December 17, 2018

Archives for September 24, 2018

Colorado Supreme Court: Announcement Sheet, 9/24/2018

On Monday, September 24, 2018, the Colorado Supreme Court issued three published opinions.

Casillas v. People

Bewley v. Semler

Estate of Brookoff v. Clark

Summaries of these cases are forthcoming.

Neither State Judicial nor the Colorado Bar Association provides case summaries for unpublished appellate opinions.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: Sentencing Scheme for Juvenile Offenders Does Not Violate Special Legislation Clause

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in People v. Brooks on Monday, September 17, 2018.

Special Legislation Clause—Sentencing—Felony Murder—Juvenile Sentencing.

This case required the supreme court to determine whether Colorado’s recently enacted sentencing scheme for juvenile offenders who received unconstitutional mandatory sentences to life in prison without the possibility of parole (LWOP) violates the Special Legislation Clause of the Colorado Constitution.

The court assumed without deciding that the revised sentencing scheme, which the General Assembly enacted in response to U.S. Supreme Court cases deeming unconstitutional mandatory LWOP sentences for juvenile offenders, is subject to the Special Legislation Clause and implicates one of the provisions enumerated therein. The Court then concluded that the revised sentencing scheme does not run afoul of the Colorado Constitution’s prohibition of special legislation because the statute creates a genuine class and its legislative classifications are reasonable. The Court rejected the People’s contentions that the class must be deemed illusory because it is “closed” and that the class is, in fact, closed to future members.

Accordingly, the Court discharged the rule to show cause.

Colorado Supreme Court: Innocent Investor to Ponzi Scheme Lacks Any Right to Return on Investment

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Lewis v. Taylor on Monday, September 17, 2018.

Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act—Ponzi Schemes—Reasonably Equivalent Value.

The supreme court held that under the Colorado Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act (CUFTA), an innocent investor who profits from his investment in an equity-type Ponzi scheme, lacking any right to a return on investment, does not provide reasonably equivalent value based simply on the time value of his investment. Here, an investor unwittingly invested in a Ponzi scheme. Before the scheme’s collapse, he withdrew his entire investment, plus a profit. A court-appointed receiver sued to claw back the investor’s profits under CUFTA, C.R.S. § 38-8-105(1)(a), which provides that a “transfer made . . . by a debtor is fraudulent as to a creditor . . . if the debtor made the transfer . . . [w]ith actual intent to hinder, delay, or defraud any creditor of the debtor.” The investor raised an affirmative defense, C.R.S. § 38-8-109(1), contending that he could keep his profit because he “took in good faith and for a reasonably equivalent value.” Because the time value of money is not a source of “value” under CUFTA and equity investors have no guarantee of any return on their investments, the court concluded that the investor did not provide “reasonably equivalent value” in exchange for his profit. Accordingly, the court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Tenth Circuit: Unpublished Opinions, 9/21/2018

On Friday, September 21, 2018, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued one published opinion and three unpublished opinions.

Avitabile v. State of Wyoming

Jamerson v. Heimgartner

United States v. Moya

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