March 24, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Circulator for Representative Lamborn’s Gubernatorial Ballot Petition was Not a Resident of Colorado, Therefore Signatures Invalid

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Kuhn v. Williams on Monday, April 23, 2018.

Election Law.

In this expedited appeal under C.R.S. § 1-1-113(3), the supreme court addressed whether the Colorado Secretary of State (Secretary) could certify incumbent Representative Doug Lamborn to the 2018 Republican primary ballot for Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District. Relying solely on the Colorado Election Code, the court concluded he may not.

The court held that although the Secretary properly relied on the circulator’s affidavit and information in the voter registration system in verifying the petition and issuing a statement of sufficiency, petitioners nonetheless had the statutory right to challenge the validity of the petition under C.R.S. §§ 1-4-909 and 1-1-113 before the Secretary certified Rep. Lamborn’s name to the ballot. Petitioners properly presented additional evidence to the district court in challenging the actual residence of the petition circulators.

The court concluded that the district erred when it focused on the challenged circulator’s subjective intent to move back to Colorado, rather than the test set forth in C.R.S. § 1-2-102, when determining the challenged circulator’s residency. In applying the correct test to the essentially undisputed facts here, the court concluded that the challenged circulator was not a resident of Colorado when he served as a circulator for the Lamborn campaign. Accordingly, the court reversed the district court’s ruling to the contrary. Because the challenged circulator was statutorily ineligible to serve as a circulator, the signatures he collected are invalid and may not be considered. That caused the Lamborn campaign’s number of signatures to fall short of the 1,000 required to be on the Republican primary ballot.

Therefore, the court held that the Secretary may not certify Rep. Lamborn to the 2018 primary ballot for Colorado’s Fifth Congressional District. The court did not address the Lamborn campaign’s arguments regarding the constitutionality of the circulator residency requirement in C.R.S. § 1-4-905(1) because the court lacks jurisdiction to address such claims in a proceeding under C.R.S. § 1-1-113.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Criminal Omnibus Bill, Workers’ Compensation IME Bill, and More Signed by Governor

As the final days of the 2013 Legislative Session wind down, Governor Hickenlooper continues to sign bills into law. To date, he has signed over 350 bills over several areas of law.

On Friday, May 24, 2013, the governor signed 5 bills into law. These included a bill about staffing for corrections officers (SB 13-210) and a bill creating an economic gardening pilot project in the Office of Economic Development (HB 13-1003).

The governor signed 26 bills into law on Saturday, May 25, 2013. Five of them are summarized here.

  • SB 13-137 – Concerning System Improvements to Prevent Fraud in the Medicaid Program and, In Connection Therewith, Employing Advanced Data Analytics, by Sen. Ellen Roberts and Rep. Clarice Navarro. The bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to solicit requests for information regarding the use of predictive analytics in the Medicaid program.
  • SB 13-229 – Concerning Changes to Statutory Provisions Related to Criminal Proceedings, by Sen. Lucia Guzman and Rep. Elena Kagan. The bill addresses several areas of law related to criminal proceedings.
  • SB 13-246 – Concerning Creation of a Task Force to Study Discovery Costs in Criminal Cases, by the Joint Budget Committee. The bill creates the Discovery Task Force to study the feasability of conducting discovery electronically in criminal cases.
  • SB 13-248 – Concerning the Authority of the Attorney General or a District Attorney to Enforce Subpoenas for Consumer Protection Violations Against Persons Located Outside Colorado, by Sen. Irene Aguilar and Rep. Kevin Priola. The bill clarifies the authority of the District Attorney and Attorney General in issuing and enforcing subpoenas against out-of-state parties for certain financial violations.
  • SB 13-249 – Concerning Procedures Regarding Independent Medical Examiners’ Reports in Workers’ Compensation Cases, by Sen. Lois Tochtrop and Rep. Angela Williams. The bill requires the Division of Workers’ Compensation to review IME reports within 5 days, notify parties of the report, and request correction of any deficiencies.

Governor Hickenlooper was busy on Tuesday, May 28, 2013, when he signed 73 bills into law. Although they cannot all be summarized here, there are several bills of interest to environmental, criminal, real estate, and marijuana law attorneys in Colorado briefly summarized here.

  • Environmental – Several bills, including SB 13-219 regarding meth lab remediation and SB 13-223 regarding the sunset of the noxious weeds advisory committee, will be of interest to environmental law practitioners.
  • Criminal – Many of the bills signed into law this legislative session dealt with specific provisions of criminal law. SB 13-007 eliminates the repeal of the Colorado Commission on Criminal and Juvenile Justice. SB 13-227 prevents victims of rape who are impregnated by their rapist from having to have contact with their baby’s father. HB 13-1210 provides criminal defendants with a right to counsel during plea negotiations.
  • Real Estate – Bills regarding homeowners’ associations were prolific this legislative session. Some of the HOA bills signed on May 28 include HB 13-1276 regarding debt collections and HB 13-1277 regarding licensing of common interest community managers.
  • Marijuana – The legislature scurried to implement regulations in order to legalize marijuana pursuant to Amendment 64. Several bills were signed regarding marijuana regulations, including SB 13-283 to implement the Amendment 64 consensus regulations and HB 13-1317 to implement the Amendment 64 majority recommendations.

For a complete list of the governor’s 2013 legislative decisions, click here.