July 18, 2019

Colorado Court of Appeals: Complaint Timely Filed in ICCES Despite Selection of Wrong District Court

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Maslak v. Town of Vail on Thursday, January 15, 2015.

CRCP 106(a)(4)—Complaint—E-filing—Lack of Subject Matter Jurisdiction.

The Town of Vail (Town) and the Vail Recreation District (VRD) submitted an application to the Planning Commission to amend the Vail Golf Course’s conditional use permit so the golf course could be expanded to accommodate an events center. Over the objections of plaintiffs (collectively, homeowners), the Planning Commission approved the application. The homeowners appealed the Planning Commission’s decision to the Town Council, which upheld the decision. The homeowners then filed a CRCP 106(a)(4) complaint, seeking review of the Town Council’s decision. Although the complaint was timely filed, it was inadvertently e-filed in Denver District Court, the wrong district court. The complaint was thereafter e-filed in the Eagle County District Court, the correct district court, but by then it was not timely. The court granted defendants’ motions to dismiss for lack of subject matter jurisdiction and awarded defendants their attorney fees.

On appeal, the homeowners contended that, because their complaint was timely filed (albeit in the wrong court), the Eagle County District Court erred in dismissing it for lack of subject matter jurisdiction. The Court of Appeals agreed. The fact that the homeowners e-filed their complaint with the Denver District Court did not deprive the Eagle County District Court of its subject matter jurisdiction over the action. Furthermore, submitting the complaint to the “correct court” pursuant to the Denver District Court Clerk’s e-filing rejection notice instructions, did not constitute the filing of an entirely new and separate action for purposes of invoking district court jurisdiction within the twenty-eight-day jurisdictional window. The orders were vacated and the case was remanded with directions.

Summary and full case available here, courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

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