May 25, 2019

Archives for June 16, 2015

Colorado Supreme Court: Lawful Off-Duty Activities Not Limited to State Law

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Coats v. Dish Network, LLC on Monday, June 15, 2015.

Labor and Employment—Protected Activities.

The Supreme Court held that under the plain language of CRS § 24-34-402.5, Colorado’s lawful activities statute, the term “lawful” refers only to those activities that are lawful under both state and federal law. Therefore, employees who engage in an activity that is permitted by state law but unlawful under federal law, such as use of medical marijuana, are not protected by the statute. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ opinion.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Limited Admission of Other Bad Act Evidence Unfairly Prejudicial

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Perez v. People on Monday, June 15, 2015.

Prior Bad Acts Evidence—Limiting Instructions—Harmless Error Review.

Defendant sought review of the court of appeals’ decision affirming his sexual assault and kidnapping convictions. The trial court allowed CRE 404(b) evidence for the limited purpose of showing defendant’s intent to commit sexual assault or unlawful sexual contact on a child for the count of enticement of a child. The court of appeals found that the trial court abused its discretion when it allowed the evidence and that the error was not harmless. It then reversed the enticement conviction but affirmed the other two convictions.

The Supreme Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment and vacated defendant’s remaining convictions. When the trial court erred in admitting 404(b) evidence of defendant’s prior bad acts for a single count, the error was not harmless as to the convictions on the two remaining counts because (1) all of the counts for which defendant was convicted included a similar element regarding sexual conduct, and (2) the prosecutor’s statements and arguments urged the jury to consider the 404(b) evidence beyond its limited scope and implied that it was relevant to all counts.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Aggravated Range Sentence Supported by Mandatory Sentencing Statute

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Hunsaker, Jr. v. People on Monday, June 15, 2015.

Mandatory Sentencing—Crim.P. 35(a) and (b)—Prosecutorial Appeal—Colorado Sex Offender Lifetime Supervision Act.

Defendant appealed his sentence on his conviction for sexual assault on a child–pattern of abuse, a class 3 felony. The Supreme Court held that (1) when a conviction is for a sex offense that requires sentencing in accordance with the mandatory sentencing statute, the prosecution is not required to prove aggravating circumstances to support a bottom-end sentence in the aggravated range; (2) the prosecution here is authorized to appeal the post-conviction court’s ruling on the defendant’s Crim.P. 35(a) motion because it challenges the legal basis for the range the post-conviction court used to impose the sentence; (3) under Crim.P. 35(a), the illegality of a sentence on one count does not entitle a defendant to resentencing on other counts with legal sentences; and (4) if a sentence is subject to correction on one count, Crim.P. 35(b) authorizes a resentencing court to reconsider and reduce the legal sentences as to all counts after it has corrected the entire sentence. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment reversing and remanding the case to the post-conviction court to reinstate defendant’s sentence of sixteen years to life on his conviction for sexual assault on a child–pattern of abuse. The Court held that, on remand to the post-conviction court, defendant may seek reconsideration of his sentence under Crim.P. 35(b).

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/15/2015

On Monday, June 15, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and two unpublished opinions.

Mejia v. Sorenson

Mbaku v. Bank of America, N.A.

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