August 26, 2019

Archives for May 26, 2015

Bills Regarding Endangered Species Preservation, Career Training, and More Signed

On Friday, May 22, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed seven bills into law, and on Tuesday, May 26, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper signed four bills into law. To date, he has signed 252 bills into law this legislative session. The bills signed Friday and Tuesday are summarized here.

Friday, May 22, 2015

  • HB 15-1321 – Concerning Measures to Support Rural School Districts, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Brittany Pettersen & Jim Wilson and Sens. Kevin Grantham & Kerry Donovan. The bill provides administrative flexibility for funding for small rural school districts.
  • HB 15-1277 – Concerning Measures to Effectuate the Conservation of Native Species in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Making Appropriations from the Species Conservation Trust Fund for Purposes Recommended by the Department of Natural Resources, by Rep. Ed Vigil and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill transfers funds for the purpose of conserving native species that are threatened or endangered.
  • SB 15-199 – Concerning the Continuation of the Funding for the Habitat Partnership Program in the Division of Parks and Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill continues a program that transfers moneys from big game licenses to the Habitat Partnership Cash Fund.
  • SB 15-226 – Concerning the Education Requirements Necessary to Qualify for a License to Take Wildlife, by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Rep. Ed Vigil. The bill allows the Parks and Wildlife Commission to establish alternatives to a mandatory hunter education course.
  • HB 15-1315 – Concerning Support for County Veterans Service Officers, by Rep. Su Ryden and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill eliminates a requirement that counties match DMVA funding for county veterans service officers.
  • HB 15-1307 – Concerning a Modification in the Definition of the Term “Qualified Commercial Structure” as the Term is Used in the “Colorado Job Creation and Main Street Revitalization Act”, by Rep. Daneya Esgar and Sen. Pat Steadman. The bill changes the definition of a qualified commercial structure for purposes of the historic preservation tax credit.
  • HB 15-1275 – Concerning Measures to Support Enrollment in Career and Technical Education Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Rep. Faith Winter and Sens. Rollie Heath & Vicki Marble. The bill clarifies that career and technical course work related to apprenticeship and internship programs may be used for concurrent enrollment.

Tuesday, May 26, 2015

  • HB 15-1170 – Concerning Measures to Raise the Level of Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness that Colorado Students Demonstrate upon Graduation from High School, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Owen Hill & Rollie Heath. The bill adds a requirement of consideration of college enrollment to statistical performance indicator data.
  • HB 15-1180 – Concerning the Creation of a State Sales and Use Tax Refund for Tangible Personal Property that is Used in Colorado for Research and Development by a Qualified Medical Technology or Clean Technology Taxpayer, by Reps. Tracy Kraft-Tharp & Jim Wilson and Sens. Rollie Heath & Chris Holbert. The bill creates a sales and use tax refund for equipment used in clean technology and medical device firms with 35 or fewer employees.
  • HB 15-1230 – Concerning the Creation of the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Pete Lee & Mike Foote and Sens. Rollie Heath & John Cooke. The bill creates the Innovative Industries Workforce Development Program to reimburse employers with high-level internships and apprenticeships in innovative industries.
  • HB 15-1276 – Concerning the Creation of a Matching Grant Program to Facilitate Recruitment for Skilled Worker Training Programs, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation, by Reps. Dan Pabon & Angela Williams and Sens. John Cooke & Rollie Heath. The bill creates the Skilled Worker Outreach, Recruitment, and Key Training Grant Program to offer grants for training skills that are needed in the workplace and to provide a certificate upon completion.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2015 legislative decisions, click here.

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 5/26/2015

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Colorado Supreme Court issued four published opinions.

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Medical Lien Management, Inc.

Reno v. Marks

People v. Porter

Coffman v. Williamson

Summaries of these 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.

Colorado Supreme Court: Assignment Ineffective Where Personal Injury Suit As Yet Undetermined

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Allstate Insurance Co. v. Medical Lien Management, Inc. on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Purported Assignment of Future Contract Rights—Purported Assignment of Future Personal Injury Proceeds.

Allstate Insurance Co. (Allstate) petitioned for review of the court of appeals’ judgment reversing the dismissal of a breach of assignment claim brought by Medical Lien Management, Inc. (MLM). Notwithstanding allegations of the complaint to the contrary, the district court effectively construed MLM’s Lien and Security Agreement with a motor vehicle accident victim, upon which the complaint was premised, as failing to assign the victim’s right to the proceeds of his personal injury lawsuit against Allstate’s insured. By contrast, the court of appeals found a valid assignment to MLM of all rights to the future proceeds from the victim’s personal injury claim in an amount equal to the costs of medical services paid for by MLM, as well as a sufficient allegation in the complaint of an enforceable obligation by Allstate to pay the assigned sums to MLM. The Supreme Court reversed, holding that the court of appeals erred in finding the purported assignment in this case—an as-yet indeterminable portion of proceeds of an unresolved personal injury claim—to be effective against Allstate.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Official Custodian’s Denial of Records Request Proper so No Entitlement to Attorney Fee Award

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Reno v. Marks on Tuesday, May 26, 2015.

Colorado Open Records Act—CRS § 24-72-204—Costs and Attorney Fees.

In this case brought under the Colorado Open Records Act, the Supreme Court held that where an official custodian of records brings a court action under CRS § 24-72-204(6)(a) seeking an order restricting or prohibiting disclosure of records, a records requestor may recover costs and reasonable attorney fees in accordance with CRS § 24-72-204(5). Under subsection 204(5), a prevailing records requestor is entitled to costs and attorney fees unless the district court finds that the denial of the right of inspection was proper. Here, the district court’s order reflects that the official custodian’s denial of the request was proper. Consequently, the records requestor was not entitled to attorney fees.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/26/2015

On Tuesday, May 26, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Garewal v. Sliz

United States v. Garcia-Chihuahua

Vreeland v. Schwartz

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

 

 

Colorado Court of Appeals: No Requirement of Exhaustion of Tortfeasor’s Liability Policy Prior to Collecting UIM Benefits

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Tubbs v. Farmers Insurance Exchange on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Uninsured/Underinsured Motorist Coverage—Exhaustion Clause.

Tubbs was involved in a car accident in California with another driver. The accident was the other driver’s fault, and Tubbs suffered damages. The other driver’s auto insurance had a $100,000 liability limit. Tubbs was insured by Farmers Insurance Exchange (Farmers), and his policy included uninsured/underinsured motorist (UIM)coverage with a limit of $500,000. Tubbs accepted a $30,000 settlement from the other driver. He then sought to recover under his Farmers policy’s UIM provision, claiming that his total damages exceeded $100,000. Farmers refused to pay benefits, stating that Tubbs did not meet the conditions of the UIM clause, which required him to exhaust the limits of the liable party’s policy before making a UIM claim. The trial court entered summary judgment in favor of Farmers.

On appeal, Tubbs argued that the exhaustion clause in the UIM policy was void and unenforceable. UIM policies are required to cover the difference between the damages the insured party suffered and the limit of any liable party’s legal liability coverage, regardless of whether the insured party’s recovery from the liable party exhausted that limit. As applied to the facts of this case, CRS § 10-4-609(1)(c) requires that Farmers cover Tubbs for damages he sustained in excess of $100,000 (the other driver’s legal liability limit), in an amount up to $500,000 (the limit of Tubbs’s UIM coverage), regardless of how much, if any, he actually recovered under the other driver’s legal liability coverage. Because the exhaustion clause imposes a condition precedent on coverage mandated by the statute, the clause was void and unenforceable. The summary judgment was reversed and the case was remanded for further proceedings.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Defendant Entitled to Crim. P. 35 Hearing on Justifiable Excuse or Excusable Neglect in Counsel’s Advice

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Martinez-Huerta on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Crim.P. 35(c)—Immigration—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Affirmative Advice—Justifiable Excuse—Justifiable Neglect.

In April 2007, defendant, a citizen of Mexico and a lawful permanent resident of the United States, pleaded guilty to vehicular eluding, a class 5 felony. At that time, he also admitted to violating the terms of his deferred judgment and sentence on an unrelated 2006 felony. In July 2007, the court sentenced him in both cases. In August 2013, defendant was placed into removal proceedings pursuant to § 237(a)(2)(A)(ii) of the Immigration and Nationality Act, as a noncitizen who, after admission, was convicted of two crimes involving moral turpitude not arising out of a single scheme of criminal misconduct. He was ordered removed from the United States in December 2013. In 2014, defendant filed a Crim.P. 35(c) motion seeking to withdraw his guilty plea, alleged ineffective assistance of plea counsel because his defense attorney assured him that a conviction would not have any immigration consequences. The trial court summarily denied his Crim.P. 35(c) motion as time barred. Defendant appealed.

When a defendant alleges that the untimely filing of a Crim.P. 35(c) motion resulted from a reasonable reliance on plea counsel’s affirmative but erroneous advice about the immigration consequences of the plea, causing the defendant to neglect to pursue timely collateral relief, the defendant is entitled to ahearing on the issue of justifiable excuse or excusable neglect. Therefore, the order was reversed and the case was remanded for a hearing on the merits of defendant’s Crim.P. 35(c) motion.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: State Entitled to Attorney Fees for Successful Subpoena Enforcement Action

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in State of Colorado v. Vaden Law Firm, LLC on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Investigative Subpoena—Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Attorney Fees.

The State of Colorado served an investigative subpoena on respondent Vaden Law Firm LLC (Vaden) pursuant to CRS § 6-1-108(1) of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act. The State sought records pertaining to costs Vaden had tried to recover on behalf of lenders in foreclosure actions. Vaden refused to produce any records. The State filed an application to enforce the Vaden subpoena in Denver District Court pursuant to CRS § 6-1-109. The court ordered Vaden to produce the requested records but denied the State’s request for attorney fees.

On appeal, the State contended that the district court’s denial of attorney fees was contrary to the plain language of CRS § 6-1-113(4). Subsection 113(4) requires an award of attorney fees and costs in all actions in which the Attorney General “successfully enforces this article.” This includes an award of attorney fees and costs in favor of the State when the State successfully enforces an investigative subpoena pursuant to the procedure dictated by CRS § 6-1-109. Accordingly, the district court’s order was vacated and the case was remanded for a determination of the State’s reasonable attorney fees and costs to be awarded against Vaden.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Waiver of Governmental Immunity Requires Showing of Excessive Speed and Endangering Life or Property

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Dempsey v. Denver Police Department on Thursday, May 21, 2015.

Personal Injury—Interlocutory Appeal—CRS § 24-10-108—Automobile Accident—Police Officer—Colorado Governmental Immunity Act.

Plaintiffs were struck by a police vehicle driven by Officer Jossi, who was en route to a possible robbery and traveling at a high rate of speed. Plaintiffs brought this action against Officer Jossi, along with the Denver Police Department and the City and County of Denver (collectively, Denver), seeking compensation for the injuries they sustained in the accident.Denver moved to dismiss the claims against it on the basis that the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction under theColorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA). The trial court denied the motion, and Denver appealed.

To find a waiver of immunity, the trial court was required to find that Officer Jossi both exceeded the lawful speed limit, taking into consideration any traffic conditions that would qualify as a “special hazard” to require a lower speed, and endangered life and property. The record does not clearly demonstrate that the trial court made a finding as to whether Officer Jossi was exceeding the lawful speed limit at the relevant time. Therefore, the order was vacated and the case was remanded for further findings.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 5/22/2015

On Friday, May 22, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and seven unpublished opinions.

United States v. Garcia-Rodriguez

Johnson v. Department of Veterans Affairs

Ashley v. Trani

United States v. Hill

United States v. Olguin

Matson v. Hrabe

United States v. Hopkins

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