April 19, 2014

HB 14-1162: Allowing Victims of Sexual Assault Who Conceive Children as a Result of the Assault to Terminate Perpetrator’s Parent-Child Legal Relationship

On January 17, 2014, Rep. Lois Landgraf introduced 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 RapeThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Last session, the general assembly passed a bill that allows the victim of a sexual assault in which a child was conceived and in which the person who committed the sexual assault was convicted to file for the termination of the parent-child legal relationship of the person who committed the sexual assault. In that same bill, the general assembly created a task force on children conceived by rape to study whether changes should be made to that statute and to study issues associated with parental rights in cases where a child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault but a conviction did not occur. This bill makes legislative changes in response to the study and report prepared by the task force.

The bill makes the following changes to provisions passed last year for cases involving convictions:

  • Adding more due process protections, such as specifying the notice to the respondent, setting a date for hearing the petition, and notifying the Indian tribe if the child is an Indian child in accordance with the federal “Indian Child Welfare Act,”
  • Adding more protections for the victim and the child, including protecting the identity of the victim and the child in the summons, ordering protective measures for the victim in the courtroom, and treating child support payments as confidential;
  • Providing legal counsel and waiving filing fees for indigent victims;
  • Providing for admission of parentage and for genetic testing to confirm paternity and allowing the court to order the parent against whom the petition has been filed to pay for genetic testing;
  • Stating that the court shall not presume that having only one remaining parent is contrary to the child’s best interests;
  • Creating a process for the parent whose parent-child legal relationship is terminated to provide medical and family information to be shared with the child and the victim in a way that protects the child from knowing the name of the person;
  • Clarifying what happens if the court denies the petition to terminate the parent-child legal relationship, including that the juvenile court has continuing jurisdiction of the matter and has the authority to enter an order allocating parental responsibilities between the parties, including an order to not allocate parental responsibilities to the parent against whom the petition was filed.

The bill repeals the statutes enacted last year that provided for a stay of a civil domestic relations proceeding or a paternity action while criminal charges of sexual assault brought against the alleged perpetrator are resolved.

The bill creates a process to allow the victim of a sexual assault in cases where a child was conceived and in which a conviction did not occur to file a petition in juvenile court to prevent future contact with and to terminate the parent-child legal relationship of the parent who allegedly committed the sexual assault. This process is similar to the process for petitions involving convictions but does not include a rebuttable presumption that it is in best interests of the child to terminate the parent-child legal relationship. If the court denies the petition to terminate the parent-child legal relationship, the juvenile court has continuing jurisdiction and the authority to enter orders on allocation of parental rights, including an order to not allocate parental rights to the other parent. The juvenile court may order the parent to submit to a sex offense-specific evaluation and parental risk assessment that may factor in the allocation of parental rights and responsibilities and parenting time. The court shall order the parent who is found to have committed the sexual assault to pay for the costs of the evaluation and the assessment. All of the changes made in this bill to the process for petitions involving convictions are also included in the process for petitions for nonconvictions.

Since some issues involving the child conceived by a sexual assault might start in the domestic relations arena instead of in a juvenile proceeding, the bill gives the domestic relations courts the authority to allocate parental rights and responsibilities, to address decision-making between the victim and the other parent in these cases, and to issue protective orders. The provisions are similar to the considerations that the court uses to address cases involving domestic violence. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that one of the parties has committed sexual assault and the child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, then it shall not be in the best interests of the child to allocate sole or split decision-making to the person who was found to have committed sexual assault or to allocate mutual decision-making with respect to any issue over the objection of the other party or the guardian ad litem. If the court finds by a preponderance of the evidence that one of the parties has committed sexual assault and the child was conceived as a result of the sexual assault, the court shall consider whether it is in the best interests of the child to prohibit or limit the parenting time of that party with the child. Prior to entering an order relating to parenting time or parental contact, the court may order that party to submit to a sex offense-specific evaluation and a parental risk assessment in Colorado. The court shall order the parent who is found to have committed the sexual assault to pay the costs of the evaluation and parental risk assessment.

In addition, in cases where the court has found that the child was conceived as a result of sexual assault, a domestic relations court may not modify a prior order regarding allocation of decision-making or modify a prior order regarding parenting time, unless it finds that the child’s present environment endangers the child’s physical health or significantly impairs the child’s emotional development.

Under existing law, when a parent voluntarily relinquishes a child so that the child may be adopted, there is a private action filed to terminate the parent-child legal relationship of the other parent. A victim of sexual assault might want to voluntarily relinquish the child conceived from the sexual assault for adoption and terminate the other parent’s rights. This bill amends the statute on termination in voluntary relinquishment cases so that the court may order the termination based on a finding that the other parent is unfit due to a history of violent behavior, which may include an incidence of sexual assault that resulted in the conception of the child.

The CBA LPC has voted to oppose the bill. The bill has been assigned to the Judiciary and Appropriations Committees.

SB 14-062: Allowing the Reinstatement of the Parent-Child Legal Relationship in Certain Cases

On Friday, January 10, 2014, Sen. Lucia Guzman introduced SB 14-062 – Concerning Reinstatement of the Parent-Child Legal Relationship. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

This bill creates a process for reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship (reinstatement) in limited circumstances for a child whose parent’s rights have previously been terminated voluntarily or involuntarily. A county department of social services (county department) or the child’s guardian ad litem may file a petition for reinstatement alleging the following:

  • The child is 12 years of age or older or is younger than 12 years of age and is part of a sibling group including a child for whom reinstatement is being sought and who also meets the other conditions for reinstatement; Both the child and the former parent consent to the petition for reinstatement;
  • The child does not have a legal parent, is not in an adoptive placement, and is not likely to be adopted within a reasonable period of time, and other permanency options have been exhausted;
  • The child is in the custody of a county department;
  • The date of the final order terminating the parent-child legal relationship was at least 3 years before the filing of the petition or, if the court finds that it is in the best interests of the child to consider reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship, less than three years from the final order of termination; and
  • The termination of the parent-child legal relationship was not based on findings of sexual abuse or on an incident of egregious abuse or neglect against a child, a near fatality, or a suspicious fatality or near fatality.

A child who is 16 years of age or older, or his or her guardian ad litem, may also file a petition for reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship. The bill requires the county department or the guardian ad litem to contact the other party if a former parent contacts one of them about filing a petition for reinstatement. A former parent who is named in a petition for reinstatement is entitled to the appointment of legal counsel, if eligible, or may retain counsel at his or her expense.

The bill requires the court to hold an initial hearing to determine whether certain threshold conditions for pursuing reinstatement have been satisfied.

  • The former parent has remediated the problems that led to the termination of the parent-child legal relationship, if applicable; and
  • The former parent has participated in an assessment that supports that the reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship is in the best interests of the child.

At the initial hearing on the petition, the court shall either dismiss the petition or enter an order finding that the threshold conditions for pursuing reinstatement have been met and that it is in the best interests of the child to work toward reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship. If the court finds that working toward reinstatement is in the best interests of the child, then the court must approve a transition plan for reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship, including visitation or placement of the child with the former parent for a designated trial period of up to six months while the child remains in the custody of the county department.

At the final hearing, the court must make certain findings and may either dismiss the petition, continue the matter for another hearing, or grant the petition and order the reinstatement of the parent-child legal relationship if the court finds by clear and convincing evidence that it is in the best interests of the child.

The bill states the effect of reinstatement. The bill further states that granting the petition for reinstatement does not vacate or otherwise affect the validity of the original order terminating the parent-child legal relationship and that granting a petition for reinstatement for one former parent does not restore or otherwise impact the rights of the other former parent.

The bill states that this statutory process does not create a cause of action against the county department or its employees concerning the original order terminating the parent-child legal relationship. The bill also states that this statutory process should not be construed to limit or alter the protections of a governmental entity or its employees under the “Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.”

A county department, guardian ad litem, or other person filing a petition for reinstatement must file the petition in the county or city and county that has legal custody of the child.

On Jan. 27, the Judiciary Committee amended the bill and sent it to the Appropriations Committee. The Appropriations Committee approved the bill on Feb. 7 and sent it to the floor for consideration on 2nd Reading.

Since this summary, the bill passed the Senate on Second Reading, with amendments.

HB 14-1042: Requiring Certain Relinquishment Paperwork to be Provided to Birth Parents

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Lori Saine and Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced HB 14-1042 - Concerning Access by Birth Parents to Records Relating to the Relinquishment of Parental RightsThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

This bill requires that a custodian of records relating to the relinquishment of a child provide the following records to the child’s birth parent at the time of relinquishment or at the time the document is created:

  • The original birth certificate;
  • The petition to relinquish;
  • The final order of relinquishment or other relinquishment documents;
  • The affidavit of counseling;
  • The temporary waiver of custody; and
  • The expedited relinquishment documents, if applicable.

If relinquishment records were not provided to a birth parent at the time of the relinquishment of the child or at the time the document was created and the subsequent termination of the parent-child legal relationship was not the result of a dependency and neglect action, then upon written request of the birth parent and proof of identification, the custodian of the records shall provide access to and copies of such records to the birth parent, including all documents that the birth parent signed or on which the birth parent is named. The bill is assigned to the Public Health Care & Human Services Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was amended in the House Committee on Public Health Care & Human Services and was sent to the Finance Committee.

Adoption, Small Claims, Seal My Case JDF Forms Amended

In January 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch issued several revised JDF forms in many categories. Click here for a list of previously issued forms. Most recently, JDF forms have been amended in the adoption, miscellaneous, probate, small claims, and seal my case categories. 

Forms are available for download here as PDF documents, and are generally available in Word from the State Judicial Forms page.

ADOPTION

  • JDF 500 – “Instructions for Stepparent Adoption” (R1/14)
  • JDF 502 - “Petition for Stepparent Adoption” (R1/14)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • JDF 78 – “Motion and Order to Set Aside Default Judgment” (R1/14)

PROBATE

  • JDF 959 – “Instructions for Closing an Estate Informally” (R1/14)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 302 – “Petition for Expungement of Records” (R1/14)
  • JDF 417 – “Petition to Seal Arrest and Conviction Records” (R1/14)
  • JDF 612 – “Petition to Seal Criminal Conviction Records” (R1/14)

SMALL CLAIMS

  • JDF 250 – “Notice, Claim, and Summons to Appear for Trial” (R1/14)
  • JDF 253 – “Motion and Order to Set Aside Dismissal/Default Judgment” (R1/14)

Click here for all of State Judicial’s JDF forms.

SB 14-051: Revising Requirements Regarding Access to Adoption Records

On Friday, January 10, 2014, Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced SB 14-051 – Concerning Access to Records Relating to the Adoption of Children. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill repeals and reenacts portions of the existing statute on access to adoption records to eliminate different standards of access by members of the adoption triad (consisting of the adoptee, the birth parents, and the adoptive parents) and their descendants based on the law in existence on the date the adoption was finalized. The bill retains the current policy that adoption records are confidential from the general public, unless the requesting party is eligible under the statute to access the records or unless the court finds good cause for release. The bill retains current policy that after a birth parent is deceased or an adult adoptee is deceased, eligible relatives may receive access to the adoption records.

Contact preference forms. The bill allows for the continued use of the contact preference form issued by the state registrar of vital statistics (state registrar), which form may be used by a birth parent to indicate whether he or she prefers to be contacted by an adoptee, the descendant of an adoptee, or a representative of either directly, through a third party, or not at all. Effective July 1, 2014, the state registrar shall not distribute a contact preference form that gives a birth parent the option to authorize or not authorize release of the original birth certificate to the adult adoptee, his or her descendants, or certain adoptive family members. Prior to releasing an original birth certificate to an individual eligible to access it, the state registrar or the custodian of records must conduct a search to determine whether a contact preference form was filed with the state registrar. If a contact preference form was executed prior to July 1, 2014, and the birth parent stated a preference not to authorize release of the original birth certificate, then the state registrar or other custodian of records may not release the original birth certificate to an adult adoptee or other eligible individual unless the birth parent rescinds or changes the contact preference form, upon mutual consent of two or more reunited parties, the birth parent is deceased, or a court orders its release. If one birth parent has authorized the release of the birth certificate and the other birth parent has not authorized the release, the state registrar or other custodian of records may only issue the original birth certificate with the name of the non-consenting parent redacted.

The state registrar shall maintain and make available to the public accurate statistics about the number of contact preference forms on file with the state registrar and how many of the forms state a preference for contact, no contact, or contact through a third party.

Access to adoption records by adult adoptees, their descendants, or adoptive family members. The bill retains current policy regarding parties who are eligible to apply for adoption records. A custodian of adoption records must release adoption records (including birth certificates) to an adult adoptee, an adoptive parent of a minor adoptee, a custodial grandparent of a minor adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual. In addition, the custodian of records must provide direct access for inspection and copying of adoption records to a spouse of an adult adoptee, adult descendant of an adoptee, adult sibling or half-sibling of an adult adoptee, adoptive parent or grandparent of an adult adoptee, or the legal representative of any such individual, if the individual requesting access has the notarized written consent of the adult adoptee or if the adult adoptee is deceased.

Access to original birth certificates by birth parents. Upon request, the state registrar must provide to a birth parent who relinquished a child for adoption a copy of the unaltered original birth certificate that the birth parent signed or was named in.

Access to death certificates. The state registrar is authorized to conduct a search of death certificates to determine whether a birth parent or an adoptee is deceased and to provide a copy of any death certificate found to the requesting eligible individual. The state registrar may collect fees for conducting a search and for making copies and shall transmit any fees to the state treasurer who must credit the fees to the vital statistics records cash fund.

The legal custodian shall not release records unless the individual requesting access is eligible to access the records and provides proof of personal identification. The legal custodian may charge reasonable fees for copying records.

The bill retains the existing policy that allows identifying information in records of child placement agencies to remain confidential based on prior written statements of birth parents on file with the child placement agency or the court. Subject to the provisions of this bill, any party may seek direct contact with another party or use the services of a confidential intermediary, a licensed child placement agency that agrees to conduct a search, or the voluntary mutual consent registry operated by the state registrar. The bill makes conforming amendments. On Jan. 29 the Judiciary Committee heard testimony but did not vote on the bill.

SB 14-027: Requiring Criminal Background Checks for Law License Applicants and CFIs

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Sen. Lucia Guzman introduced SB 14-027 – Concerning Criminal History Background Checks for Professionals Who Have the Authority to Appear in Court. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

The bill requires a fingerprint-based criminal history background check for a law license applicant and a child and family investigator. The bill updates the license to practice law statute. The bill cleared the Judiciary and the Finance Committees on Jan. 15 and 23 respectively; it now goes to the full Senate for consideration on 2nd Reading.

HB 14-1032: Establishing Procedures for Providing Defense Counsel to Juvenile Offenders

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Daniel Kagan and Sen. Lucia Guzman introduced HB 14-1032 - Concerning the Provision of Defense Counsel to Juvenile Offenders. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Juvenile Defense Attorney Interim Committee

A promise to appear in court served upon a juvenile and the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian shall state, in clear language that is understandable and appropriate to a juvenile:

  • That the juvenile has the right to have counsel;
  • That counsel will be appointed for the juvenile if the juvenile or the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian lacks adequate resources to retain counsel or refuses to retain counsel for the juvenile;
  • That, if the juvenile chooses to retain his or her own counsel, then the juvenile and the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian are advised to choose counsel that is experienced in representing juveniles in the juvenile justice system; and
  • The contact information for the local office of the state public defender (OSPD).

When a juvenile is placed in a detention facility, a temporary holding facility, or a shelter facility designated by the court, the screening team shall promptly so notify the court, the district attorney, and the local office of the OSPD.

A juvenile who is detained shall be represented at the detention hearing by counsel. If the juvenile has not retained his or her own counsel, he or she shall be represented by the OSPD or, in the case of a conflict, by the office of alternate defense counsel (OADC). This representation shall continue unless:

  • The juvenile retains his or her own counsel; or
  • The juvenile is charged with an offense for which the juvenile may waive counsel and the juvenile has made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.

The scheduled time for a detention hearing must allow a juvenile’s defense counsel sufficient time to consult with the juvenile before the detention hearing. This consultation may be performed by secure electronic means if the conditions under which the electronic consultation is held allow the consultation to be confidential. The law enforcement agency that arrested the juvenile shall promptly provide to the court and to defense counsel the affidavit supporting probable cause for the arrest and the arrest report, if the arrest report is available, and the screening team shall promptly provide to the court and to defense counsel any screening material prepared pursuant to the juvenile’s arrest.

A detention hearing shall not be combined with a preliminary hearing or a first advisement. Due to the limited scope of a detention hearing, the representation of a juvenile by appointed counsel at a detention hearing does not, by itself, create a conflict in the event that such counsel is subsequently appointed to represent another individual whose case is related to the juvenile’s case.

A summons issued by a court to a juvenile shall:

  • Explain that the court will appoint counsel for the juvenile if the juvenile does not retain his or her own counsel; and
  • State the contact information for the OSPD that serves the jurisdiction of the court.

At a juvenile’s first appearance before the court, after the detention hearing or at the first appearance if the juvenile appears on a summons, the court shall advise the juvenile of his or her constitutional and legal rights, including the right to counsel. The court shall appoint the OSPD or, in the case of a conflict, the OADC for the juvenile unless the juvenile has retained his or her own counsel or the juvenile has made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.

Any decision to waive the right to counsel shall be made by the juvenile himself or herself after consulting with his or her defense counsel. The court may accept a waiver of counsel by a juvenile only after finding that:

  • The juvenile is of a sufficient maturity level to make a voluntary, knowing, and intelligent waiver of the right to counsel;
  • The juvenile has consulted with counsel and understands the sentencing options that will be available to the court in the event of an adjudication or conviction;
  • The juvenile has not been coerced into making the waiver;
  • The juvenile understands that the court will provide counsel if the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian is unable or unwilling to obtain counsel for the juvenile; and
  • The juvenile understands the possible consequences that may result from an adjudication or conviction of the offense with which the juvenile is charged.

The court shall not accept a juvenile’s waiver of his or her right to counsel in any proceeding relating to a case in which the juvenile is charged with:

  • A sexual offense;
  • A crime of violence;
  • An offense for which the juvenile will receive a mandatory sentence upon his or her conviction of the offense; or
  • An offense for which the juvenile is being charged as a repeat juvenile offender, as an aggravated juvenile offender, or as a mandatory sentence offender.

The court shall not accept a juvenile’s attempt to waive his or her right to counsel if the prosecuting attorney is seeking direct file proceedings or a transfer proceeding or if the juvenile is in the custody of the state department of human services or a county department of social services.

For purposes of applying for court-appointed counsel, the indigence of a juvenile is determined only by considering the juvenile’s assets and income.

The appointment of counsel for a juvenile offender shall continue until the court’s jurisdiction is terminated, the juvenile or the juvenile’s parent, guardian, or legal custodian retains counsel for the juvenile, or the juvenile makes a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to counsel.

A court shall not deem a guardian ad litem who is appointed by the court for a child in a delinquency proceeding to be a substitute for defense counsel for the juvenile.

The OSPD, before determining indigency, may provide limited representation to juveniles in detention hearings or adult defendants in custody who cannot post or are not allowed bond.

The OSPD, the OADC, and the judicial branch shall annually report certain data concerning juvenile delinquency proceedings.

The bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee. The summary above relates to the bill as introduced; the sponsor is seeking input from various stakeholders to develop amendments.

Probate, Criminal, Domestic Relations, and Seal My Case JDF Forms Amended

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released revised JDF forms in the probate, domestic relations, seal my case, and criminal categories in January 2014. Forms are available here in PDF format and can be downloaded in Word format from the State Judicial website.

CRIMINAL

  • JDF 460I – “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Colorado Conviction)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 463 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Colorado Conviction)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 475 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration (Non-Colorado Conviction)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 476 – “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration – Juvenile (Non-Colorado Conviction)” (R1/14)

DOMESTIC RELATIONS

  • JDF 1820M(a) – “Worksheet A – Sole Physical Care – Motions/Petitions Filed On or After 1/1/14″ (R1/14)
  • JDF 1821M(a) – “Worksheet B – Shared Physical Care – Motions/Petitions Filed On or After 1/1/14″ (R1/14)
  • JDF 1822(a) – “Instructions for Completing Child Support Worksheets – Motions/Petitions Filed On or After 1/1/14″ (R1/14)

PROBATE

  • JDF 834 – “Guardian’s Report – Minor” (R1/14)
  • JDF 850 – “Guardian’s Report – Adult” (R1/14)
  • JDF 882 – “Conservator’s Inventory with Financial Plan and Motion for Approval” (R1/14)
  • JDF 891 – “Registration and Recognition of Protective Orders from Other States and Sworn Statement – Conservator for Adult” (R1/14)
  • JDF 892 – “Certificate of Registration and Recognition of Protective Orders from Other States – Conservatorship for Adult” (R1/14)
  • JDF 893 – “Registration and Recognition of Guardianship Orders from Other States and Sworn Statement – Guardian for Adult” (R1/14)
  • JDF 894 – “Certificate of Registration and Recognition of Guardianship Orders from Other States – Guardianship for Adult” (R1/14)
  • JDF 990 – “Petition to Re-Open Estate” (R1/14)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 304 – “Order of Expungement of Records” (R1/14)
  • JDF 313 – “Petition to Seal Pursuant to § 18-13-122(10), C.R.S.” (R1/14)
  • JDF 314 – “Order to Seal Pursuant to § 18-13-122(10), C.R.S.” (R1/14)
  • JDF 323 – “Instructions to File a Petition to Seal Underage Alcohol Conviction (MIP)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 416 – “Instructions to File a Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records” (R1/14)

For all of State Judicial’s JDF forms, click here.

SB 14-021: Continuing Committee and Task Force Regarding the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness in Justice Systems

On Wednesday, January 8, 2014, Sen. Lois Tochtrop introduced SB 14-021 – Concerning the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness who are Involved in the Criminal Justice Systems. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Legislative Oversight Committee for the Continuing Examination of the Treatment of Persons with Mental Illness Who Are Involved in the Criminal and Juvenile Justice Systems.

The bill extends the repeal date for the legislative oversight committee for the continuing examination of the treatment of persons with mental illness who are involved in the criminal and juvenile justice systems and associated task force from July 1, 2015, to July 1, 2020. The legislative oversight committee and task force are renamed the legislative oversight committee and task force concerning the treatment of persons with mental illness in the criminal and juvenile justice systems (oversight committee and task force), and the cash fund is renamed accordingly. Two new members are added to the task force, one from the office of the child’s representative and one from the office of the alternate defense counsel. The task force is assigned additional duties. Authorization is granted to provide travel compensation and reimbursement for members of the task force, subject to available funds. Assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Since this summary, the bill was referred, unamended to the Appropriations Committee.

HB 14-1023: Allowing State Public Defender to Hire Social Workers for Juvenile Defendants

On January 8, 2014, Rep. Pete Lee and Sen. Jessie Ulibarri introduced HB 14-1023 -  Concerning the Provision of Social Workers to Juveniles. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Juvenile Defense Attorney Interim Committee

The state public defender may hire social workers to assist in defending juvenile defendants. Any report prepared by such a social worker and submitted to the court by the juvenile’s attorney shall be considered as evidence in the proper disposition of the juvenile’s case. Assigned to the Judiciary Committee.

Probate, Criminal, Adoption JDF Forms Amended by State Judicial

The Colorado State Judicial Branch amended several JDF forms in November and December. Forms were amended in the adoption, criminal, fees, name change, probate, and protection order categories.

Forms are available here in PDF format and generally are also available as Word documents on the State Judicial website.

ADOPTION

  • JDF 517 – “Motion and Affidavit for Publication of Notice” (R11/13)
  • JDF 525 – “Affidavit of Abandonment” (R11/13)
  • JDF 526 – “Affidavit of Diligent Efforts” (R11/13)

CRIMINAL

  • JDF 237 – “Instructions to File an Application for an Order of Collateral Relief” (R11/13)
  • JDF 238 – “Application for an Order of Collateral Relief” (R11/13)
  • JDF 239 – “Order of Collateral Relief” (R11/13)
  • JDF 718 – “Personal Service Affidavit” (R11/13)

FEES

  • JDF 205 – “Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit” (R11/13)

NAME CHANGE

  • JDF 420 – “Instructions for Filing for a Change of Name (Minor)” (R11/13)
  • JDF 432 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name (Adult)” (R11/13)

PROBATE

  • JDF 714 – “Affidavit Regarding Due Diligence and Proof of Publication” (R11/13)
  • JDF 732 – “Trust Registration Statement” (R11/13)
  • JDF 786 – “Instructions to File Petition to Transfer Adult Guardianship and/or Conservatorship from Colorado to Receiving State” (R11/13)
  • JDF 821 - “Affidavit of Acceptance of Appointment by Written Instrument as Guardian for Minor” (R11/13)
  • JDF 999 – “Collection of Personal Property by Affidavit” (R11/13)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 395 – “Instructions for Restrained Person – Motion to Modify/Dismiss Protection Order” (R12/13)
  • JDF 397 – “Motion to Modify or Dismiss Temporary or Permanent Protection Order” (R12/13)
  • JDF 404 – “Affidavit Regarding Children” (R11/13)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 417 – “Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records Other Than Convictions” (R11/13)

For all of State Judicial’s forms, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: District Court Lacked Jurisdiction to Determine Paternity in Dependency and Neglect Action

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of J.G.C. on Thursday, December 5, 2013.

Dependency and Neglect—Subject Matter Jurisdiction for Paternity Determination.

The Logan County Department of Social Services (LCDSS) filed a petition in dependency and neglect and a motion seeking temporary custody of a child who had been born eight days earlier. LCDSS identified J.C.H. as the child’s father because his name was on the birth certificate, but alleged that he might not be the biological father. Paternity tests were ordered, and results showed that J.C.H. was not the biological father. LCDSS then filed a motion to dismiss J.C.H. from the petition, which the trial court granted.

On its own motion, the Court of Appeals considered whether the district court had subject matter jurisdiction to make a paternity determination, and ruled that it did not. Colorado’s Uniform Parentage Act (UPA) vests exclusive original jurisdiction in parentage proceedings in the juvenile court. However, a paternity proceeding “may be joined with an action in another court of competent jurisdiction for dissolution of marriage, legal separation, declaration of invalidity of marriage, or support.” When a paternity action arises in a non-paternity proceeding, as here, the court must follow the procedures outlined in the UPA.

The UPA provides that before paternity can be determined, each man presumed to be the father and each man alleged to be the natural father must be made a party to the action, or given notice and an opportunity to be heard. Here, an alleged father had been identified by mother and therefore his joinder was required. Because the record did not show that he was given legal notice that a paternity determination was being sought and he was made a party to the proceeding only after J.C.H.’s dismissal, the Court concluded that the district court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to decide the issue of paternity. The order dismissing J.C.H. from the petition therefore was void. The dismissal order was vacated and the case was remanded.

In anticipation of an issue that might be raised on remand, the Court addressed J.C.H.’s contention that the trial court erred in dismissing him based on the genetic test results. Under the UPA, a presumption of fatherhood may arise from several sets of circumstances. Here, the claim was based on J.C.H.’s acknowledgment of paternity on the birth certificate. His acknowledgment that he was not the biological father did not rebut this presumption, and there was no such evidence at the time he was dismissed from the case.

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