August 18, 2019

Archives for March 1, 2016

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 2/29/2016

On Monday, February 29, 2016, the Colorado Supreme Court issued five published opinions.

People v. Perez

Sebastian v. Douglas County

People v. Dean

People v. Graves

People v. Chavez-Barragan

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Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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: “Knowingly” Element of Identity Theft Statute Applies to “Of Another”

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Perez on Monday, February 29, 2016.

Criminal Law—Criminal Intent—False Pretenses—Identity Theft—Evidence—Sufficiency of Evidence.

The Supreme Court held that, in CRS § 18-5-902, the culpable mental state “knowingly” applies to the element “of another.” Therefore, to be guilty of identity theft, an offender must have used the identifying information of another person with knowledge that the information belonged to an actual person. The Court also concluded that the evidence in this case was sufficient to support defendant’s conviction under CRS § 18-5-902.

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Late Filing Not Allowed Under Excusable Neglect Because Claim Not Meritorious

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Sebastian v. Douglas County on Monday, February 29, 2016.

Hearing and Determination—Pleading—Civil Procedure.

In his action under 42 USC § 1983, plaintiff alleged that his Fourth Amendment rights were violated when he was bitten by a K-9 police dog. His claim was dismissed after he failed to respond to a motion to dismiss. Thereafter, he filed a motion to set aside the judgment under CRCP 60(b)(1), asserting that his failure to respond was caused by excusable neglect. The trial court denied the Rule 60(b)(1) motion, and the court of appeals affirmed, concluding that plaintiff failed to demonstrate that he had alleged a meritorious claim or defense, the second factor to be considered under Rule 60(b)(1). The court of appeals reasoned that plaintiff failed to allege an intentional seizure by the government as required under Brower v. County of Inyo, 489 U.S. 593, 596 (1989). More specifically, the court of appeals reasoned that an intentional seizure occurs when an officer releases a K-9 into a particular “space” and the plaintiff is bitten within that space.

The Supreme Court affirmed, but on narrower grounds. The Court rejected the court’s “space” analysis and instead found that the allegation regarding an intentional seizure in plaintiff’s complaint amounts to a legal conclusion, which is insufficient to allege a meritorious claim under Rule 60(b)(1).

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

Colorado Supreme Court: Equal Protection Challenge Does Not Apply to Parole Eligibility Date

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Dean v. People on Monday, February 29, 2016.

Equal Protection—Habitual Criminal Sentencing.

The Supreme Court addressed defendant’s contention that the interplay of the habitual criminal statute (CRS § 18-1.3-801) and the parole eligibility statute (CRS § 17-22.5-403), as applied here, violate his right to equal protection because he must serve a longer period of incarceration before he is eligible for parole than an habitual offender with a history of more serious felony convictions. The Court held that the habitual criminal sentencing scheme and the parole eligibility scheme are both rationally related to legitimate government purposes. Moreover, for purposes of an equal protection claim, a court compares the relative harshness of a penalty by reference to the maximum possible period of incarceration, not the timing of parole eligibility. The Court therefore concluded that the habitual criminal sentencing and parole eligibility scheme, as applied to defendant, do not violate Colorado’s guarantee of equal protection. Accordingly, the Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded the case with directions to correct the mittimus.

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

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 2/29/2016

On Monday, February 29, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued two published opinions and two unpublished opinions.

United States v. Jones

Lopez v. Colvin

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