June 26, 2019

Archives for May 26, 2014

Veterans Bills, Hepatitis C Bill, Marijuana Bills, and Many Others Signed by Governor

Though the General Assembly has adjourned for 2014, the governor continues to sign legislation. To date, the governor has signed 283 bills and vetoed two bills. He signed bills most days during the week of May 19, and signed veterans bills on Memorial Day – May 26, 2014. Some of these are summarized here.

Monday, May 19, 2014

  • SB 14-173 – Concerning the Recommendation that Certain Persons be Offered a Test for the Hepatitis C Virus, by Sens. Cheri Jahn & Steve King and Reps. Jonathan Singer & Frank McNulty. The bill recommends that health care providers offer a test to screen for hepatitis C to anyone born between 1945 and 1965.
  • SB 14-174 – Concerning the Creation of the Prosecution Fellowship Program, by Sens. Rollie Heath & Mike Johnston and Reps. Mike McLachlan & Dan Pabon. The bill provides a fund in the Department of Higher Education for fellowships for recent Colorado law school graduates to pursue careers as prosecutors in rural areas.

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

  • HB 14-1178 – Concerning a Sales and Use Tax Exemption for Qualified Property Used in Space Flight, and, In Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Reps. Mark Ferrandino & Brian DelGrosso and Sens. Mary Hodge & Kevin Grantham. The bill exempts qualified space flight personal property from sales and use tax.

Wednesday, May 21, 2014

  • SB 14-123 – Concerning the Authority of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board, and, In Connection Therewith, Providing Additional Rule-Making Authority; Raising the Maximum Fee for Certification and Skills Exams; Allowing Awarding Grants to Nonprofit Organizations; Denying Certification for Municipal Violations; and Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Daniel Kagan. The bill makes several adjustments to the rule-making authority of the Peace Officers Standards and Training Board and allows fee increases, denial of certification, and more.
  • SB 14-155 – Concerning Grant Funding for Medical Marijuana Health Effects Studies, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Reps. Jenise May & Crisanta Duran. The bill creates a grant program to fund scientific research on the use of marijuana as a part of medical treatment.
  • HB 14-1032 – Concerning the Provision of Defense Counsel to Juvenile Offenders, and, In Connection Therewith, Making and Reducing Appropriations, by Rep. Daniel Kagan and Sen. Lucia Guzman. The bill makes several changes to the procedures concerning providing defense counsel for juvenile offenders.
  • HB 14-1288 – Concerning Information Available Regarding Personal Belief Exemptions to Immunization Requirements for Children Prior to Attending School, by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sen. Irene Aguilar. The bill expands the requirements necessary for parents to waive the immunization requirement for their children prior to attending school.
  • HB 14-1361 – Concerning the Authority of the State Licensing Authority to Establish Equivalencies for Retail Marijuana Products, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Frank McNulty & Jonathan Singer and Sens. Lucia Guzman & Steve King. The bill requires the Department of Revenue to establish rules regarding the equivalency of marijuana flowers and marijuana concentrate by January 1, 2016.
  • HB 14-1366 – Concerning Reasonable Restrictions on the Sale of Edible Retail Marijuana Products, by Reps. Jonathan Singer & Frank McNulty and Sens. Mike Johnston & Steve King. The bill removes the requirement that marijuana flowers be sold in childproof packaging and maintains the requirement for edible marijuana products.

Thursday, May 22, 2014

  • SB 14-051 – Concerning Access to Records Relating to the Adoption of Children, and, In Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Sen. Lois Tochtrop and Rep. Lori Saine. The bill eliminates different standards for the release of adoption records, and generally seals those records from all but eligible recipients.
  • SB 14-118 – Concerning Improving Protections for Individuals with Disabilities, by Sen. Pat Steadman and Rep. Jovan Melton. The bill changes definitions to conform to the federal Americans with Disabilities Act and increases penalties for certain offenses.
  • HB 14-1042 – Concerning Access by Birth Parents to Records Relating to the Relinquishment of Parental Rights, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Lori Saine and Sen. Lois Tochtrop. The bill requires the custodian of records to release certain records to relinquishing birth parents at the time of relinquishment.
  • HB 14-1372 – Concerning Unauthorized Advertising for Adoption Purposes, by Reps. Kathleen Conti & Beth McCann and Sen. Vicki Marble. The bill prohibits advertising through a public medium for purposes of facilitating adoptions.

Monday, May 26, 2014

  • HB 14-1205 – Concerning the Veterans Assistance Grant Program, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill creates the Veterans Assistance Grant Program, which will provide financial assistance to nonprofit organizations and governmental agencies providing services to improve the health and well-being of veterans in the state.
  • HB 14-1373 – Concerning Individuals Who May Claim the Property Tax Exemption for Qualifying Seniors and Disabled Veterans, by Reps. Steve Lebsock & Ray Scott and Sens. Larry Crowder & Rachel Zenzinger. The bill allows certain individuals to claim a property tax exemption when those individuals would not ordinarily be allowed to claim the exemption.

For a list of the governor’s legislative decisions, click here.

Proposed Rule Changes to Water Court Rules 6 and 11

The Colorado Supreme Court Water Court Committee is seeking comments on proposed changes to Water Court Rule 6, “Referral to Referee, Case Management, Rulings, and Decrees,” and Rule 11, “Pre-Trial Procedure, Case Management, Disclosure, and Simplification of Issues.” A redline of the proposed changes is available here.

The Water Court Committee would like public comments before submitting its changes to the Colorado Supreme Court. Comments may be emailed to Justice Hobbs, the chair of the Water Court Committee, by 5 p.m. on June 13, 2014.

Colorado Court of Appeals: CRE 608(b) Not Impediment to Admission of Evidence that Directly Contradicts Testimony

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Thomas on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Challenge for Cause—Juror—Hardship—Prior Inconsistent Statement—Fifth Amendment Right to Remain Silent—Impeachment—Credibility—CRE 608(b).

Defendant, his brother, and their friends were drinking and socializing at a bar when they met two women, H.F. and J.L. The group became intoxicated. After the bar closed, the group got into a sport utility vehicle to travel to defendant’s house. A single vehicle crash resulted in the death of one passenger and significant injuries to five other passengers.

On appeal, defendant contended that the trial court erred in granting the prosecution’s challenge for cause to a prospective juror. Because the record regarding the potential juror’s work and sleep schedule, and his family situation, supports the court’s dismissal of the prospective juror under CRS § 13-71-121 based on hardship, the court did not abuse its discretion in dismissing the juror on that ground.

Defendant argued that the trial court erred by admitting J.L.’s statements to other witnesses indicating that defendant was the driver during the crash. J.L. testified at trial that she could not recall any of the events surrounding the crash and could not recall her prior answers to questions about who was the driver. Her testimony that she could not recall her prior statements amounted to a denial that she had made them, and satisfied the requirement for inconsistency. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in admitting J.L.’s prior inconsistent statements for the purpose of proving who was driving the vehicle at the time of the crash.

Defendant also contended that the trial court violated his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent by admitting evidence of his silence in response to an accusation that he was the driver. Admission of his silence as an adoptive admission did not violate defendant’s constitutional right against self-incrimination, because his silence did not occur during a custodial interrogation.

Defendant also asserted that the trial court erred by allowing the prosecution to cross-examine him about his stated intent to deceive the court regarding his employment status, and by admitting the audiotape admitting this fact to his mother in rebuttal. CRE 608(b) allowed the prosecutor to impeach defendant’s credibility by asking questions about specific instances of conduct that were probative of his character for truthfulness or untruthfulness, including his stated intent to deceive the trial court about his employment status. Further, under the doctrine of specific contradiction, CRE 608(b) is not an impediment to admission of evidence that specifically contradicts testimony of a witness on direct or redirect examination. The judgment was affirmed.

Summary and full case available here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Opinion Testimony that Witnesses Were Not Coached Impermissible and Warrants New Trial

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Bridges on Thursday, May 22, 2014.

Sexual Abuse—Forensic Interview—Credibility—Testimony.

S.B., defendant’s daughter, alleged that he had sexually abused her. At trial, there was no physical evidence that defendant had sexually abused S.B., and the only direct evidence of the abuse was S.B.’s trial testimony and the video of her forensic interview in which she described the abuse. The jury found defendant guilty of one count of sexual assault on a child (no pattern), one count of aggravated incest, and one count of enticement of a child.

On appeal, defendant argued that the court erred by allowing the forensic interviewer to testify that S.B. and A.Q., S.B.’s stepsister, had not been coached in their respective forensic interviews. An interviewer may not usurp the jury’s role of assessing the credibility of a particular witness’s statement by offering an ultimate conclusion about the statement’s truthfulness. Here, the forensic interviewer’s testimony that S.B. and A.Q. had not been coached constituted conclusions about their truthfulness in their respective interviews. This was impermissible opinion testimony about the credibility of another witness’s statement. The court erred by admitting it over defendant’ objection. Because it could not be concluded that admission of this statement did not substantially influence the verdict or impair the fairness of the trial, the judgment of conviction was reversed and the case was remanded for a new trial.

Summary and full case available here.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/23/2014

On Friday, May 23, 2014, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

United States v. Reese

United States v. Chon

Payne v. Turley

Torain v. Morrissey

Case summaries are not provided for unpublished opinions. However, published opinions are summarized and provided by Legal Connection.