators of Sand and Gravel Mines to Use Water Incidental to Sand and Gravel Mining Operations to Mitigate the Impacts of Mining,” by Sens. Don Coram & Randy Baumgartner and Reps. Lori Saine & Jeni James Arndt. The bill specifies that the groundwater replacement plan or the plan of substitute supply and the permit may authorize uses of water incidental to open mining for sand and gravel, including specifically the mitigation of impacts from mining and dewatering.
  • SB 18-054 – “Concerning a Limitation on the Amount of an Increase in Fees Assessed Against Assisted Living Residences by the Department of Public Health and Environment,” by Sen. Larry Crowder and Rep. Larry Liston. Current law requires the State Board of Health to establish a schedule of fees for health facilities, including assisted living facilities. The bill applies an inflation rate limitation to the fees for assisted living facilities.
  • SB 18-067 – “Concerning the Ability of Certain Organizations Conducting a Special Event to Auction Alcohol Beverages in Sealed Containers for Fundraising Purposes under Specified Circumstances,” by Sens. Rachel Zenzinger & Kevin Priola and Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Kevin Van Winkle. The bill specifically allows certain organizations to bring onto and remove from the premises where an event will be held, whether licensed or unlicensed, alcohol beverages in sealed containers that were donated to or otherwise lawfully obtained by the organization and will be used for an auction for fundraising purposes as long as the alcohol beverages remain in sealed containers at all times and the licensee does not realize any financial gain related to the alcohol beverage auction.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Body-Worn Cameras Are Not “Personal Safety and Health Equipment” and Therefore Do Not Mandate Collective Bargaining

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Denver Police Protective Association v. City & County of Denver on Thursday, February 22, 2018.

Labor Relations—Collective Bargaining—Body-Worn Cameras—Summary Judgment.

The City and County of Denver (Denver) and the Denver Police Protective Association (DPPA) are parties to a collective bargaining agreement. That agreement implements the City and County of Denver Charter (Charter), which sets forth Denver’s obligations regarding collective bargaining with certain of its employees. A category in the Charter that is not required to be subject to collective bargaining is officer health and safety matters, except for personal safety and health equipment.

In 2015, the Denver Police Department (DPD) promulgated, without bargaining or consultation with DPPA, a policy regarding the use of body-worn cameras (BWCs). The policy required “patrol officers and corporals assigned to all six police Districts, the Gang Unit and Traffic Operations” to wear and use BWCs. DPPA immediately contended that this was a mandatory subject of collective bargaining and demanded that Denver bargain. Denver refused.

DPPA sued, alleging Denver violated the collective bargaining agreement by implementing the BWC policy without first bargaining in good faith with DPPA. The parties filed cross-motions for summary judgment. The district court granted summary judgment in favor of DPPA and ordered Denver to bargain over the implementation of the BWC policy.

On appeal, the court of appeals considered whether the BWCs are “personal safety and health equipment” subject to collective bargaining as claimed by DPPA and agreed to by the district court, or if they are equipment that relates to “officer safety and health matters,” as Denver argued, and therefore are not a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

Analyzing the Charter, the court concluded that it is reasonable to restrict the definition of “personal safety and health equipment” to equipment whose principal purpose is the safety of officers. The case thus turned on whether the principal purpose of BWCs is officer safety. While BWCs may incidentally impact officer safety, their principal purpose is not to increase the safety of the officer. The court therefore concluded that BWCs are not “personal health and safety equipment” under the Charter and are not a mandatory subject of collective bargaining.

The judgment was reversed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: City Had Power to Convey Park Not Dedicated to Public Use

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Save Cheyenne v. City of Colorado Springs on Thursday, February 2, 2018.

Land Exchange—Home Rule Cities.

The Colorado Springs City Council adopted a resolution approving a land exchange between the City, on the one hand, and the Broadmoor Hotel, Inc.; the Manitou and Pike’s Peak Railway Company; the COG Land & Development Company; and PF, LLC (collectively, the Broadmoor) on the other hand. As relevant here, a 189.5 acre parcel within Cheyenne Park known as “Strawberry Fields” was transferred to the Broadmoor for construction of a private equestrian center on an 8.5 acre building envelope within the parcel. As a condition of the transfer, the Broadmoor is required to allow continued public access to Strawberry Fields, with the exception of the land within the building envelope. In exchange, the Broadmoor transferred to the City more than 300 acres of land and trail easements to be added to the City’s park system.

Plaintiff, a local nonprofit corporation, filed suit, seeking a declaration that the resolution authorizing the land exchange was null and void, and injunctive relief preventing the land exchange. It also alleged a zoning violation. The City and the Broadmoor moved to dismiss under C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5), for failure to state any claims, and under C.R.C.P. 12(b)(1), arguing that the zoning challenge was unripe. The district court granted the motion.

The court of appeals first rejected defendants’ motion to dismiss plaintiff’s appeal based on mootness. Plaintiff argued that the resolution was an ultra vires act of the City Council because Cheyenne Park had previously been dedicated as a public park, and as a consequence, the City holds the park in trust for the public and cannot convey the park’s land. The Court concluded that no valid statutory dedication of Cheyenne Park occurred, and that any common law dedication was abrogated. The City Council had the power to convey Strawberry Fields when it authorized the land exchange.

Plaintiff next argued that under C.R.S. § 31-15-713(1)(a) no conveyance of the parkland could be made unless it was authorized by a vote in a public election. Colorado Springs is a home rule city and therefore in matters of local concern, a home-rule ordinance supersedes a conflicting state statute. The Colorado Springs City Code provides that land exchanges are to be reviewed by the City Council and approved by resolution. The Code provision applies, and the City was not required to hold an election before making the land transfer.

The court also rejected plaintiff’s argument that the resolution and land exchange violated article XI, section 2 of the Colorado Constitution, which prohibits transfers of city property without consideration. Here, the City received consideration for the parkland.

Plaintiff next contended that the City Council’s resolution approving the land exchange violates the City Charter. The Charter sections at issue only regulate granting franchises and leases on public property and city-owned parklands. The transaction here did not create a lease or franchise on City property, and these provisions do not apply to the conveyance.

Lastly, the court concluded that plaintiff’s claim of zoning violations is not yet ripe for review. The record does not demonstrate that a final zoning decision has been made regarding the permitted uses of Strawberry Fields. The district court properly dismissed this claim.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Petitioners’ Tort Claims for Airborne Asbestos Injuries Not Barred by Colorado Governmental Immunity Act

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Smokebrush Foundation v. City of Colorado Springs on Monday, February 5, 2018.

Colorado Governmental Immunity Act—Sovereign Immunity.

In this case, the Colorado Supreme Court reviewed the Colorado Court of Appeals division’s conclusion that petitioners’ claims against respondent city were barred under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). Petitioners asserted a number of tort claims for alleged injuries resulting from airborne asbestos released during demolition activities on the city’s property in 2013 and from the subsurface migration of coal tar pollutants created by historical coal gasification operations on the city’s property. The division concluded that each of these claims was barred under the CGIA.

The supreme court first addressed whether petitioners’ asbestos-related claims fell within the waiver of immunity set forth in C.R.S. § 24-10-106(1)(c) for injuries resulting from the dangerous condition of a public building. The CGIA defines a “dangerous condition,” in pertinent part, as a physical condition of a facility or the use thereof that constitutes an unreasonable risk to the health or safety of the public and that is proximately caused by the negligent act or omission of the public entity in “constructing or maintaining” such facility. C.R.S. § 24-10-103(1.3). Because the complete and permanent demolition of a building does not come within the plain meaning of the terms “constructing” or “maintaining” a facility, the court concluded that the dangerous condition of a public building exception does not apply.

Next, the court addressed whether petitioners’ coal tar-related claims fell within the waiver of immunity set forth in C.R.S. § 24-10-106(1)(f) for injuries resulting from the operation and maintenance of a public gas facility when, as here, petitioners’ cause of action accrued after the CGIA’s enactment but the operation and maintenance of the facility that caused the injury occurred before that enactment. Because petitioners have established that (1) the facility at issue was a public gas facility, (2) petitioners’ claimed injuries from the coal tar contamination resulted from the operation and maintenance of that facility, and (3) petitioners’ coal tar-related claims accrued after the CGIA’s enactment, the court concluded that under the plain language of C.R.S. § 24-10-106(1)(f), the city waived its immunity for these claims.

Accordingly, court affirmed the portion of the division’s judgment requiring the dismissal of petitioners’ asbestos-related claims but reversed the portion of the judgment requiring the dismissal of petitioners’ coal tar-related claims.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Complaint Against Planned Parenthood Failed to State a Claim

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Norton v. Rocky Mountain Planned Parenthood, Inc. on Monday, January 22, 2018.

Constitutional Law—Colo. Const. Art. V, § 50—Motion to Dismiss.

In this case, the Colorado Supreme Court considered whether petitioner’s complaint alleged a violation of article V, section 50 of the Colorado Constitution sufficient to overcome a motion to dismiss. The court held that to state a claim for relief under section 50, a complaint must allege that the state made a payment to a person or entity—whether directly to that person or entity, or indirectly through an intermediary—for the purpose of compensating them for performing an abortion and that such an abortion was actually performed. Because petitioner’s complaint did not allege that the state made such a payment, the complaint failed to state a claim for relief under C.R.C.P. 12(b)(5). Accordingly, the court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Sovereign Immunity Does Not Bar Attorney Fee Award Against Government Entity

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in C.K. v. People in Interest of L.K. on Monday, December 18, 2017.

Discovery Sanctions—Attorney Fees—Sovereign Immunity.

In this case, the Colorado Supreme Court considered the narrow question of whether sovereign immunity bars an award of attorney fees against a public entity. The court concluded that sovereign immunity does not bar an award of attorney fees against a public entity because sovereign immunity does not presumptively protect the state of Colorado and Colorado’s Governmental Immunity Act does not provide immunity for an award of attorney fees against a public entity. Accordingly, the court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and remanded to that court for proceedings consistent with this opinion.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Roaring Fork Transportation Authority Possessed Eminent Domain Power by Statute

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Sos v. Roaring Fork Transportation Authority on Thursday, November 16, 2017.

Eminent Domain—Inverse Condemnation Claim—Compensable Damages—Restoration Damages—Diminution in Value.

Sos owns property on which he owns and operates a tire business. The Roaring Fork Transportation Authority (RFTA) built a bus station on the property north of and adjacent to his property. Before RFTA began construction, an earthen embankment rested on the property line between Sos’s and RFTA’s properties. Sos regularly sold tires and other items on the embankment and, with the previous owner’s permission, on the northern property. As part of its construction, RFTA removed the embankment and built a wall on its property, and then restored the embankment, which the wall relies on for lateral support. Sos then wanted to remove the embankment to facilitate his business. He brought an inverse condemnation claim against RFTA because the bus station wall relies on his property for lateral support. RFTA moved for summary judgment and Sos moved for partial summary judgment, regarding whether a compensable taking or damages had occurred. The district court denied RFTA’s motion and granted Sos’s motion, determining that the force the bus station wall permanently imposed on the embankment constituted compensable damage under article II, section 15 of the Colorado Constitution, and that the proper measure of damages was restoration damages rather than diminution in value.

On appeal, RFTA argued that the district court erred in determining that RFTA possessed the power of eminent domain because the General Assembly had not granted RFTA this power expressly or by clear implication, and because it does not possess the power of eminent domain, Sos cannot establish an inverse condemnation claim. Pursuant to the plain language of C.R.S. § 43-4-604, RFTA has the power of eminent domain by clear implication.

RFTA next asserted that the district court erred in concluding that RFTA’s bus station wall caused compensable damage because the wall’s construction did not substantially diminish the value of Sos’s property or substantially change Sos’s use of his property. The district court found, with record support, that RFTA authorized the building of the bus station wall and that RFTA incorporated the embankment’s support into the bus station wall’s design and construction. The court, therefore, properly determined that the imposition of force on Sos’s embankment was the natural consequence of RFTA’s intentional construction of the bus station wall. Further, the record, including RFTA’s own expert opinions, supported the district court’s finding that the bus station wall imposed a new force on Sos’s embankment to such a degree that an engineered remedy was now required before the embankment could be excavated. The district court properly determined that RFTA damaged Sos’s property.

RFTA next contended that the district court erred in ruling that restoration costs rather than diminution of value was the proper measure of damages. The record shows that the diminution in value of Sos’s property after RFTA built the bus station was de minimis. But RFTA’s construction substantially limited Sos’s use and enjoyment of the embankment area. Therefore, the district court properly determined Sos’s damages under the measure of restoration costs.

RFTA further argued that the district court erred in allowing evidence of Sos’s business and personal uses for his property because such interests are non-compensable in condemnation cases. RFTA contended that Sos presented no admissible evidence regarding restoration costs or supporting the damages award. The Court of Appeals concluded that the district court’s damages award is supported by competent record evidence.

RFTA also argued that the district court erred in rejecting its proposed instructions regarding diminution of value being the proper measure of damages. The district court’s decision was supported by competent evidence and did not cause the commissioners to be inaccurately instructed on the law.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.