June 26, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Award of Costs to Non-Governmental Entity Under C.R.C.P. 54(d) Not Unconstitutional

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Concerning the Application for Water Rights of the City and County of Broomfield: City and County of Broomfield v. Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Co. on September 27, 2010.

Exemption From Litigation Costs Under C.R.C.P. 54(d).

The Supreme Court affirmed the water court’s award of costs against Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Company, holding that mutual ditch companies are not subdivisions of the state and therefore are not exempt from the award of costs under C.R.C.P. 54(d). The Court also held that (1) Rule 54(d) does not violate the due process or equal protection guarantees contained in the U.S. and Colorado Constitutions; (2) the award of costs against a non-governmental entity neither infringes on a fundamental constitutional right nor implicates a suspect class; and (3) Rule 54(d)’s provision exempting the government from costs in litigation is rationally related to the goal of protecting the public treasury and thus constitutional.

Summary and full case available here.

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