October 2, 2014

Colorado Court of Appeals: Potential Father Entitled Appointed Counsel in Termination of Parental Rights Hearing

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re Petition of R.A.M. on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Parental Rights—Termination—Due Process—Right to Counsel.

Mother filed a petition to relinquish her parental rights to the child and named father as the only potential father of the child. With her petition for relinquishment, mother also filed a petition to terminate father’s parental rights. Father was served the petition, summons, and notice to terminate in jail. Father responded to the petition by indicating that he did not wish to relinquish his rights. The court proceeded to hearing without advising father of his rights or considering his request for counsel, and began the hearing without father’s presence. After considering the matter, the court found by clear and convincing evidence that father was the child’s parent. The court agreed with the adoption agency’s interpretation of the relinquishment statute and found that the law required that father be able to assume legal and physical custody of the child “at the time of the hearing.” Because father was incarcerated and thus unable to assume legal and physical custody of the child that day, the court granted the petition and terminated father’s rights.

On appeal, father contended that the trial court violated his due process rights when it failed to appoint counsel for him at the termination hearing. The Court of Appeals agreed. First, father sufficiently expressed his desire for the assistance of counsel. Also, father had an important interest, the state’s interest was not weak, and the risk of error in this case was extremely high. Before the hearing, neither the petition to terminate his rights, nor the notice to terminate his rights or the summons advised father of the allegation to be proven at the hearing: that he cannot personally assume legal and physical custody of the child, taking into account the child’s age, needs, and individual circumstances. Therefore, taking into consideration all of these factors, father had a due process right to counsel. The court’s order denying father’s CRCP 60(b)(3) motion was reversed, the judgment terminating his parent–child legal relationship was vacated, and the case was remanded.

Summary and full case available here.

Veterans Bills, Hepatitis C Bill, Marijuana Bills, and Many Others Signed by Governor

Though the General Assembly has adjourned for 2014, the governor continues to sign legislation. To date, the governor has signed 283 bills and vetoed two bills. He signed bills most days during the week of May 19, and signed veterans bills on Memorial Day – May 26, 2014. Some of these are summarized here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

  • SB 14-173 – Concerning the Recommendation that Certain Persons be Offered a Test for the Hepatitis C Virus, by Sens. Cheri Jahn & Steve King and Reps. Jonathan Singer & Frank McNulty. The bill recommends that health care providers offer a test to screen for hepatitis C to anyone born between 1945 and 1965.
  • SB 14-174 – Concerning the Creation of the Prosecution Fellowship Program, by Sens. Rollie Heath & Mike Johnston and Reps. Mike McLachlan & Dan Pabon. The bill provides a fund in the Department of Higher Education for fellowships for recent Colorado law school graduates to pursue careers as prosecutors in rural areas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • HB 14-1178 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Qualified Property Used in Space Flight, and, In Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Reps. Mark Ferrandino & Brian DelGrosso and Sens. Mary Hodge & Kevin Grantham. The bill exempts qualified space flight personal property from sales and use tax.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • SB 14-123 – Concerning the Authority of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board, and, In Connection Therewith, Providing Additional Rule-Making Authority; Raising the Maximum Fee for Certification and Skills Exams; Allowing Awarding Grants to Nonprofit Organizations; Denying Certification for Municipal Violations; and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Daniel Kagan. The bill makes several adjustments to the rule-making authority of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board and allows fee increases, denial of certification, and more.
  • SB 14-155 – Concerning Grant Funding for Medical Marijuana Health Effects Studies, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Reps. Jenise May & Crisanta Duran. The bill creates a grant program to fund scientific research on the use of marijuana as a part of medical treatment.
  • HB 14-1032 – Concerning the Provision of Defense Counsel to Juvenile Offenders, and, In Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Daniel Kagan and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill makes several changes to the procedures concerning providing defense counsel for juvenile offenders.
  • HB 14-1288 – Concerning Information Available Regarding Personal Belief Exemptions to Immunization Requirements for Children Prior to Attending School, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill expands the requirements necessary for parents to waive the immunization requirement for their children prior to attending school.
  • HB 14-1361 – Concerning the Authority of the State Licensing Authority to Establish Equivalencies for Retail Marijuana Products, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Frank McNulty & Jonathan Singer and Sens. Lucia Guzman & Steve King. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to establish rules regarding the equivalency of marijuana flowers and marijuana concentrate by January 1, 2016.
  • HB 14-1366 – Concerning Reasonable Restrictions on the Sale of Edible Retail Marijuana Products, by Reps. Jonathan Singer & Frank McNulty and Sens. Mike Johnston & Steve King. The bill removes the requirement that marijuana flowers be sold in childproof packaging and maintains the requirement for edible marijuana products.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • SB 14-051 – Concerning Access to Records Relating to the Adoption of Children, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Lois Tochtrop and Rep. Lori Saine. The bill eliminates different standards for the release of adoption records, and generally seals those records from all but eligible recipients.
  • SB 14-118 – Concerning Improving Protections for Individuals with Disabilities, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Jovan Melton. The bill changes definitions to conform to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and increases penalties for certain offenses.
  • HB 14-1042 – Concerning Access by Birth Parents to Records Relating to the Relinquishment of Parental Rights, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lori Saine and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill requires the custodian of records to release certain records to relinquishing birth parents at the time of relinquishment.
  • HB 14-1372 – Concerning Unauthorized Advertising for Adoption Purposes, by Reps. Kathleen Conti & Beth McCann and Sen. Vicki Marble. The bill prohibits advertising through a public medium for purposes of facilitating adoptions.

Monday, May 26, 2014

  • HB 14-1205 – Concerning the Veterans Assistance Grant Program, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill creates the Veterans Assistance Grant Program, which will provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies providing services to improve the health and well-being of veterans in the state.
  • HB 14-1373 – Concerning Individuals Who May Claim the Property Tax Exemption for Qualifying Seniors and Disabled Veterans, by Reps. Steve Lebsock & Ray Scott and Sens. Larry Crowder & Rachel Zenzinger. The bill allows certain individuals to claim a property tax exemption when those individuals would not ordinarily be allowed to claim the exemption.

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

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

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

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

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

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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

Friday, May 16, 2014

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

Saturday, May 17, 2014

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

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: No Error in Trial Court’s Refusal to Provide Expert Witness Without Funding to Indigent Defendant

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Stroud on Thursday, May 8, 2014.

Child Abuse—Expert Witness Funding—Indigency—“Admission”—Dependency and Neglect Testimony—Effective Representation—Consecutive Sentences—Presentence Confinement Credit.

This appeal arises from allegations of child abuse concerning defendant’s 11-week-old daughter, R.S., and his stepchildren, C.H. and S.H. The judgment was affirmed.

On appeal, Stroud contended that the trial court abused its discretion when it denied his motion for funds to hire an expert. Here, Stroud was eligible for a court-funded expert because he was indigent and represented by a private attorney who began representing him on a pro bono basis. Thus, the trial court should have provided him expert witness funding without an initial determination of indigency by the Public Defender’s Office. Although the trial court abused its discretion, however, the error was harmless beyond a reasonable doubt, because Stroud did not establish that an expert was necessary and there was overwhelming evidence of his guilt.

Stroud also contended that the trial court erroneously admitted his testimony from a previous dependency and neglect case. An “admission” under CRS § 19-3-207(3) only refers to a parent’s formal admission or denial of the allegations in a petition. It does not preclude admissions made during testimony in a dependency and neglect case in a subsequent criminal case. Therefore, the trial court did not err in admitting Stroud’s testimony from his dependency and neglect case.

Next, Stroud argued that his convictions for child abuse should have been reversed because his trial counsel labored under an actual conflict of interest that denied him effective assistance of counsel. Here, the absence of expert testimony did not undermine defense counsel’s representation. Further, the record refutes Stroud’s argument that his trial counsel did not vigorously contest the prosecution’s evidence. Accordingly, there was no actual conflict of interest that adversely affected defense counsel’s performance.

Finally, Stroud contended that the trial court did not make specific findings of fact to justify its imposition of consecutive sentences for his misdemeanor and felony convictions, and that the trial court erroneously denied him presentence confinement credit. Here, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in imposing consecutive sentences after considering the nature of the offense, Stroud’s character and rehabilitative potential, his respect for the law, the deterrence of crime, and protection of the public. Further, the court did not abuse its discretion in applying Stroud’s credit for presentence confinement to his misdemeanor sentence rather than his felony sentence.

Summary and full case available here.

SB 14-203: Creating the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel to Provide Representation in Dependency and Neglect Proceedings

On April 16, 2014, Sen. Kent Lambert introduced SB 14-203 – Concerning the Office of the Respondent Parents’ Counsel in Cases of Alleged Child Abuse or Neglect. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill establishes the office of the respondent parents’ counsel in the state judicial department, effective July 1, 2015, to provide high-quality legal representation to parents involved in dependency and neglect proceedings and who lack the financial means to obtain legal representation.

On April 23 the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. On April 25, the Appropriations Committee approved the bill and sent it to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

SB 14-201: Reestablishing an Advisory Work Group Related to the Office of the Child Protection Ombudsman

On April 16, 2014, Sen. Linda Newell introduced SB 14-201 – Concerning Reestablishing a Child Protection Ombudsman Advisory Work Group to Develop a Plan for Accountable Autonomy for the Child Protection Ombudsman Program. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill creates a new advisory work group related to the office of the child protection ombudsman (office). The duties of the advisory work group include reconciling the implementation of recommendations from the 2010 advisory work group with the current operations and function of the office and making additional recommendations for autonomy and accountability as appropriate. Appointments to the advisory work group must be made no later than 60 days after May 14, 2014, and the advisory work group must convene on or before August 1, 2014. The advisory work group shall provide a report to the health and human services committee of the senate and the public health care and human services committee of the house of representatives, or any successor committees, the governor, and the executive director on or before December 1, 2014.

The advisory work group is repealed, effective July 1, 2016.

On April 24, the Health & Human Services Committee amended the bill and sent it to Legislative Council; on April 25, Legislative Council Committee amended the bill and sent it to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Not Entitled to Second Amendment Instruction for Firearm Used In Conjunction with Illegal Drug Transactions

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Cisneros on Thursday, April 24, 2014.

Jury Instructions—Challenge for Cause—Deadly Weapon—Evidence—Right to Bear Arms—Controlled Substance—Miranda Rights—Motion to Suppress Statements—Res Gestae Evidence.

Defendant was at home with his wife, four children, brother, and mother when intruders who apparently intended to rob defendant fired shots into the apartment. Defendant grabbed a handgun and fired shots toward the intruders. Defendant’s 10-year-old daughter was caught in the crossfire. She was shot in the head and died at the scene.

The People charged defendant with child abuse resulting in death, possession with intent to distribute marijuana, possession of marijuana–eight ounces or more, and one special offender count under the special offender statute’s deadly weapon provision. The People alleged that defendant was an armed drug dealer who sold drugs out of his home, thereby placing his daughter in a situation that posed a threat of injury to her health. The People also alleged that defendant possessed the handgun in connection with his drug dealing business.

Regarding defendant’s contention on appeal for an elemental jury instruction concerning possession of a deadly weapon under CRS § 18-18-407(1)(f), the Court of Appeals ruled that the instructions as a whole properly informed the jury of the elements of the sentence aggravator and the proof beyond a reasonable doubt burden. The Court also ruled that there was sufficient evidence to support the jury’s findings that defendant possessed both a controlled substance and a deadly weapon, and to infer a nexus between the controlled substance and the weapon.

The Court determined that because the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions do not protect the unlawful purpose of possessing a firearm in furtherance of a drug offense, the Second Amendment right to bear arms in self-defense does not infringe on the constitutionally protected right to bear arms. Defendant was not entitled to the statute’s instruction. Further, because the jury found that defendant’s possession of the handgun was related to his drug offense, the statute was not unconstitutional as applied to him, nor was it unconstitutionally vague.

The Court did not agree with defendant’s argument that his statements to law enforcement officers should have been suppressed. Defendant was not in custody and was not being interrogated when he provided his statement to the officer at the scene or in the waiting room at the police station, and defendant voluntarily made statements to police after they advised him of his Miranda rights. Therefore, the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s motion to suppress.

The Court ruled that the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s causal challenge to a juror who worked as a reporter for The Denver Post. The record supported the court’s finding that this juror could “do what the law requires” and could handle any consequences of his relationship with law enforcement agencies.

Defendant contended that the trial court erred when it admitted, as res gestae, evidence concerning his prior acts of buying, selling, and receiving marijuana. This evidence, however, was relevant as to defendant’s knowledge and intent to distribute the marijuana, his possession of a deadly weapon in connection with that offense, and the dangerous circumstances in which defendant allowed his daughter to live. Therefore, the court did not err in admitting it. The judgment and sentence were affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

e-Legislative Report: April 21, 2014

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For followers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (“LPC”) is the CBA’s legislative policy making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions from requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

Friday, April 18
The LPC did not meet on Friday, April 18, 2014.

At the Capitol—Week of April 14

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, April 14

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1269. Concerning the circumstances under which a person who sells items subject to sales tax must collect such sales tax on behalf of the state. Vote:  36 yes, 26 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1279. Concerning the creation of a state income tax credit to reimburse a business for personal property taxes paid in the state, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote:  60 yes, 2, no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1036. Concerning drunk driving offenses, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  56 yes, 6 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1144. Concerning measures to improve the performance of district attorneys, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  58 yes, 4 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1162. Concerning protection of the victim of a sexual assault in cases where a child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, and, in connection therewith, making legislative changes in response to the study by and the report of the recommendations from the task force on children conceived through rape. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1333. Concerning the funding of Colorado water conservation board projects, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 1 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1344. Concerning the use of electronic means to document transactions related to the business of insurance. Vote:  60 yes, 2 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1322. Concerning the Colorado probate code. Vote:  62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused. CBA sponsored legislation.
  • HB 14-1205. Concerning the veterans assistance grant program. Vote:  51 yes, 11 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1349. Concerning the creation of an exemption from property taxes for qualifying business entities controlled by nonprofit organizations that are formed for the purpose of qualifying for federal tax credits. Vote:  58 yes, 4, no and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-163. Concerning clarifying changes to provisions related to the sentencing of persons convicted of drug crimes. Vote:  62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • SB 14-160. Concerning removing limitations on a transitional living program for a person with a brain injury. Vote:  56 yes, 6 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1323. Concerning restrictions on the ability of a government entity to access an individual’s personal medical information. Vote: 62 yes, 0 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1214. Concerning an increase in the penalties for certain offenses committed against an emergency medical service provider, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote 51 yes, 11 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1296. Concerning the enforcement of prohibitions against designer drugs by the division of liquor enforcement within the department of revenue. Vote:  55 yes, 7 no, and 3 excused.

Tuesday

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1012. Concerning income tax credits that promote investment in Colorado advanced industries, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  41 yes, 20 no and 4 excused.
  • HB 14-1023. Concerning the provision of social workers to juveniles, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  37 yes, 24 no, and 4 excused.
  • HB 14-1032. Concerning the provision of defense counsel to juvenile offenders, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  40 yes, 22 no, and 3 excused.
  • HB 14-1093. Concerning the establishment of the creative district community loan fund, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  39 yes, 24 no and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1096. Concerning an underfunded courthouse facilities grant program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  38 yes, 25 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1101. Concerning a partial business personal property tax exemption for community solar gardens. Vote:  38 yes, 25 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1124. Concerning in-state tuition classification for American Indians from tribes with historical ties to Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  39 yes, 25 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1303. Concerning the receipt of public testimony from remote locations around the state by legislative committees, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1326. Concerning tax incentives for alternative fuel trucks, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote:  48 yes, 15, no and 2 excused.
  • SB 14-156. Concerning a requirement that a public benefit corporation file an annual report. Vote:  40 yes, 24 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1347. Concerning statutorily established time periods that are multiples of seven days. 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1037. Concerning enforcement of laws against designer drugs, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.

Thursday

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1015. Concerning an extension of the transitional jobs program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  39 yes and 26 no.
  • HB 14-1297. Concerning an analysis to determine whether oil and gas operations have an impact on human health along the front range, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  38 yes and 27 no.
  • SB 14-158. Concerning the harmonization of statutory recall election provisions with the recall provisions in the state constitution to reflect the manner in which contemporary elections are conducted, and, in connection therewith, aligning circulator regulation and petition requirements with initiative and referendum circulator and petition requirements. Vote:  37 yes and 28 no.
  • HB 14-1335. Concerning campaign contribution limits that are applicable to candidate committees for candidates who are not affiliated with a major political party. Vote:  60 yes and 5 no.

Friday, April 11

The House did not meet on Friday, April 18.

In the Senate

Scorecard

Monday

  • SB 14-13. Concerning resources received by a recipient of an old age pension, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1130. Concerning the disposition of moneys charged to borrowers for costs to be paid in connection with foreclosure. Vote:  34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1295. Concerning residential mortgage foreclosures, and, in connection therewith, requiring a single point of contact and prohibiting dual tracking. Vote:  27 yes, 7 no and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1312. Concerning efforts to reduce the number of foreclosures in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, continuing the foreclosure deferment program. Vote:  24 yes, 10 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-152. Concerning the standardization of financial transaction requirements applicable to insurers. Vote:  34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-64. Concerning restricting the use of long-term isolated confinement for inmates with serious mental illness, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-8. Concerning the creation of the wildfire information and resource center in the division of fire prevention and control in the department of public safety, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  32 yes, 2 no and 1 excused.

Tuesday

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1291. Concerning authorizing a charter school to employ a school security officer by contract to carry a concealed handgun if the person has a valid concealed carry permit. Vote:  34 yes and 1 no.
  • HB 14-1302. Concerning the addition of a judgment against a debtor or transferee who acts with actual intent as an available remedy for a creditor in a fraudulent transfer action. Vote:  35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-179. Concerning the creation of a flood debris cleanup grant account to facilitate watershed cleanup efforts in areas affected by the September 2013 flood, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote:  34 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-151. Concerning the use of moneys derived from civil penalties imposed on nursing facilities to fund innovations in nursing home care, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote:  35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-130. Concerning an increase to the personal needs allowance for persons in nursing care facilities, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-75. Concerning the registration of motor vehicles for members of the United States armed forces who are deployed outside the United States, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-88. Concerning the creation of the suicide prevention commission, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  22 yes and 13 no.

Wednesday

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • SB 14-173. Concerning the recommendation that certain persons be offered a test for the hepatitis C virus. Vote:  27 yes and 8 no.
  • HB 14-1123. Concerning implementation of recommendations of the committee on legal services in connection with legislative review of rules and regulations of state agencies. Vote:  33 yes and 2 no.
  • HB 14-1017. Concerning measures to expand the availability of affordable housing in the state, and, in connection therewith, making modifications to statutory provisions establishing the housing investment trust fund, the housing development grant fund, and the low-income housing tax credit. Vote:  19 yes and 16 no.
  • SB 14-174. Concerning the creation of the prosecution fellowship program. Vote:  26 yes and 9 no.
  • SB 14-166. Concerning the development of mobile application software in the Colorado office of economic development that users may access to identify local businesses, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  27 yes and 8 no.
  • SB 14-157. Concerning the commission of a report by the department of military and veterans affairs that examines the comprehensive value of United States military activities centered in Colorado, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  34 yes and 1 no.
  • SB 14-87. Concerning issuance of identification cards to people who are lawfully present in the United States but may have difficulty with certain documentary evidence, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  32 yes and 3 no.
  • SB 14-2. Concerning transferring the safe2tell program to the department of law, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  35 yes and 0 no.
  • SB 14-73. Concerning the state income tax credit for the environmental remediation of contaminated land in the state, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  32 yes, 2 no.

Thursday, April 10

  • SB 14-133. Concerning the regulation of private investigators by the department of regulatory agencies, and, in connection therewith, making appropriations. Vote:  18 yes and 17 no.
  • SB 14-5. Concerning alternative administrative remedies for the processing of certain wage claims, and, in connection therewith, amending the provisions for written notices of a wage claim, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote:  21 yes and 14 no.

Friday, April 11

The Senate did not meet on Friday, April 18.

Stay tuned for 10 Bills of Interest.

 

SB 14-178: Defining “Drug-Endangered Child” for Purposes of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Criminal Code

On April 1, 2014, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 14-178 – Concerning the Definition of a Drug-Endangered Child for Purposes of Cases of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Criminal Code. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill establishes a definition, as formulated by the state substance abuse trend and response task force, for a ”drug-endangered child” for purposes of cases of child abuse or neglect in the criminal code. The bill creates the crime of child abuse for a person who is responsible for creating a situation or unreasonably permitting a child to be placed in a situation in which a child is drug-endangered and establishes penalties.

On April 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony and delayed action on the bill for a later date.

Since this summary, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill, amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

SB 14-177: Defining “Drug-Endangered Child” for Purposes of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Children’s Code

On April 1, 2014, Sen. Andy Kerr introduced SB 14-177 – Concerning the Definition of a Drug-Endangered Child for Purposes of Cases of Child Abuse or Neglect in the Children’s Code. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill establishes a definition for a “drug-endangered child” for purposes of cases of child abuse or neglect in the children’s code.

On April 9, the Senate Judiciary Committee took testimony and delayed action on the bill for a later date.

Since this summary, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill, amended, to the Senate Committee of the Whole.

e-Legislative Report: April 14, 2014

CBA Legislative Policy Committee

For readers who are new to CBA legislative activity, the Legislative Policy Committee (LPC) is the CBA’s legislative policy-making arm during the legislative session. The LPC meets weekly during the legislative session to determine CBA positions on requests from the various sections and committees of the Bar Association.

Friday, April 11
At the request of the Juvenile Law Section, the LPC voted to oppose HB 14-1362. Concerning great grandparent visitation with great-grandchildren. The bill is sponsored by Rep. Dominick Moreno.

At the Capitol—Week of April 7

A scorecard of the committee and floor work follows.

In the House

Monday, April 7

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1013. Concerning the creation of the advanced industries workforce development program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1061. Concerning sentences imposing monetary payments in criminal actions, and, in connection therewith, eliminating prison sentences for persons who are unable to pay criminal monetary penalties. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1072. Concerning an income tax credit for child care expenses paid by a resident individual with a federal adjusted gross income of $25,000 or less, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 39 yes, 25 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1199. Concerning changes to the regulation of consumer goods service contracts, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1203. Concerning funding to maintain the infrastructure for the digital trunked radio system, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1173. Concerning continuation of the controlled substances abuse act, and, in connection therewith, the treatment of controlled substances abuse and making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1283. Concerning modifications to the electronic prescription drug monitoring program, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 42 yes, 22 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1009. Concerning changing the wildfire mitigation income tax deduction to the wildfire mitigation income tax credit, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 52 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1029. Concerning a recodification of the laws governing reserved parking for persons with disabilities, and in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1278. Concerning continuation of the workers’ compensation accreditation program administered by the division of workers’ compensation, and, in connection therewith, implementing the recommendations of the 2013 sunset report by the department of regulatory agencies. Vote: 51 yes, 13 no, and 12 excused.
  • HB 14-1316. Concerning methods to determine whether disparities involving certain historically underutilized businesses exist within the state procurement process, and, in connection therewith, commissioning a study to make such determination, requiring the department of personnel to track contracts awarded to historically underutilized businesses, and making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 37 yes, 27 no, and 1 excused.
  • SB 14-27. Concerning criminal history background checks for professionals who have the authority to appear in court, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 52 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1095. Concerning the Colorado bureau of investigation’s authority to investigate computer crime, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 61 yes, 3 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1266. Concerning the penalties for certain value-based offenses, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1011. Concerning the funding of advanced industry economic development programs. Vote: 39 yes, 25 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1014. Concerning modifications to the job growth incentive tax credit, and, in connection therewith, reducing an appropriation. Vote 51 yes, 13 no, and 1 excused.

Tuesday, April 8

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1273. Concerning human trafficking, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1321. Concerning the membership of the Colorado task force on drunk and impaired driving. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.

Wednesday, April 9

Passed on 3rd reading.

  • HB 14-1330. Concerning an update of telecommunications terminology for intrastate telecommunications services. Vote: 63 yes, 0 no, and 2 excused.
  • HB 14-1327. Concerning measures to expand the deployment of communication networks, and, in connection therewith, enacting the “Broadband Deployment Act.” Vote: 57 yes, 7 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1328. Concerning the deployment of broadband into unserved areas of Colorado through grant-making from moneys allocated from the Colorado high cost support mechanism, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 47 yes, 17 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1127. Concerning disclosure of information for asset recovery, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1338. Concerning planning for the effective use of Colorado’s regional centers for persons with intellectual disabilities, and, in connection therewith, making an appropriation. Vote: 64 yes, 0 no, and 1 excused.
  • HB 14-1211. Concerning ensuring access to quality complex rehabilitation technology in the medicaid program, and, in connection therewith, making and reducing appropriations. Vote: 49 yes, 15 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, April 10

Passed 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1354. Concerning the ability of a county clerk and recorder to seek judicial review of final action by the secretary of state relating to elections. Vote: 50 yes and 15 no.
  • HB 14-1159. Concerning a state sales and use tax exemption for components used in biogas production systems. Vote: 54 yes and 11 no.

Friday, April 11

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

In the Senate

Monday, April 7

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Tuesday, April 8

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1057. Concerning the Colorado fraud investigators unit. Vote: 30 yes and 5 no.
  • HB 14-1176. Concerning the state audit cycle of the emissions program for motor vehicles. Vote: 20 yes and 15 no.

Wednesday, April 9

Passed on 3rd Reading:

  • HB 14-1299. Concerning the repeal of the six-year limitation on applying a salvage brand to a motor vehicle whose cost of being repaired exceeds the value of the vehicle without the recent damage. Vote: 22 yes, 12 no, and 1 excused.

Thursday, April 10

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Friday, April 11

No bills were heard on 3rd Reading.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Juvenile Court Lacks Jurisdiction When Juvenile Turns 18

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In the Interest of M.C.S. on Thursday, April 10, 2014.

Dependency and Neglect—Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

The Jefferson County Division of Children, Youth, and Families (Division) filed a dependency and neglect petition concerning M.C.S. after it received a report that he was discharged from a teen shelter for possessing a pellet gun. M.C.S., who was only four months away from his 18th birthday, did not want to return home and his father did not want him to return home. Father appeared at the advisement hearing, entered a general denial, and requested a jury trial. Father’s attorney was not available during the ninety-day statutory period prescribed for adjudications, so the court set the case for a jury trial after M.C.S. turned 18.

The Division, joined by M.C.S.’s guardian ad litem, moved for summary judgment. Father responded by denying that he had refused to pick up M.C.S. from the shelter, that he was afraid of M.C.S., or that M.C.S. was beyond his control. He also moved to dismiss because M.C.S. would not be adjudicated before he turned 18 and therefore the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction.

The juvenile court found its jurisdiction terminated when M.C.S. turned 18 without having been adjudicated dependent and neglected, and therefore granted father’s motion to dismiss. The Division appealed. The Court of Appeals affirmed.

The Colorado Children’s Code confers exclusive original jurisdiction in the juvenile court over proceedings “[c]oncerning any child who is neglected or dependent” and the term “child” means “a person under eighteen years of age.” A juvenile court’s subject matter jurisdiction is based on the allegations of a child being dependent or neglected.

The Division asserted that once subject matter jurisdiction vested in the juvenile court through the filing of the petition, it could not be divested after M.C.S.’s 18th birthday. The Court agreed that the petition vested the juvenile court with subject matter jurisdiction at the time it was filed, but that jurisdiction was limited. It only authorized the court to enter temporary orders preceding the adjudication. Because the court did not adjudicate M.C.S. before his 18th birthday, it lost jurisdiction to do so. The order was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.