April 20, 2019

Archives for July 17, 2015

Norma A. Sierra Appointed to 20th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointment of Norma A. Sierra to the bench of the Twentieth Judicial District Court. Sierra will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. D.D. Mallard, effective August 1, 2015.

Judge Sierra is currently a county court judge in Boulder County, where she has served since 2011. Prior to her appointment to the Boulder County Court, Judge Sierra was a magistrate in the Twentieth Judicial District from 2002 to 2011. Before moving to Boulder, she worked in the U.S. House of Representatives and at the U.S. Department of Justice. She received her undergraduate degree from University of Texas El Paso and her law degree from the University of Texas.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Intervention Inappropriate Where Interests Adequately Represented by Proper Party

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association, Inc. v. New Mexico Public Regulation Commission on Monday, June 1, 2015.

Tri-State Generation & Transmission Association is a Colorado regional non-profit electrical cooperative that provides wholesale electric power. In 1999, Tri-State and Plains Electric Generation & Transmission Cooperative applied to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (NMPRC) to allow the two entities to merge. They entered into a stipulation which required Tri-State to file an Advance Notice with the NMPRC prior to raising rates, provided member co-ops an opportunity to protest Tri-State’s rates, and provided procedures for the NMPRC to suspend rates, conduct a hearing, and “establish reasonable rates.”

In 2012, Tri-State notified NMPRC of its intent to increase rates in 2013. Kit Carson Electric Cooperative (KCEC), one of Tri-State’s member systems, along with two other member systems, filed protests objecting to the rate increase. The NMPRC suspended Tri-State’s rate increase for 2013. Tri-State again notified NMPRC of its intention to increase rates for 2014, and again NMPRC suspended the rate increase upon protests from KCEC and other member systems. Tri-State filed the present district court against NMPRC in 2013, and amended its complaint to include the 2014 denial.

KCEC sought to intervene as of right pursuant to F.R.C.P. 24(a)(2) and permissively pursuant to 24(b). Tri-State opposed intervention but NMPRC did not. The district court denied intervention both as of right and permissively, and KCED timely appealed.

The Tenth Circuit first evaluated KCEC’s claim that it was improperly denied intervention as of right. Because KCEC’s motion for intervention was timely filed, the Tenth Circuit questioned whether KCEC had an interest that could be impaired by the action’s disposition, and found that it did. The Tenth Circuit then moved to the question of whether KCEC’s interest was adequately represented by NMPRC. The Tenth Circuit found that KCEC’s and NMPRC’s litigation interests were identical, as well as their objectives in the proceeding. Because KCEC failed to overcome the presumption that NMPRC’s representation was adequate, the Tenth Circuit found no error in the district court’s determination that intervention as of right was inappropriate. The Tenth Circuit similarly found no abuse of discretion in the district court’s denial of permissive intervention.

The district court’s denial of KCEC’s intervention motion was affirmed.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Announcement Sheet, 7/16/2015

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Colorado Court of Appeals issued nine published opinions and 20 unpublished opinions.

People v. Ray

People v. Lancaster

People v. Cardenas

Oldham v. Pedrie

Ackerman v. City & County of Denver

Aspen Springs Metropolitan District v. Keno

Lucero v. Ulvestad

Marriage of Casagranda & Dixon

Arkansas Valley Publishing v. Lake County Board of County Commissioners

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.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 7/16/2015

On Thursday, July 16, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued no published opinion and four unpublished opinions.

Bandi v. Colvin

Mathison v. United States

Mitchell v. McGovern

United States v. Archuleta

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