September 25, 2018

Justice Martinez of Colorado Supreme Court to Be Named Denver’s Manager of Safety

According to The Denver Post, Colorado Supreme Court Justice Alex Martinez is expected to be named as Denver’s Manger of Safety today.

Justice Martinez is expected to resign his seat on the bench when he assumes the role of overseeing police and fire in the city.

Click here to read the breaking news article from The Denver Post.

Budget Shortfall Leads to Shuttering of Four Denver County Court Offices

Denver County Court’s four satellite offices around the city will permanently close as of November 1, due to budgetary and staffing shortages.

The four satellite offices to close are located at Bear Valley, Montbello, 44th & Lowell, and West Mississippi.

Ticket fines may be paid online for a variety of minor infractions. The court’s FAQ details the types of offenses eligible for online payment here.

Parties charged with offenses that require a court appearance or fees to be paid in person, or needing information not covered by the court’s FAQ, are urged to contact the appropriate court listed below:

Traffic Division

City and County Building

1437 Bannock Street, Room 109

Denver, CO  80202

(720) 865-7840

Criminal and General Sessions Divisions

Office of Clerk of Court

Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse

520 W. Colfax Avenue Room 160

Denver, CO  80204

(720) 337-0410

Denver County Court Closed for Business on Friday, October 15

Denver County Court will be closed on Friday, October 15, for a mandatory furlough day.

Court business as usual will resume on Monday, October 18.

Colorado Division of Labor to Hold Rulemaking Hearing on Minimum Wage

A proposed amendment to the Code of Colorado Regulations (CCR) regarding Colorado’s minimum wage is the subject of a public hearing slated for early November.

The Colorado Department of Labor & Employment’s Division of Labor (DOL) invites public comment on the measure being considered for addition to 7 CCR 1103-1,”Colorado Minimum Wage Order,” that will bring the CCR in line with the state minimum wage pursuant to the Colorado Constitution. Colorado’s minimum wage of $7.24 per hour went into effect January 1, 2010, and will increase again to $7.36 per hour on January 1, 2011. A redline showing all proposed changes is available here.

Interested parties are encouraged to attend the rulemaking hearing on Friday, November 5, on the second floor of the DOL office, located in Downtown Denver at 633 17th Street. The hearing is scheduled to begin at 2:00 p.m.

For more information, contact Amanda Neal at the DOL, (303) 318-8460.

Internal Revenue Service to Provide Relief to Homeowners with Corrosive Damage Due to Toxic Imported Drywall

The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is offering relief to taxpayers who have incurred property loss caused by the presence of toxic imported drywall that was installed in their homes between 2001 and 2009.

Revenue Procedure 2010-36 (pdf) enables qualified taxpayers to claim as a casualty loss any damage to homes and provides a “safe harbor” method for calculating the loss amount.

Eligible corrosive drywall must be identified by a two-step process described by the U.S. Department of Housing & Urban Development: first, there must be visual evidence of blackened copper electrical coilings and/or air conditioning evaporator coils; and second, the drywall must have been installed between 2001 and 2009. Additional corroboration of the property’s eligibility for special tax treatment will follow when these two criteria have been met.

According to an IRS news release, the revisions provide:

  • Individuals who pay to repair damage to their personal residences or household appliances resulting from corrosive drywall may treat the amount paid as a casualty loss in the year of payment.
  • Taxpayers who have already filed their income tax return for the year of payment generally have three years to file an amended return and claim the deduction.The amount of a loss that may be claimed depends on whether the taxpayer has a pending claim for reimbursement (or intends to pursue reimbursement) of the loss through property insurance, litigation or otherwise.
  • In cases where a taxpayer does not have a pending claim for reimbursement, the taxpayer may claim as a loss all unreimbursed amounts paid during the taxable year to repair damage to the taxpayer’s personal residence and household appliances resulting from corrosive drywall.
  • If a taxpayer does have a pending claim (or intends to pursue reimbursement), a taxpayer may claim a loss for 75 percent of the unreimbursed amount paid during the taxable year to repair damage to the taxpayer’s personal residence and household appliances that resulted from corrosive drywall.

Homeowners who suspect they have corrosive drywall should file a report with the U.S. Consumer Product Safety Commission by calling (800) 638-2772 or visiting www.cpsc.gov/cgibin/drywall.aspx.

The issue of toxic imported drywall, typically of Chinese manufacture, came light in 2009 amidst widespread reports of electrical failure, sulphuric fumes emissions, and respiratory problems experienced by owners of newly built homes constructed during last decade’s housing boom.

(image source: Wikimedia Commons)

Colorado Supreme Court Adopts Proposed Changes to C.R.C.P. 16, 47

The Colorado Supreme Court this month adopted two proposed changes to the Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.) that were submitted to the court for consideration earlier this year.

The amendment to C.R.C.P. 16, “Case Management and Trial Management,” adds language to the Rules that in jury trials, “the parties shall confer regarding the amount of time requested for juror examination and provide their positions along with their reasons therefore.”

The amendment to C.R.C.P. 47, “Jurors,” adds language explaining the circumstances under which a party may request additional time for juror examination.

The court approved the amendments, en banc, on September 16, and became effective immediately.

Bankruptcy Forms Now Available as Editable PDF Templates

The United States Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado has made all of its forms available as editable PDF templates. Local Forms may be downloaded and saved, or filled out online and printed, from the Forms page on the court’s website.

Finalists Announced for 4th Judicial District, El Paso County Judgeships

The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission has selected six finalists for two vacancies on the Fourth Judicial District bench and three finalists for one vacancy on the El Paso County bench, State Judicial announced on Thursday.

The seven-member Commission recommended Colorado Springs lawyers William Burlingham Bain, Debra Campeau, HayDen William Kane II, Diana Kay May, Michael Paul McHenry, and Regina Marie Walter to Gov. Ritter for his consideration for the two judgeships in the district court.

For the single opening at the El Paso County Court, the Commission recommended Fotios (Fred) Michael Burtzos, Sheilagh Ann McAteer, and Douglas Joseph Miles, All three nominees hail from Colorado Springs.

As proscribed by the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days to select his appointees.

The three new judgeships were authorized by the passage of House Bill 07-1054 (pdf) in 2007, which funded several new positions on district and county court benches in Colorado.

State, Federal Employment Claims Checklist Available

Earlier this year, we released the 2010 Supplement to the second edition of The Practitioner’s Guide to Colorado Employment Law.

Included in the supplement was this handy list of “Possible Legal Claims in Employment Cases,” including statutory claims at the state and federal levels, as well as state common law claims.

Checklist of Possible Legal Claims in Employment Cases

Montezuma County Court Seeks Successor to Judge Plewe Following His Appointment to District Court Bench

When Montezuma County Court Judge Todd J. Plewe was appointed to the Twenty-Second Judicial District Court bench last week, his departure from the county court bench created a vacancy, for which applicants are now being sought by the commission charged with finding his successor.

The Twenty-Second District Judicial Nominating Commission plans to convene on Friday, October 15 to review applications and recommend nominees to fill the vacancy. The meeting will be held at the Montezuma County Courthouse, 109 W. Main St., in Cortez. Following the interviews, the Commission will recommend finalists for Gov. Ritter to consider for appointment. The governor must announce the appointment within the 15-day period proscribed by the Colorado Constitution.

Judges in Montezuma County Court hear a mixed docket of traffic and misdemeanor cases, felony preliminary hearings, and domestic abuse restraining orders for the 25,000 residents of the county. The incoming county court judge will receive a provisional, two-year appointment by the governor, after which he or she is retained by voter approval every four years. The Montezuma County Court judgeship is a part-time (90 percent) position, with an annual salary of $110,760.30.

Registered electors in Montezuma County who are high school graduates or have attained its equivalence (via a GED) are eligible to apply for the judgeship. Detailed information about Montezuma County and the application are available online. Application packages (consisting of one original application plus seven copies) must be received by the office of Commission ex officio chair, Justice Michael L. Bender, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Eighth Floor, no later than Monday, October 4, at 5:00 p.m.

Judge Plewe took the oath of office in 2002, when he was appointed to the Montezuma County Court bench after several years in private practice. He lives in Cortez with his wife and three children. His departure from the Montezuma County Court is effective October 1.

IRS Reminds Small Nonprofits to Satisfy Filing Requirements to Preserve Tax-Exempt Status; One-Time Relief Offer Expires October 15

Small nonprofit organizations that did not file returns for 2007, 2008, and 2009 will be given a one-time reprieve and the opportunity to maintain their tax-exempt status if they file their returns by October 15, according to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS).

IRS Commissioner Doug Shulman said, “We are doing everything we can to help organizations comply with the law and keep their valuable tax exemption. So if you do not have your filings up to date, now’s the time to take action and get back on track.”

Organizations at risk of losing their nonprofit status are listed by state here, along with more information about the relief program and available remedies.

The IRS will revoke tax-exempt status of all small nonprofit organizations that fail to submit their returns by October 15.

Ed. Note: For more on this, take a look at this post by Jim Thomas, who also recommends this CBA article by Peter Nagel.

Adams County Court Seeks Applicants for Newly Created Judgeship

The Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission seeks applicants for a newly created judgeship on the Adams County Court bench, State Judicial announced Friday. The new judgeship was authorized by the passage of House Bill 07-1054 (pdf) in 2007, which funded several new positions on district and county court benches in Colorado.

The Commission will convene on Monday, November 8 and Tuesday, November 9, at the Adams County Judicial Center in Brighton to vet applicants and recommend nominees to fill the vacancy. The Commission will then recommend finalists for Gov. Ritter to consider for appointment. The governor must announce the appointment within the 15-day period proscribed by the Colorado Constitution.

Judges at the county-court level preside over traffic, misdemeanor, small claims, and civil matters for the 435,000 residents of Adams County. They receive a provisional, two-year appointment by the governor, after which they are retained by voter approval every four years. The annual salary is $123,067. The new judge’s appointments begin January 1, 2011.

All attorneys licensed to practice in Colorado for at least five years and who are qualified electors in Adams County are eligible to apply for the judgeship. Detailed information about Adams County and the application are available online.

Application packages (consisting of one original application plus seven copies) must be received by the office of Commission ex officio chair, Justice Nathan B. Coats, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Eighth Floor, no later than Wednesday, October 20, at 3:00 p.m.

The provisions of HB 07-1054 have created a number of new judgeships announced in recent months, including two district court judgeships apiece in the Second and Fourth judicial districts and one county court judgeship in the El Paso County Court. State Judicial last week announced two newly created positions on the Seventeenth Judicial District bench (of which Adams County is part), which has an October 20 application deadline. Individuals interested in applying for both the Adams County and Seventeenth Judicial District judgeships must submit single application package that indicates their interest in being considered for both positions.