August 23, 2019

Archives for September 14, 2012

Judge Kirk Samelson to Retire from Fourth Judicial District Court Bench

The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet Monday, October 22, 2012, at the El Paso County Courthouse to interview and select nominees for appointment by the governor to the office of district judge for the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties).  The vacancy will be created by the resignation of the Hon. Kirk Samelson.  The vacancy will occur on October 8, 2012.

Judge Samelson was appointed as a District Judge in 2000 and as the chief judge of the Fourth Judicial District in 2007. Judge Samelson hears civil and criminal cases; he also performs administrative duties as chief judge.

Eligible applicants for the appointment must be qualified electors of the Fourth Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Applications must be submitted by 4 p.m. on Monday, October 1, 2012. The appointed district court judge will serve a provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. If retained in the general election, judges serve additional six-year terms.

Further information about the vacancy is available here from the Colorado State Judicial Branch.

Tenth Circuit: Fair Market Value of Deer Determined for Sentencing Defendants Convicted of Transportation and Sale of Unlawfully Killed Wildlife in Interstate Commerce

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals published its opinion in United States v. Butler on Thursday, September 13, 2012.

Brothers James and Marlin Butler sold guided deer hunts to out-of-state hunters, providing lodging, meals, and guiding services. On several occasions, they encouraged their clients to violate state hunting laws. Both pled guilty to conspiring to sell and transport poached deer in violation of the Lacey Act, which prohibits the transportation and sale of unlawfully killed wildlife in interstate commerce. Tasked with calculating the fair market value of the poached deer for sentencing purposes, the district court concluded that the value of each deer was the total amount that a client paid to participate in the guided hunt. Based on this determination, the court sentenced the Butlers to several years’ imprisonment, required that they pay substantial fines and restitution to Kansas, and imposed special conditions of supervision prohibiting both men from hunting, fishing, or trapping wildlife. The brothers appealed.

On appeal, the Tenth Circuit’s central point of controversy was the meaning of “fair market value” of the deer. The Court used this definition: fair market value is “the price at which a willing buyer and willing seller with knowledge of all the relevant facts would agree to exchange the property or interest at issue.”  The Court concluded that the guiding fees, which included accommodations and other costs, were not part of the fair market value of the deer. The fair market price should  be the price of the animal itself, not the price of the expedition.

The Court went on to hold that the record supported James Butler’s sentence enhancement for being the leader of criminal activity.   $25,000 in restitution was also appropriate because the State of Kansas constituted an identifiable victim.  The Tenth Circuit finally concluded that the district court improperly imposed James Butler’s special conditions of supervision without considering whether those conditions would interfere with his lawful employment. REVERSED and REMANDED for resentencing.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/13/12

On Thursday, September 13, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Brown v. Burke

United States v. Duggins

Sommerville v. State of Kansas

United States v. Fletcher

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

“Notice and Payment for Cost of Care of Animals” Form Revised by Colorado State Judicial Branch

The Colorado State Judicial Branch revised one JDF form in September, “Notice and Payment for Cost of Care of Animals,” under the criminal category.

Most forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats; many are also available as Word and Excel templates. Download the new form from State Judicial’s individual forms pages, or below.


  • JDF 228 – “Notice and Payment for Cost of Care of Animals Pursuant to § 18-9-202.5, C.R.S.” (Revised 9/12)

All of State Judicial’s forms may be found here.


Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 9/13/12

On Thursday, the Colorado Court of Appeals released eight published opinions and 37 unpublished opinions.


People v. Samuel Josef Mulberger

Chittenden v. Colorado Board of Social Work Examiners

People In Interest of K.W.

Henderson v. City & County of Denver

Ball Aerospace & Technologies Corp. v. City of Boulder

Cantina Grill v. City & County of Denver County Board of Equalization

Hertz Corp. v. Industrial Claim Appeals Office

People v. Simpson

Summaries of published cases are forthcoming, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions. The case announcement sheet is available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/12/12

On Tuesday, September 11, 2012, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinions and three unpublished opinions.

Reed v. Medina

Black v. Ezell

Rivera-Ortiz v. Holder

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