August 14, 2018

Archives for March 14, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act Did Not Create Legislative Contract

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in School Dist. No. 1 v. Masters on Monday, March 12, 2018.

In this case, the supreme court considers two questions. First, it considers whether the General Assembly, by enacting the Teacher Employment, Compensation, and Dismissal Act of 1990 (“TECDA”), created a legislative contract that it later impaired by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) (2017). Second, it considers whether a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(IV) is deprived of due process. The supreme court holds that TECDA did not create a legislative contract or vest nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave with a property interest in salary and benefits. The supreme court therefore concludes that the General Assembly has not impaired a contractual obligation by enacting the unpaid-leave provisions, and that nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave have not suffered a violation of their right to due process.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Nonprobationary Teachers Placed on Unpaid Leave Have No Vested Property Interest in Salary and Benefits

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Johnson v. School Dist. No. 1 on Monday, March 12, 2018.

In this case, the supreme court considers two certified questions from the United States Court of Appeals for the Tenth Circuit. The first is whether the unpaid-leave provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) (2017) apply to all nonprobationary teachers who are not employed in a “mutual consent” placement, or only to those who are displaced for the reasons enumerated in C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(VII). The second is whether a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63- 202(2)(c.5)(IV) is deprived of a state property interest in salary and benefits. The supreme court holds that the provisions of C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5) apply to all displaced nonprobationary teachers, not just nonprobationary teachers who are displaced because of a reason stated in section 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(VII). The supreme court further holds that nonprobationary teachers who are placed on unpaid leave have no vested property interest in salary and benefits, meaning a nonprobationary teacher who is placed on unpaid leave under C.R.S. § 22-63-202(2)(c.5)(IV) is not deprived of a state property interest.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Trial Court Did Not Abuse Discretion by Failing to Appoint GAL Sua Sponte

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Ybanez v. People on Monday, March 12, 2018.

Ybanez petitioned for review of the court of appeals’ judgment affirming his conviction of first degree murder and directing that his sentence of life without the possibility of parole be modified only to the extent of permitting the possibility of parole after forty years. See People v. Ybanez, No. 11CA0434 (Colo. App. Feb. 13, 2014). In an appeal of his conviction and sentence, combined with an appeal of the partial denial of his motion for postconviction relief, the intermediate appellate court rejected Ybanez’s assertions that the trial court abused its discretion and violated his constitutional rights by failing to sua sponte appoint a guardian ad litem; that he was denied the effective assistance of counsel both because his counsel’s performance was adversely affected by a non-waivable conflict of interest under which that counsel labored and because he was prejudiced by a deficient performance by his counsel; and that he was entitled to an individualized determination regarding the length of his sentence rather than merely the possibility of parole after forty years.

The supreme court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded the case with directions to return it to the trial court for resentencing consistent with the supreme court opinion, for the reasons that Ybanez lacked any constitutional right to a guardian ad litem and the trial court did not abuse its discretion in not appointing one as permitted by statute; that Ybanez failed to demonstrate either an adverse effect resulting from an actual conflict of interest, even if his counsel actually labored under a conflict, or that he was prejudiced by his counsel’s performance, even if it actually fell below the required standard of competent representation; and that Ybanez is constitutionally and statutorily entitled only to an individualized determination whether life without the possibility of parole or life with the possibility of parole after forty years is the appropriate sentence.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 3/13/2018

On Tuesday, March 13, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued four published opinions and five unpublished opinions.

Balding v. Sunbelt Steel Texas, Inc.

Kendall v. Olsen

Cross v. Bear

United States v. Moncada

Jacobs v. Commissioner of Internal Revenue

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