August 25, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Contracting Jail Nurse Not “Compensated Employee” of Law Enforcement Agency

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Mulberger v. People on Monday, February 22, 2016.

Criminal Case Jury Selection—Challenges for Cause.

The Supreme Court held that, under the plain language of the challenge for cause statute, CRS § 16-10-103(1)(k), a “compensated employee of a public law enforcement agency” is a person who provides labor and services to, is paid by, and receives direction from a public law enforcement agency. The potential juror in this case contracted with and received compensation from a private agency for work she performed as a nurse at a county jail. That potential juror therefore was not a “compensated employee” of the county jail because she was not paid by the county jail, and the record does not contain any evidence that she was subject to the jail personnel’s direction and control. Accordingly, the trial court did not err in denying defendant’s challenge for cause. Because the trial court did not err, the Court did not address the issue concerning the proper remedy for a trial court’s erroneous ruling on a challenge for cause.

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

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