August 24, 2019

Archives for June 15, 2011

Governor Hickenlooper Signs Five More Bills into Law

On Friday, Governor John Hickenlooper signed five more bills into law on the last day of his statewide tour. The bills were the thirty-first group of legislation signed by the governor from the 2011 General Assembly.

  • SB 11-173
    • Sponsored by Sen. S. King and Reps. B. Gardner and Fields. Concerning Interoperable Communications in Schools.
  • SB 11-204
    • Sponsored by Sens. Giron and Morse and Reps. Swerdfeger and Stephens. Concerning the Role of Certain Southern Colorado University Campuses.
  • HB 11-1199
    • Sponsored by Rep. B. Gardner and Sen. Bacon. Concerning Limits on Fees for the Approval of the Installation of Solar Energy Devices.
  • HB 11-1311
    • Sponsored by Reps. Swerdfeger and A. Kerr and Sen. Giron. Increasing the Number of Regional Tourism Projects.
  • HB 11-1195
    • Sponsored by Rep. B. Gardner and Sen. Newell. Concerning the Voluntary Licensure of Private Investigators.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2011 legislation decisions click here.

Tenth Circuit: Purpose of Safety-Valve Sentencing Relief is to Benefit Only Those Defendants who Truly Cooperate

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in United States v. Galvon-Manzo on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit affirmed the district court’s convictions and sentences. Petitioners each pled guilty to one count of possession of cocaine with intent to distribute. They were each subject to a ten-year mandatory minimum sentence, unless they qualified for safety-valve relief. Petitioners now appeal the district court’s decision finding that both defendants did not qualify for safety-valve relief, resulting in each being sentenced to 120 months’ imprisonment.

The Court determined that a defendant can get a safety-valve sentence reduction if he satisfies the criterion of truthfully providing the government with “all information and evidence the defendant has concerning the offense or offenses that were part of the same course of conduct or of a common scheme or plan.” The purpose of the safety-valve provisions is to benefit only those defendants who truly cooperate. In this case, Petitioners were uncooperative until much later in the sentencing hearings. Waiting until the middle of a sentencing hearing to provide a truthful version to the Court does not fulfill these purposes. It was clear to the Court that Petitioners had already provided two untruthful and not credible accounts of their involvement and that of others, despite their awareness of the importance of being honest. Because of this, the district court did not err in refusing to grant them more “bites at the apple” to earn a sentence reduction.

Tenth Circuit: Third Party Cannot Appeal the Final Judgment Rendered Against Someone Else when the Party Earlier Voluntarily Removed Themselves from the Lawsuit

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Raley v. Hyundai Motor Co. on Tuesday, June 14, 2011.

The Tenth Circuit dismissed the appeal for lack of jurisdiction. Petitioner brought suit against Respondent, alleging that a car it manufactured was defectively designed and responsible for injuries she suffered in an accident. But before trial began, Petitioner filed a motion asking the district court to substitute BancFirst in her place as “the real party in interest;” a state probate court had appointed BancFirst to serve as guardian for Petitioner and her minor children and, in light of this, the court allowed for her entire interest in the lawsuit to been transferred to BancFirst, to the exclusion of herself and her children. Respondents prevailed against BancFirst, who did not appeal. The district court erred in its original decision by naming Petitioner as the losing party-plaintiff. Petitioner then appealed the decision before the district realized its clerical error and amended its decision, removing Petitioner as the prevailing party-plaintiff.

The Court determined that generally, and specifically in this case, Petitioner cannot appeal a final judgment rendered against someone else, especially when Petitioner had herself removed as a named party to the lawsuit and voluntarily left the case. Petitioner did not simply add BancFirst as a named party, she had the bank substituted for herself and transferred all her interest in the suit to the bank; at the time, she represented that the bank was the sole party in interest. Additionally, any motion to now substitute the appellant must first be the basis of a proper appeal; because BancFirst did not timely appeal the decision against it, any motion brought be Petitioner is moot. And, the Court cannot consider any intent by BancFirst to appeal without them having actually filed a notice of appeal itself; the bank’s misguided participation in simply joining her motion here is not enough.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/14/11

On Tuesday, June 14, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and five unpublished opinions.


Sandoval v. Jones

Davis v. United States

Mikanda v. Kastner

McKinney v. United States

United States v. Roman-Fernandez

No case summaries are available for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.