March 26, 2019

Archives for June 29, 2016

Colorado Supreme Court: Possibility of Innocent Explanation is Merely a Factor in Totality of Probable Cause Determination

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Zuniga on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Probable Cause to Search—Totality of the Circumstances—Marijuana Odor.

In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court reversed the trial court and held  that the odor of marijuana is relevant to the totality of the circumstances test and can contribute to a probable cause determination. Even though possession of one ounce or less of marijuana is allowed under Colorado law, many marijuana-related activities remain unlawful, meaning the odor of marijuana can support an inference that a crime is ongoing. Under the facts of this case, the Court concluded that there was probable cause to search the vehicle for illegal drugs in light of the two occupants’ divergent stories about their time visiting Colorado, their “extreme” nervousness, the strong odor of raw marijuana coming from the vehicle, and a drug-sniffing dog’s alert.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Workers’ Compensation Insurer Not Required to Provide Notice of Cancellation to Certificate Holder

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Pinnacol Assurance v. Hoff on Monday, June 27, 2016.

Workers’ Compensation Insurance—Promissory Estoppel—Certificates of Insurance—Notice of Cancellation.

The Supreme Court considered whether an insurer had a contractual or statutory obligation to notify a non-insured holder of a certificate of insurance when the insurance policy evidenced by the certificate was cancelled. Because the certificate said notice of cancellation “will be delivered in accordance with the policy provisions” and the insurance policy did not promise notice to certificate holders, the Court concluded that the insurer had no contractual obligation to provide notice of cancellation to the certificate holder. The Court further concluded that no provision or public policy contained in the Workers’ Compensation Act required the insurer to provide such notice. Therefore, the Court reversed the judgment of the Court of Appeals.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 6/28/2016

On Tuesday, June 28, 2016, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one  published opinion and five unpublished opinions.

O’Connor v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

United States v. Ceballos-Lepe

United States v. Moudy

Clark v. Fallin

United States v. Jack

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