August 24, 2019

Archives for September 30, 2011

Colorado Court of Appeals: Husband’s Military Temporary Disability Retired List Pay Must Be Excluded Before Dividing his Retirement Benefits Pursuant to Divorce Decree

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in In re the Marriage of Poland on September 29, 2011.

Dissolution of Marriage—Military—Retirement Benefits—Temporary Disability Retired List.

In this post-dissolution of marriage action, husband appealed from the order awarding wife a portion of the pay he received from the military after he was placed on the temporary disability retired list (TDRL). The order was vacated and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

The parties’ marriage was dissolved in 2005. Their separation agreement, which was incorporated into the decree, provided that husband’s military retirement benefits were marital property and would be divided, on his retirement, under the HuntGallo formula. [See In re Marriage of Hunt, 909 P.2d 525 (Colo. 1995).] The agreement further provided that the parties intended to divide husband’s “gross military retirement” and that if husband elected to receive Veterans Administration (VA) disability benefits and his disposable retirement pay was thereby reduced, wife’s share of the benefits would not be reduced. When husband was placed on the TDRL in September 2009, the trial court ordered husband to pay wife her share of his TDRL earnings as determined under the decree.

Husband contended that the trial court erred by awarding wife a portion of his TDRL pay. A military service member is placed on the TDRL if the member has a disability rating of at least 30% but the disability has not yet been determined to be permanent. The Uniformed Services Former Spouses’ Protection Act precluded the trial court from dividing anything other than “disposable retired pay,” as defined in the statute. However, based on 10 U.S.C. § 1408(a)(4)(C) of the Act, an amount equal to the amount of TDRL pay, as calculated based on husband’s percentage of disability when he was placed on the TDRL, must be excluded from the marital property; any amounts in excess of that amount may be divided under the decree. Because the trial court divided all of husband’s TDRL pay under the time-rule formula without considering the extent to which the pay was computed on husband’s disability, the order was reversed. On remand, the trial court must determine and exclude husband’s TDRL pay before dividing husband’s retirement benefits pursuant to the decree.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries for the Colorado Court of Appeals on September 29, 2011, can be found here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Secrecy in Voting Requirement there to Protect Identity of Voter, Not Content of Ballot

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Marks v. Koch on September 29, 2011.

Colorado Open Records Act—Ballot—Identity—Colo. Const. Art. VII, § 8—Colorado Municipal Election Code.

In this proceeding under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA), plaintiff Marilyn Marks appealed the district court’s judgment dismissing her case for failure to state a claim on which relief can be granted pursuant to the motion filed by defendant Kathryn Koch, the City Clerk of Aspen. The judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

The public records Marks sought to have released under CORA were 2,544 digital copies (TIFF files) of ballots cast in the May 2009 Aspen mayoral municipal election, in which Marks was a losing candidate. Marks contended that the right to inspect the TIFF files was not contrary to the secrecy in voting requirement of article VII, § 8 of the Colorado Constitution. The Court of Appeals agreed. The secrecy in voting requirement seeks to protect the identity of a voter and not the content of his or her ballot (assuming the voter’s identity could not be discerned from the content of the ballot); therefore, it does not bar the latter from release under CORA.

Marks also contended that, because the TIFF files are not ballots, releasing them would not be contrary to the Colorado Municipal Election Code’s ballot storage and destruction provision. The Court agreed. The district court was ordered on remand to release the TIFF files to Marks for inspection pursuant to CORA, with the exception of those TIFF files that contain either a write-in candidate or ballot markings that could identify an individual voter.

This summary is published here courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer. Other summaries for the Colorado Court of Appeals on September 29, 2011, can be found here.

Inside the Infill: The Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center, Part 1

Editor’s Note: This is the first of three posts highlighting the new judicial center.

By Ryan Dravitz

Next on our ‘Inside the Infill’ tour we will be taking a look at the Ralph L. Carr Colorado Judicial Center. Every week this project is changing and we now have an exclusive inside look!

Thank you once again to the folks at Trammell Crow Company for making this tour possible.

First up, the 12-story office tower. On the left, this is what you would see when going into the back entrance located at 13th Avenue and Broadway. To the right is what you would first walk in to. Yes, there will be a security check point but what is unique about this complex is that you will be inside when you are waiting to get screened separate from both the elements and the lobby.

Looking down the lobby area (left) you have the waiting area for security as well as elevator access just down the hall. Up and away we go to the top floor where they are starting to complete the columns of the office tower. There were spectacular views from the top which we will have a post dedicated to coming up soon.

There is a section of the building connecting the courts to the office tower. Here you will be greeted by a 4-story atrium with a glass roof and solid glass wall. In the picture on the right, the gaps you see in the floor will be for a staircase connecting the floors.

The Supreme Court is spectacular with a glass dome above where you would stand in front of the justices. You also get a great view of the office tower.

The lobby of the courts will be complete with real stone columns in the front and a two-story entrance with a giant court seal. The court side of the complex also comes complete with judges quarters.

Keep your eyes peeled for more shots of this great project as well as a special look at the never before seen views!

Ryan Dravitz is a bicycle-wielding urban photographer and student studying for his Bachelor’s degree in Construction Management with the potential for future studies in Urban Planning. Ken Schroeppel is the founder and administrator of the DenverInfill website and companion site, DenverUrbanism. Ken is a planner and project manager at Matrix Design Group, a Denver-based planning and engineering consulting firm, where he specializes in redevelopment and urban renewal planning. They contribute to the DenverInfill Blog, where this post originally appeared on September 26, 2011.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/29/11

On Thursday, September 29, 2011, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and four unpublished opinions.


United States v. Sainz-Ochoa

United States v. Villanueva

Thrasher v. Hickson

Teton Millwork Sales v. Schlossberg

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