August 21, 2019

Archives for September 2, 2015

Finalists Selected for Vacancy on Ninth Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of two finalists to fill a vacancy on the Ninth Judicial District Court. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of Hon. Gail Nichols, effective November 1, 2015.

The two nominees are Jefferson J. Cheney of New Castle and Christopher G. Seldin of Basalt. Jefferson Cheney is an associate at Kerst & Strautman, P.C., where he practices in the areas of probate and estate planning, trust and trust administration, protective proceedings, real property law, land use, oil and gas law, and litigation. Christopher Selden is an assistant Pitkin County Attorney, where he focuses on civil litigation, including land use, real estate law, eminent domain, property tax law, contract law, and child and adult protection.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from September 1, 2015, in which to select one of the nominees for appointment to the bench. Comments regarding either of the nominees may be emailed to the governor at For more information about the nominees, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Juvenile Petition Dismissed Where Acts Charged Occurred when Offender Under 10 Years Old

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People in Interest of P.K. on August 27, 2015.

Juvenile—Aggravated Incest—Subject Matter Jurisdiction—Age.

In 2011, when P.K. was 11 years old, he was charged with three counts of aggravated incest against his younger brother. P.K. was between 8 and 11 years old at the time of the alleged offenses. P.K. offered an admission to a single charge of aggravated incest. The juvenile court accepted P.K.’s admission and sentenced him to two years of supervised probation. After a second petition to revoke probation was filed against P.K., his counsel asserted that the juvenile court lacked subject matter jurisdiction to have taken P.K.’s admission and imposed a sentence because he was under 10 years old for over half of the charging period. The juvenile court denied his motion to withdraw his admission. P.K. appealed.

In assessing the jurisdiction of the juvenile court, the relevant inquiry is the age at which the alleged acts were committed, not the age at which a disposition was imposed. Here, the prosecution charged multiple dates within a range, some of which occurred when P.K. was under 10 years old. Because the juvenile court only has jurisdiction over children 10 years of age and older, the juvenile court was without jurisdiction to accept P.K.’s admission because the charging document was fatally defective by including dates in which P.K. was under the age of 10. The order was reversed and the case was remanded with directions to the juvenile court to dismiss the delinquency petition without prejudice.

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

Colorado Court of Appeals: Single Subject Rule for Charter Amendments Does Not Violate Municipal Home Rule Act

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights v. City of Colorado Springs on Thursday, August 27, 2015.

City Charter—Proposed Ballot Initiative—Single-Subject Rule—Municipal Home Rule Act.

Colorado Springs Citizens for Community Rights (CSCCR) is an advocacy group opposed to the use of hydraulic fracturing (fracking) in oil and gas production. In 2013, CSCCR attempted to amend the Charter of the City of Colorado Springs (City Charter) to prohibit fracking within city limits. CSCCR formed a petition committee, which drafted a proposed ballot initiative to amend the City Charter. The initiative was rejected by the Title Board. The basis for the rejection was the City’s single-subject rule, which states that the City’s Initiative Review Committee (IRC) and the Title Board “shall ensure that initiatives contain only single subjects to enable voters to understand the subject matter of the initiative.”

On appeal, CSCCR contended that the single-subject rule is effectively an amendment to the City Charter because it alters, or adds to, the charter’s amendment requirements. The Municipal Home Rule Act (MHRA) provides that citizens seeking to amend a city charter can initiate the amendment process by filing a petition containing “the text of the proposed amendment” with the city clerk. The MHRA does not define “proposed amendment” or provide substantive criteria for such an amendment. Therefore, the statute leaves room for a home rule municipality to establish the criteria of a proposed amendment to its charter. Here, the City exercised its legislative powers to enact criteria for proposed amendments to its charter—among them, the single-subject rule. Because the MHRA amendment procedures are undisturbed by the City’s single-subject rule, the rule does not conflict with or effectively amend the City Charter provision stating that the MHRA shall govern the submission of charter amendments. Therefore, the district court did not err by upholding the single-subject rule. The order was affirmed.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/1/2015

On Tuesday, September 1, 2015, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued three published opinions and four unpublished opinions.

United States v. McAlpine

United States v. Cortes-Ponce

Brewer v. Gilroy

Sweets v. Martin

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