October 23, 2017

Colorado Court of Appeals: C.R.C.P. 106 Action Inappropriate for Challenge to Temporary Protection Order

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Martin v. Arapahoe County Court on Thursday, October 20, 2016.

C.R.C.P. 106(a)(4)—Temporary Civil Protection Order—Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

The county court entered a temporary civil protection order pursuant to C.R.S. § 13-14-104.5 against Martin based on L.O.’s complaint. Martin filed a motion to vacate the temporary order and dismiss L.O.’s complaint. The motion was denied, but the hearing on the permanent order was continued to allow briefing from the Attorney General’s office on the constitutionality of the statutes. Before the rescheduled hearing, Martin filed this action in district court, naming as defendants the Arapahoe County Court and magistrates of that court and seeking review of the temporary protection order under C.R.C.P. 106(a)(4).

The county court defendants moved to dismiss the C.R.C.P. 106 action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, arguing that (1) the temporary order was not a final decision reviewable under C.R.C.P. 106 and (2) Martin had other adequate remedies because he could challenge the temporary order at the permanent order hearing and appeal the permanent order if one was issued. The motion to dismiss was granted.

On appeal, Martin argued it was error for the trial court to find it lacked subject matter jurisdiction. The Colorado Court of Appeals disagreed, ruling on this as an issue of first impression. The court found that a temporary protection order issued under C.R.S. § 13-14-104.5 is not the county court’s final decision on a plaintiff’s request for a civil protection order and is therefore not subject to review in a C.R.C.P. 106 action. It also found that the permanent order hearing and ordinary appellate review procedures provide adequate alternative remedies for challenging a temporary restraining order.

The judgment was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Special Conditions in Mandatory Protection Order Upheld

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Yoder on Thursday, April 7, 2016.

Charles Yoder was charged with several offenses in Mesa County in three cases, including possession of methamphetamine and driving after revocation prohibited. In each of the three cases, the district court issued a mandatory protection order (MPO) containing conditions against harassing witnesses, possession or consumption of controlled substances, and driving without a valid driver’s license. Two of the MPOs also prohibited possession and consumption of marijuana absent a doctor’s prescription. Defendant pleaded guilty to some of the charges and was sentenced. The district court also clarified that the conditions of the MPOs would remain in effect until defendant completed his sentences. Defendant objected to the conditions restricting marijuana use and driving without a license.

On appeal, the Colorado Court of Appeals deemed defendant’s argument that MPOs are invalid generally waived because it was not properly preserved. As to his challenge to the marijuana and driving restrictions, the court interpreted the relevant statutes and determined that although the statutes specifically reference domestic violence offenses and certain Victims’ Rights Act cases, the special conditions in MPOs are not limited to domestic violence or Victims’ Rights Act offenders. 

The court of appeals affirmed the district court.

Protective Order, Parenting Time JDFs Modified in December

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has amended six forms in December 2015, including forms regarding protective orders, instructions for forcible entry and detainer, and motions to modify parenting time and decision-making responsibility. The forms are available here in PDF format and are available in Word or PDF on the State Judicial forms page.

DOMESTIC RELATIONS

  • JDF 1406 – Verified Motion to Modify/Restrict Parenting Time (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 1415 – Verified Motion/Stipulation to Modify Decision-Making Responsibility (revised 12/15)

FORCIBLE ENTRY & DETAINER

  • JDF 100 – Instructions for Forcible Entry and Detainer (FED)/Eviction (revised 12/15)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 400 – Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 401 – Incident Checklist (revised 12/15)
  • JDF 442 – Information Sheet for Registering a Protection Order (revised 12/15)

Forms to Seal Minor In Possession Cases, Relinquish Parental Rights, and More Amended

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released several amended forms in July and August, 2015. The amended forms were in the categories of adoption, DMV appeals, protection orders, relinquishing parental rights, and sealing cases. The forms are available here in PDF format and are available for download as Word documents from the State Judicial website.

ADOPTION

  • JDF 345 – “Order for Appointment of Confidential Intermediary” (revised 8/15)

DMV APPEAL

  • JDF 599 – “Complaint for Judicial Review of Denial, Cancellation, Suspension, or Revocation of a Driver’s License or Identification Card” (revised 8/15)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 440 – “Mandatory Protection Order” (revised 7/15)

RELINQUISH PARENTAL RIGHTS

  • JDF 512 – “Relinquishment Interrogatory – Father” (revised 8/15)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 305 – “Petition for Expungement of UDD” (revised 8/15)
  • JDF 313 – “Petition to Seal Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)
  • JDF 314 – “Order Regarding the Sealing of Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)
  • JDF 323 – “Instructions to File a Petition to Seal Records Related to Illegal Possession or Consumption of Ethyl Alcohol or Marijuana by an Underage Person (MIP)” (revised 7/15)

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

Bill to Add Judge in 12th Judicial District and More Signed

On Friday, March 20, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed ten bills into law. To date, he has signed 68 bills into law. The bills signed Friday are summarized here.

  • HB 15-1059 – Concerning the Board of Directors of the Denver Health and Hospital Authority, by Rep. Alec Garnett and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill adds two board members to the Denver Health and Hospital Authority board, removes outdated language, and dictates a new process for removing board members.
  • HB 15-1122 – Concerning Limiting Eligibility for Parole, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending Certain Provisions Concerning the Revocation of Parole for Certain Inmates, by Rep. Rhonda Fields and Sen. John Cooke. The bill aligns procedures for parole of offenders under the statute to current DOC practice.
  • HB 15-1029 – Concerning Coverage Under a Health Benefit Plan for Health Care Services Delivered Through Telehealth in Any Area of the State, by Reps. Perry Buck & Joann Ginal and Sens. John Kefalas & Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill requires all health benefit plans in Colorado to provide telemedicine options when telemedicine is considered an equal standard of care.
  • HB 15-1034 – Concerning an Increase in the Number of District Court Judges in the Twelfth Judicial District, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill adds a district court judge in the Twelfth Judicial District.
  • HB 15-1032 – Concerning the Addition of Licensed Mental Health Professionals as Authorized Providers of Mental Health Services to Minors who are At Least Fifteen Years of Age, by Rep. Jonathan Singer and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill expands the definition of qualified mental health providers for involuntarily committed minors to include licensed social workers, licensed professional counselors, and licensed addiction counselors.
  • HB 15-1078 – Concerning Immediate Reporting of Missing Children who are in the Custody of a State Agency to Law Enforcement for Inclusion in National Crime Databases, by Reps. Dan Nordberg & Beth McCann and Sens. Cheri Jahn & Laura Woods. The bill requires reporting of missing children to law enforcement within 24 hours of noticing the child is missing when the child is in the custody of county or state departments of human services.
  • HB 15-1174 – Concerning the Confidentiality of Personal Information for Participants in the Address Confidentiality Program and, in Connection Therewith, Protecting Victims of Domestic Violence, Sexual Assault, and Stalking, by Rep. Terri Carver and Sen. Laura Woods. The bill prevents the state from knowingly disclosing the address of a person in the address confidentiality program, including unique identifying information about his or her residential, work, or school address.
  • HB 15-1070 – Concerning Changes to the Crime Profits Distribution Statute, by Rep. John Buckner and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill makes several changes regarding the distribution of crime profits.
  • HB 15-1094 – Concerning Restorative Justice, by Rep. Pete Lee and Sens. John Cooke & Linda Newell. The bill makes several changes to the judicial department’s restorative justice programs, including adding members, allowing gifts to support restorative justice, and expanding eligibility to juveniles.
  • HB 15-1060 – Concerning Protection Orders in Sex Offense Cases, by Rep.  Millie Hamner and Sen. John Cooke. The bill requires a defendant in a sexual offense case to acknowledge any protection orders in court and in writing prior to release on bond.

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

Revised JDF Forms Available in Family, Adoption, Miscellaneous, and Other Categories

The Colorado State Judicial Branch continues to revise JDF forms. Several forms have been revised in December 2013 and January 2014. These include forms from the adoption, domestic, miscellaneous, money demand, name change, and other categories.

Forms are available here in PDF format. Most forms are also available for download as Microsoft Word documents from the State Judicial website.

ADOPTION

  • JDF 515 – “Motion to Waive Family Assessment/Home Study” (R12/13)
  • JDF 520 – “Petition to Terminate the Parent-Child Legal Relationship” (R12/13)

DOMESTIC RELATIONS

  • JDF 211 – “Motion to Reduce Payment for ODR Services and Supporting Financial Affidavit” (R12/13)
  • JDF 1115 – “Separation Agreement (Marriage)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1201 – “Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties (Marriage)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1215 – “Evaluation of a Foreign Decree” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1256 – “Separation Agreement (Civil Union)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1258 – “Affidavit for Decree Without Appearance of Parties (Civil Union)” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1820M – “Worksheet A – Child Support Obligation: Sole Physical Care” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1821M – “Worksheet A – Child Support Obligation: Shared Physical Care” (R1/14)
  • JDF 1822 – “Instructions for Completing Child Support Worksheets” (R1/14)

EVICTIONS

  • JDF 91 – “Motion for Entry of Judgment on Stipulation” (R12/13)

GARNISHMENTS

  • JDF 82 – “Instructions for Collecting a Judgment and Completing a Writ of Garnishment” (R12/13)

MISCELLANEOUS

  • JDF 35 – “Application for Administrative Relief from Federal Firearms Prohibitions” (12/13)
  • JDF 36 – “Petition for Relief Pursuant to § 13-5-142.5 or § 13-9-124 from Federal Firearms Prohibitions” (12/13)
  • JDF 37 – “Order for Relief from Federal Firearms Prohibitions” (12/13)

MONEY CASES

  • JDF 91 – “Motion for Entry of Judgment on Stipulation” (R12/13)
  • JDF 601 – “District Court Civil Cover Sheet” (R12/13)
  • JDF 603 – “Instructions to Complete District Court Civil Cover Sheet” (R12/13)

NAME CHANGE

  • JDF 420 – “Instructions for Filing for a Change of Name – Minor” (R12/13)
  • JDF 432 – “Instructions for Filing a Change of Name – Adult” (R12/13)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 417 – “Petition to Seal Arrest and Criminal Records Other Than Convictions” (R12/13)

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

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.

JDF Form Affidavits Revised in Several Categories by State Judicial

Updated JDF forms are now available from State Judicial in several categories, including criminal, filing fees, eviction, probate, miscellaneous, money cases, and protection orders. Many of the revised forms are affidavits. The updated forms have revision dates of October and November 2013.

The JDFs are available in Word and PDF. They can be downloaded here in PDF format or from State Judicial’s forms page in Word or PDF.

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 461 – “Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Colorado Conviction” (R10/13)
  • JDF 463 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Colorado Conviction” (R10/13)
  • JDF 473 – “Petition to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Non-Colorado Conviction” (R10/13)
  • JDF 475 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Non-Colorado Conviction” (R10/13)

EVICTIONS & FORECLOSURES

  • CRCCP 3 – “Answer Under Simplified Civil Procedure” (R10/13)
  • JDF 109 – “Affidavit to Support a Claim for Breach of Warranty of Habitability” (R10/13)

FILING FEES

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

MISCELLANEOUS

  • JDF 73 – “General Affidavit” (R10/13)
  • JDF 85 – “Motion and Affidavit to Issue Subpoena Per Crim.P. 17(b)” (R10/13)

MONEY CASES

  • JDF 138 – “Judgment Creditor Affidavit in Support of Foreign Judgment” (R10/13)

PROBATE

  • JDF 732 – “Trust Registration Statement” (R11/13)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 404 – “Affidavit Regarding Children” (R10/13)

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

JDF Forms Amended in Probate, Domestic, and Other Categories

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has released amended JDF forms in several categories, including appeals, domestic, criminal, probate, evictions, garnishments, and money cases. These amended forms have September and October 2013 revision dates.

Forms are available for download here in PDF format by clicking the links below. State Judicial’s forms page has forms in PDF, Word, and Word template.

APPEALS

  • JDF 126 – “Instructions for Filing a County Court Civil or Small Claims Appeal” (R10/13)

CRIMINAL

  • JDF 475 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (R09/13)

DOMESTIC

  • JDF 98 – “Affidavit of Service” (R10/13)
  • JDF 1316 – “Order” (R09/13)
  • JDF 1701 – “Verified Pleading Affidavit for Grandparent Visitation” (R10/13)
  • JDF 1820M – “Worksheet A – Child Support Obligation: Sole Physical Care” (R09/13)
  • JDF 1821M – “Worksheet B – Child Support Obligation: Shared Physical Care” (R09/13)

EVICTIONS & FORECLOSURES

  • JDF 104 – “Motion for Entry of Judgment” (R10/13)

GARNISHMENTS & JUDGMENTS

  • JDF 138 – “Judgment Creditor Affidavit in Support of Foreign Judgment” (R10/13)

MONEY CASES

  • JDF 91 – “Motion for Entry of Judgment on Stipulation” (R10/13)
  • JDF 98 – “Affidavit of Service” (R10/13)
  • JDF 104 – “Motion for Entry of Judgment” (R10/13)
  • JDF 110 – “Instructions for County Court Civil Cases (Money Demand)” (R10/13)
  • JDF 600 – “District Court Civil Summons” (R10/13)
  • JDF 601 – “District Court Civil Cover Sheet” (R10/13)

PROBATE

  • JDF 731 – “Receipt and Release” (R09/13)
  • JDF 810 – “Court Visitor’s Report” (R09/13)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 399 – “Permanent Civil Protection Order Issued Pursuant to § 13-14-106, C.R.S.” (R09/13)
  • JDF 440 – “Mandatory Protection Order” (R09/13)

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

Protection Order Forms, Forms to Seal Juvenile Records Amended by State Judicial

In August and September 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch overhauled its Protection Order forms and issued revised forms in several different categories. State Judicial’s Probate forms were also amended in August, as previously reported by Legal Connection.

Forms are available for download here in PDF format by clicking the links below. State Judicial’s forms page has forms in PDF, Word, and Word template.

ADOPTION

  • JDF 506 – “Notice of Adoption Proceeding and Summons to Respond” (revised 8/13)

CRIMINAL

  • JDF 475 – “Order to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration” (revised 9/13)

DOMESTIC

  • JDF 1099 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation if there are No Children of This Marriage or Children are Emancipated” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 1100 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution of Marriage or Legal Separation with Children of This Marriage” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 1266 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution or Legal Separation of Civil Union if there are No Children of This Civil Union or Children are Emancipated” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 1267 – “Instructions for Filing a Dissolution or Legal Separation of Civil Union with Children of This Civil Union” (revised 8/13)

FILING FEES

  • JDF 202 – “Finding and Order Concerning Inmate Motion Requesting Waiving Prepayment of Filing/Service Fees” (revised 8/13)

GARNISHMENTS

  • JDF 82 – “Instructions for Collecting a Judgment and Completing a Writ of Garnishment” (revised 8/13)
  • Form 26 – “Writ of Continuing Garnishment” (revised 8/13)
  • Form 29 – “Writ of Garnishment with Notice of Exemption and Pending Levy” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 89 – “Notice to Garnishee, Application of Funds to Judgment, and Release of Funds to Judgment Creditor” (revised 8/13)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 395 – “Instructions for Restrained Person – Motion to Modify/Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 396 – “Instructions for Protected Person – Motion to Modify/Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 400 – “Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 393 – “Verbal Emergency Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 394 – “Emergency Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 397 – “Motion to Modify or Dismiss Temporary or Permanent Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 398 – “Citation and Temporary Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 399 – “Permanent Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 401 – “Incident Checklist” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 410 – “Order Modifying Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 413 – “Verified Motion for Contempt Citation” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 440 – “Mandatory Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 442 – “Information Sheet for Registering a Protection Order” (revised 8/13)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 301 – “Instructions to File an Expungement Juvenile “JD” Case or Criminal “CR” Case (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 302 – “Petition for Expungement of Records” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 304 – “Order for Expungement of Records” (revised 8/13)

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

Forms Regarding Protection Orders and Sealing Juvenile Cases Amended by State Judicial

The Colorado State Judicial Branch released several amended forms in August 2013, in the categories of filing fees, protection orders, and sealing cases. The forms can be downloaded here, or from State Judicial’s individual forms pages.

All forms are available in Adobe PDF format, and some are also available as Microsoft Word documents and templates.

FILING FEES

  • JDF 202 – “Finding and Order Concerning Inmate Motion Requesting Waiving Prepayment of Filing/Service Fees” (revised 8/13)

PROTECTION ORDERS

  • JDF 395 – “Instructions for Restrained Person to Modify/Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 396 – “Instructions for Protected Person to Modify/Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 400 – “Instructions for Obtaining a Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 393 – “Verbal Emergency Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 394 – “Emergency Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 397 – “Motion to Modify or Dismiss Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 398 – “Citation and Temporary Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 399 – “Permanent Civil Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 401 – “Incident Checklist” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 402 – “Verified Complaint/Motion for Civil Protection Order” (revised 6/13)
  • JDF 404 – “Affidavit Regarding Children” (revised 6/13)
  • JDF 410 – “Order Modifying Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 413 – “Verified Motion for Contempt Citation” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 440 – “Mandatory Protection Order” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 442 – “Information Sheet for Registering a Protection Order” (revised 8/13)

SEAL MY CASE

  • JDF 301 – “Instructions to File an Expungement – Juvenile “JV” Case or Criminal “CR” Case” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 302 – “Petition for Expungement of Records” (revised 8/13)
  • JDF 304 – “Order of Expungement of Records” (revised 8/13)

For a complete listing of JDF forms, visit the Colorado State Judicial Branch website, or click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Clearly Violated Protection Order When He Was Found by Police at Victim’s Apartment Complex

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Bernard, Jr. on Thursday, May 23, 2013.

Protection Order Violation—Authentication of E-Mails Under CRE 901.

Defendant appealed the judgment of conviction entered following a jury verdict finding him guilty of one count of violating a protection order. The Court of Appeals affirmed the judgment.

On August 11, 2011, a mandatory protection order was entered, naming defendant as the restrained party and the victim and her son as the protected parties. The order restrained defendant from harassing, molesting, intimidating, contacting, or communicating with the victim, and ordered him to vacate victim’s home.

The victim testified that defendant called her on August 15 to wish her a happy birthday and arranged to pick up some of his clothing that she was to leave outside her door. He arrived early on August 16 and banged and knocked on her doors and windows. He told her that if she showed up in court the next day, one of them would not be “making it back,” and that he would kill her if she called the police. She called her mother and then the police.

Defendant testified that he and the victim had spent the entire day together on August 15 and that late that night, they had an argument. He testified that the following morning, he left to smoke a cigarette and then tried to get back into the apartment.

The responding police officers testified that when they arrived, they found defendant in a basement storage room in the victim’s apartment complex. He was arrested and charged with one count of intimidation of a witness and one count of violation of a protection order. He was acquitted of the witness intimidation charge but found guilty and convicted of violating a protection order.

On appeal, defendant argued it was error to admit an e-mail into evidence because it was not properly authenticated. The Court disagreed.

An e-mail was sent to the victim from defendant’s e-mail account on the morning she was scheduled to testify in defendant’s trial, stating, “I told you it wuz us r nobody u getting ready 2 make the biggest mistake my God have mercy on Ur soul rip [sic].” The e-mail was admitted into evidence.

The Court held that e-mails may be authenticated (1) through testimony explaining that they are what they purport to be, or (2) through consideration of distinctive characteristics shown by an examination of their contents and substance in light of the circumstances of the case.

The victim testified the e-mail was a true and accurate copy of the e-mail that defendant had sent to her. She testified as to the time she received it and that she recognized the e-mail address of the sender as one belonging to defendant. Defendant did not contest that the sending e-mail address belonged to him. Based on this testimony, there was no abuse of discretion in admitting it into evidence.

Defendant also argued that the prosecution failed to present evidence proving beyond a reasonable doubt that he was guilty of violating a protection order. The Court disagreed. The record clearly showed that defendant was informed of the contents of the protection order, and the testimony of witnesses and of defendant clearly established a violation of that order. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.