At the Capitol – Week Five
The latest Legislative Video Update with Michael Valdez outlines the most straight-forward bill the CBA has ever sponsored.
HB 12-1233 – Concerning the ability of a court to enter a decree of legal separation in certain circumstances without the appearance of the parties.
Sponsored by Rep. Jeanne Labuda and Sen. Morgan Carroll, the Family Law Section of the CBA brings you a bill where the title of the bill is pretty much the bill.
In a dissolution of marriage action, if there are no children of the marriage and the parties have entered into a written agreement concerning the division of marital property, a court may enter a degree of dissolution by affidavit, without the appearance of the parties. The bill aligns the process for parties seeking a legal separation by permitting a court to enter a decree of legal separation, under the same conditions, without the appearance of the parties.
The bill is scheduled for review by the Judiciary Committee on Tuesday, February 14 at 1:30 p.m.
Bar Sponsored bill moves forward
The Senate Judiciary Committee approved SB 12-131 in a short committee hearing on Wednesday, February 8. CBA sponsored, SB 12-131 – Duty Search for Designated Beneficiary Agreements, clarifies a PR or a trustee’s liability when conducting a search for a valid, unrevoked Designated Beneficiary Agreement (“DBA). The bill moves to the Senate floor for consideration on 2nd Reading.
Bar supported legislation passes initial hurdle
HB 12-1074 – Judicial Oversight of Guardians and Conservators. On Thursday, February 9, the Judiciary Committee unanimously approved the bill. This will authorize the court with jurisdiction over a guardianship of an incapacitated person or over a conservatorship of a protected person to have access to data maintained by other state agencies in order to conduct an investigation when a guardian or conservator has failed to file required reports with the court, or has failed to respond to court orders. The Elder Law Section worked out amendments with the Judicial Branch to clarify the extent of the search that a court undertakes to find a missing guardian or conservator. The bill moves to the floor of the House for action on 2nd Reading.
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, February 10 – “Juvenile Law Day” at the LPC
The Juvenile Law Section requested positions on several pieces of legislation.
HB 12-1139 – Pretrial Detention of Children Tried as Adults
The Juvenile Law Section requested and received authorization from the LPC to support HB 12-1139. The bill changes the process for place of pre-trial confinement for a juvenile who may be charged as an adult. The bill puts the decision for confinement back with the judge instead of the current process of allowing the prosecuting attorney and the defense counsel reach a stipulation. The bill is scheduled for consideration by the Judiciary Committee on Thursday, February 16 at 1:30 p.m.
SB 12-033 – Child Fatality Reviews
The Juvenile Law Section sought permission to support SB 12-033 – Child Fatality Reviews. The bill adds near fatalities and incidents of egregious abuse or neglect to the responsibilities of the department of human services child fatality review team. The LPC voted unanimously to support the request of the Juvenile Law Section and to support the bill.
SB 12-099 – Expand Access to Academic Model Juvenile Facility
The Juvenile Law Section has concerns with the direction that SB 12-099 – Expand Access to Academic Model Juvenile Facility. The Juvenile Law Section stated several concerns with this bill draft:
- Mixing correctional and child welfare systems flies in the face of best practices;
- The facility that is the subject to the legislation – Ridge View Youth Services Center – does not provide the treatment services for the foster care protection.
The LPC voted to oppose the legislation.
SB 12-056 – Court Appointments Domestic Relations Cases
The Juvenile Law Section teamed up with the Family Law Section to request CBA opposition to SB 12-056 – Court Appointments Domestic Relations Cases. The bill is being held on the Senate 2nd Reading calendar to give the Family and Juvenile Law Sections time to find a compromise. The primary objection to the latest iteration of the bill is the shift from making the order to conduct a Parental Rights Evaluation (“PRE”) an absolute right to a discretionary decision by the district court. The LPC agreed with the request from the Juvenile Law Section and voted to oppose the bill.