July 22, 2018

Bills Signed Regarding Civil Forfeiture Reform, Community Corrections Transition Placements, Electronic Vehicle Title Filing, and More

On Tuesday, May 29, 2019, Governor Hickenlooper signed 59 bills into law. To date, he has signed 315 bills into law and sent two to the Secretary of State without a signature. Some of the bills signed Tuesday include a bill reforming the civil asset forfeiture process, a bill enacting a community corrections transition placement program, a bill providing relief from collateral criminal consequences, a bill allowing vehicle titles to be transferred electronically, a bill changing the own-source requirements for medical marijuana sales, a bill expanding civil jurisdiction of county courts, and more. The bills signed Tuesday are summarized here.

  • HB 18-1019 – “Concerning Criteria Applied in Determining Performance Ratings for Entities in the Elementary and Secondary Public Education System, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Kevin Priola and Rep. Mike Cooke. For purposes of determining the level of attainment for accreditation of each public high school, each school district, the state charter school institute, and the state as a whole on the postsecondary and workforce readiness performance indicator, the bill adds additional measures of the percentage of students who successfully complete certain courses.
  • HB 18-1020 – “Concerning Civil Forfeiture Reform, and, in Connection Therewith, Changing the Entity Required to Report on Forfeitures, Expanding the Scope of the Forfeitures to be Reported, Establishing Grant Programs, Changing the Disbursement of Net Forfeiture Proceeds, and Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Leslie Herod and Sens. Daniel Kagan, Tim Neville, & Bob Gardner. During the 2017 session, the General Assembly enacted a bill involving civil forfeiture requiring seizing agencies to submit reports to the Department of Local Affairs The bill expands the scope of the reports to include seizures related to a local public nuisance law or ordinance. The 2017 act also prohibited seizing agencies from receiving forfeiture proceeds from the federal government unless the aggregate value of property seized in a case is over $50,000. The bill establishes the law enforcement assistance grant program in the Department of Public Safety to reimburse seizing agencies for revenue lost because of this prohibition.
  • HB 18-1057 – “Concerning the Collection of Debts, and, in Connection Therewith, Allowing Collection Agents to Add Certain Expenses to Amounts Due for Collection,” by Rep. Hugh McKean and Sen. Don Coram. The bill allows a private collection agency or privately retained attorney collecting on any debt arising from past-due orders, obligations, fines, or fees due to the state, or to any political subdivision within the state, to add to the amount due that has been placed for collection all fees, costs, and costs of collection, including designated contractual attorney fees and costs that are awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction.
  • HB 18-1060 – “Concerning a State Income Tax Deduction for Military Retirement Benefits for an Individual who is Under Fifty-five Years of Age,” by Reps. Jessie Danielson & Lois Landgraf and Sens. Larry Crowder & Angela Williams. The bill allows an individual who is under 55 years old and whose military retirement benefits are less than $40,000 to claim a federal income tax deduction.
  • HB 18-1108 – “Concerning the Colorado Commission for the Deaf and Hard of Hearing, and, in Connection Therewith, Renaming the Commission the Colorado Commission for the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind; Creating the Colorado Deafblind Citizens Council to Advise the Commission on Deafblind Issues; Clarifying and Expanding the Commission’s Duties to Provide Services to the Deaf, Hard of Hearing, and Deafblind; and Changing the Membership of the Committee Charged with Reviewing Grant Applications,” by Rep. Jessie Danielson and Sen. Nancy Todd. The bill changes the name of the ‘Colorado commission for the deaf and hard of hearing’ to the ‘Colorado commission for the deaf, hard of hearing, and deafblind’. The bill expands the commission’s duties to include establishing a community access program for one-on-one system navigation and changes the membership on the committee reviewing grant applications under the act.
  • HB 18-1128 – “Concerning Strengthening Protections for Consumer Data Privacy,” by Reps. Cole Wist & Jeff Bridges and Sens. Kent Lambert & Lois Court. Except for conduct in compliance with applicable federal, state, or local law, the bill requires covered and governmental entities in Colorado that maintain paper or electronic documents that contain personal identifying information to develop and maintain a written policy for the destruction and proper disposal of those documents.
  • HB 18-1135 – “Concerning the Extension of the Advanced Industries Export Acceleration Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Traci Kraft-Tharp & James Wilson and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill extends the advanced industries export acceleration program that is currently managed by the office of economic development.
  • HB 18-1152 – “Concerning Making Certain Records of the State Judicial Department Relating to Sexual Harassment Investigations Subject to the Colorado Open Records Act,” by Rep. Polly Lawrence and Sen. John Cooke. Under the Colorado open records act (CORA), records related to sexual harassment complaints are not open records; except that those records are available to a person making a sexual harassment complaint and the subject of the complaint. The bill makes the judicial department subject to the sexual harassment provision of CORA until May 1, 2021.
  • HB 18-1155 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Physical Therapy Board, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations Contained in the 2017 Sunset Review and Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Reps. Larry Liston & Jonathan Singer and Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik. The bill extends the licensing of physical therapists and physical therapist assistants to 2024 and makes several other changes.
  • HB 18-1174 – “Concerning the Continuation Under the Sunset Law of the Board of Mortgage Loan Originators, and, in Connection Therewith, Adopting the Legislative Recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies as Contained in the Department’s Sunset Report,” by Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Matt Gray and Rep. Kevin Priola. The bill implements the recommendations of the Department of Regulatory Agencies in its sunset review of the board of mortgage loan originators.
  • HB 18-1184 – “Concerning the Creation of a Report on 911 Service in Colorado, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring Consideration of Issues Related to the Implementation of Next Generation 911,” by Reps. Tony Exum & Polly Lawrence and Sens. Irene Aguilar & Bob Gardner. The bill requires the public utilities commission to annually publish a ‘state of 911’ report. The report must address the commission’s activities related to 911 service, the current statewide architecture and operations related to 911 service, 911 network reliability and resiliency, any identified gaps or vulnerabilities in 911 service, national trends and activities, funding, and the implementation of next generation 911.
  • HB 18-1202 – “Concerning an Income Tax Credit for an Employer Related to an Employee’s Paid Leave of Absence for the Purpose of Making an Organ Donation, and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the ‘Living Organ Donor Support Act,'” by Rep. Alec Garnett and Sen. Bob Gardner. Beginning January 1, 2020, an employer is allowed an income tax credit that is an amount equal to 35% of the employer’s expenses incurred while the employee is on paid leave or for paying a temporary employee.
  • HB 18-1217 – “Concerning a Temporary Income Tax Credit for Employers that Make Contributions to 529 Qualified State Tuition Program Accounts Owned by their Employees, and, in Connection Therewith, Enacting the “Working Families College Savings Act,'” by Reps. Kevin Van Winkle & Alec Garnett and Sen. Bob Gardner. The bill creates a temporary income tax credit for income tax years commencing on or after January 1, 2019, but prior to January 1, 2022, for employers that make contributions to 529 qualified state tuition program accounts owned by their employees in an amount equal to 20% of the contribution, not to exceed $500.
  • HB 18-1224 – “Concerning the Process that is Due for the Imposition of Discipline that Affects a Person’s Ability to Practice an Occupation, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring the Parties to Submit to Mediation and Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Yeulin Willett and Sen. Bob Gardner. Current law requires state agencies to give notice to a licensee of certain facts that may lead to discipline or suspension. The bill makes certain changes to these requirements.
  • HB 18-1251 – “Concerning Measures to Improve the Efficiency of the Community Corrections Transition Placements, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Pete Lee & Cole Wist and Sens. Daniel Kagan & Bob Gardner. The bill requires the state board of parole to submit a list of offenders for community corrections transition placement referrals to the department of corrections staff. The staff shall inform the board when the referral is made or the reason for not making the referral.
  • HB 18-1252 – “Concerning Unlawful Sale of Academic Materials for Submission to an Institution of Higher Education,” by Reps. Dylan Roberts & James Wilson and Sen. Kevin Priola. Under existing law, a person is not permitted to prepare, offer to prepare, cause to be prepared, sell, or distribute any term paper, thesis, dissertation, or other written material for another person for compensation if he or she knows or should reasonably have known, that it is to be submitted by any other person for academic credit at a public or private college, university, or other institution of higher education, or to advertise the same. A court may issue an injunction to prevent these practices. The bill defines ‘assignment’ to include any specific written, recorded, pictorial, artistic, or other academic task; maintains the existing offenses related to preparing or selling assignments, or advertising the same; and prohibits a person from preparing, selling, or offering to sell a document or service that provides answers for, or completes on behalf of a student, an online exam that is administered pursuant to a course of study at any institution of higher education, or advertising the same.
  • HB 18-1269 – “Concerning Notification to Parents of Charges Brought Against Public School Employees for Alleged Felony Offenses that would Result in the Revocation of an Educator License Pursuant to title 22, Colorado Revised Statutes,” by Reps. Paul Lundeen & Brittany Pettersen and Sens. Owen Hill & Rhonda Fields. The bill requires school districts, district charter schools, institute charter schools, and boards of cooperative services to notify parents of students enrolled in a local education provider of charges brought against an employee or former employee, if the employee was employed at any time within 12 months before an offense is charged, who has or had contact with students, if the charges are for one of the felony offenses that requires the denial, suspension, or revocation of a teacher license if the employee were a teacher.
  • HB 18-1277 – “Concerning a Requirement that an Application for a “Building Excellent Schools Today Act” Grant of Financial Assistance for Public School Capital Construction Include a Plan for the Future Use or Disposition of any Existing Public School Facility that the Applicant will Stop Using for its Current Use if it Receives the Grant,” by Reps. Jon Becker & Daneya Esgar and Sens. Randy Baumgartner & John Kefalas. Beginning with the state fiscal year 2019-20 grant cycle, the bill requires an application made to the public school capital construction assistance board under the ‘Building Excellent Schools Today Act’ for a grant of financial assistance that is for either the construction of a new public school facility that will replace one or more existing public school facilities or the reconstruction or expansion of an existing public school facility to include a plan for the future use or disposition of any existing public school facility that the applicant will stop using for its current use if it receives the grant.
  • HB 18-1283 – “Concerning the Classification of Residential Land for Property Tax Purposes Resulting from a Significant Change in the Residential Improvements Located Upon the Land,” by Rep. Adrienne Benavidez and Sen. Tim Neville. When residential improvements are destroyed, demolished, or relocated on or after January 1, 2018, that, were it not for their destruction, demolition, or relocation, would have qualified the land upon which the improvements were located as residential land for the following property tax year, the bill requires the residential land classification to remain in place for the year in which the improvements were destroyed, demolished, or relocated and one subsequent property tax year if the assessor determines that evidence is present that the owner intends to rebuild or locate a residential improvement on the land.
  • HB 18-1285 – “Concerning Parking for People with Certain Disabilities, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Rep. Dan Pabon and Sens. Jim Smallwood & Nancy Todd. The bill creates a remuneration-exempt identifying placard that exempts an individual with a disability from paying for parking if the disability limits the individual’s fine motor skills, ability to grow above 48 inches, or ability to reach or access a parking meter.
  • HB 18-1291 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Conservation Easement Oversight Commission, and, in Connection Therewith, Implementing the Recommendations of the 2017 Sunset Report by the Department of Regulatory Agencies,” by Reps. Faith Winter & Dan Thurlow and Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg. The bill implements the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies in its sunset review of the conservation easement oversight commission by extending the repeal date of the commission for 7 years until 2025 and modifies the composition of the commission.
  • HB 18-1294 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Regulation of Nursing Home Administrators by the Board of Examiners of Nursing Home Administrators in the Division of Professions and Occupations in the Department of Regulatory Agencies, and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring the Board to Record by Board Member Each Vote Regarding Licensee Discipline,” by Reps. Susan Longtine & Janet Buckner and Sen. Larry Crowder. The bill partially implements the recommendations of the department of regulatory agencies, as contained in the department’s sunset review of nursing home administrators by continuing the regulation of nursing home administrators by the board of examiners of nursing home administrators in the division of professions and occupations for 5 years, until September 1, 2023.
  • HB 18-1296 – “Concerning an Expansion of the Ability to Leave a Motor Vehicle Unattended in Certain Circumstances,” by Reps. Jovan Melton & Justin Everett and Sens. Vicki Marble & Dominick Moreno. Currently, if a person’s motor vehicle has a remote starter system and adequate security measures, he or she may leave the motor vehicle unattended while the engine is running. The bill provides that a motor vehicle may be left unattended if either a remote starter system or adequate security measures are in place.
  • HB 18-1299 – “Concerning Electronic Documents Related to the Ownership of a Vehicle that is Regulated by the Department of Revenue, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Jeff Bridges & Patrick Neville and Sens. Ray Scott & Rachel Zenzinger. The bill creates a framework for the department of revenue to establish electronic processing for issuing certificates of title, filing or releasing liens, or registering vehicles and special mobile machinery. This is subject to the department promulgating rules.
  • HB 18-1300 – “Concerning Granting Authority for Local District Colleges to Provide a Bachelor of Science Degree in Nursing Program as a Completion Degree to Students who Have or Are Pursuing an Associate Degree in Nursing,” by Reps. Dave Young & Perry Buck and Sens. Vicki Marble & John Cooke. The bill allows a local district college, such as Aims community college, to offer a bachelor of science degree in nursing program as a completion degree in nursing to students who have or are pursuing an associate degree in nursing, provided that the college’s board of trustees determines it is appropriate to address the needs of the communities within its service area, as approved by the Colorado commission on higher education based on existing criteria.
  • HB 18-1309 – “Concerning Programs Addressing Educator Shortages, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. James Coleman & James Wilson and Sen. Owen Hill. The bill requires the Colorado department of education and the Colorado department of higher education to create the framework for a grow your own educator program and specifies required provisions.
  • HB 18-1344 – “Concerning Relief from Collateral Consequences of Criminal Actions,” by Reps. Mike Weissman & Lang Sias and Sens. Dominick Moreno & Don Coram. Current law has separate collateral relief sections for when a court orders an alternative sentence, probation, or community corrections. The bill combines collateral relief provisions into one section and authorizes a court to enter an order for collateral relief at the time of conviction of a defendant or any time thereafter. The bill requires a fingerprint-based criminal history record check only if the hearing is held after sentencing.
  • HB 18-1351 – “Concerning Signage for the Old Spanish Trail,” by Reps. Donald Valdez & Phil Covarrubias and Sens. Leroy Garcia & Larry Crowder. The bill recognizes the significance of the old Spanish national historic trail as a historic resource in Colorado. Subject to the availability of funding from gifts, grants, or donations, the bill requires the executive director of the department of transportation to erect signs marking portions of the trail that travel along or cross highways in Colorado.
  • HB 18-1362 – “Concerning the Membership Expansion of the Colorado Task Force on Drunk and Impaired Driving,” by Rep. Jeni James Arndt and Sen. Jack Tate. The bill adds 3 members to the Colorado task force on drunk and impaired driving. The executive director of the department of transportation, or the director’s designee, shall appoint a community-based representative from the substance use disorder prevention field and a representative from the retail or medical marijuana industry who is an owner or manager of a retail dispensary. The executive director of the department of revenue, or the director’s designee, shall appoint a representative from the marijuana enforcement division.
  • HB 18-1371 – “Concerning Capital Construction Budget Items, and, in Connection Therewith, Codifying the Three-year Period that Capital Construction Budget Items Remain Available and Clarifying the Deadlines for the Submission of Capital Construction Budget Requests, Budget Request Amendments, and Budget Request Amendments that are Related to a Request for a Supplemental Appropriation,” by Reps. Daneya Esgar & Jon Becker and Sens. John Kefalas & Randy Baumgardner. The bill codifies the 3-year period that capital construction appropriations remain available and clarifies the deadlines for the submission of capital construction budget requests, budget request amendments, and budget request amendments that are related to a request for a supplemental appropriation.
  • HB 18-1372 – “Concerning an Exemption of the Regional Center Depreciation Account in the Capital Construction Fund from the Definition of Cash Fund for Purposes of the Requirements under the Automatic Cash Fund Funding Mechanism for Payment of Future Costs Attributable to Certain of the State’s Capital Assets,” by Reps. Daneya Esgar & Jon Becker and Sen. John Kefalas. The bill exempts the Department of Human Services’ regional center depreciation account in the capital construction fund from the definition of ‘cash fund’ for purposes of the requirements under the automatic cash fund funding mechanism for payment of future costs attributable to certain of the state’s capital assets.
  • HB 18-1375 – “Concerning the Nonsubstantive Revision of Statutes in the Colorado Revised Statutes, as Amended, and, in Connection Therewith, Amending or Repealing Obsolete, Imperfect, and Inoperative Law to Preserve the Legislative Intent, Effect, and Meaning of the Law,” by Reps. Yeulin Willett & Pete Lee and Sen. Bob Gardner. To improve the clarity and certainty of the statutes, the bill amends, repeals, and reconstructs various statutory provisions of law that are obsolete, imperfect, or inoperative.
  • HB 18-1381 – “Concerning Operations Related to the Sale of Medical Marijuana in the Regulated Medical Marijuana Market, and, in Connection Therewith, Moving from the Seventy Percent Own Source Requirement to a One-year Transition Period of Fifty Percent Own Source Requirement to an Elimination of the Own Source Requirement,” by Reps. Matt Gray & Kevin Van Winkle and Sens. Tim Neville & Cheri Jahn. The bill creates a transition period between the current limited sourcing model that begins July 1, 2018. For one year from that date, medical marijuana centers and optional premises cultivation facilities can purchase and sell 50% of their inventory as a wholesale transaction, and medical marijuana trim is not included in the calculation of the percentage.
  • HB 18-1388 – “Concerning an Exemption from the Requirement to Register a Security if the Security is Subject to a Notice Filing as Permitted under Federal Law,” by Rep. Alec Garnett and Sen. Jack Tate. Existing law generally requires that, for a person to issue a security, either the security or the person must be exempt or the person must register the security with the securities commissioner. The bill eliminates the registration requirement, and substitutes a notice filing requirement.
  • HB 18-1393 – “Concerning Measures to Support Effective Implementation of the ‘Colorado Reading to Ensure Academic Development Act’ for all Students who Receive Services Pursuant to READ Plans, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Reps. Millie Hamner & Tony Exum and Sen. Bob Gardner. Under existing law, the state board of education is required to adopt an approved list of reading assessments, and the department of education is required to adopt advisory lists of literacy programming and professional development in literacy. With regard to the list of approved assessments and the advisory lists, the bill makes several changes.
  • HB 18-1431 – “Concerning Updating Managed Care Provisions in the Medical Assistance Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Aligning Managed Care Provisions with new Federal Managed Care Regulations, Removing Obsolete or Duplicative Statutory Language and Programs, and Updating and Aligning Statutory Provisions to Reflect the Current Statewide Managed Care System,” by Rep. Joann Ginal and Sen. Jim Smallwood. The bill amends, repeals, and relocates provisions of part 4 of article 5 of title 25.5, C.R.S., relating to managed care provisions under the medical assistance program to align with the federal ‘Medicaid and CHIP Managed Care Final Rule of 2016’, and to reflect the implementation of the accountable care collaborative as the statewide managed care system.
  • HB 18-1433 – “Concerning Modifications to the ‘Naturopathic Doctor Act,’ and, in Connection Therewith, Requiring a Naturopathic Doctor to Disclose that the Naturopathic Doctor is Registered and Updating the Terms that a Naturopathic Doctor May Use,” by Rep. Matt Gray and Sens. Jack Tate & Don Coram. As it relates to naturopathic doctors, the bill makes changes to terminology they may use.
  • SB 18-012 – “Concerning Including Military Enlistment as Part of the Postsecondary and Workforce Readiness Performance Indicator for Public Schools,” by Sen. Owen Hill and Rep. Brittany Pettersen. For purposes of determining the level of attainment of each public high school, each school district, the state charter school institute, and the state as a whole on the postsecondary and workforce readiness performance indicator for accreditation, the bill adds enlistment in the military within a year of graduation as a measure of performance.
  • SB 18-013 – “Concerning Expanding the Grades Eligible for the Child Nutrition School Lunch Protection Program, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Rhonda Fields & Bob Gardner and Rep. Dafna Michaelson Jenet. Current law creates an annual appropriation to provide lunches at no charge to children in state-subsidized early childhood education programs administered by public schools or in kindergarten through fifth grade who would otherwise have to pay for a reduced-price lunch. The bill extends the grade of eligibility to eighth grade in schools that elect to participate in the expanded program.
  • SB 18-031 – “Concerning an Extension of the Title 12 Recodification Study Being Conducted by the Office of Legislative Legal Services, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Bob Gardner and Rep. Mike Foote. Current law directs the office of legislative legal services to study the organizational recodification of title 12 of the Colorado Revised Statutes. The law authorizing the study repeals on September 1, 2018. The bill extends the title 12 recodification study for one additional year, through September 1, 2019.
  • SB 18-033 – “Concerning the Continuation of the Animal Feeding Operation Permit Program under the Department of Public Health and Environment, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Jerry Sonnenberg and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jon Becker. The bill replaces the July 1, 2018, repeal date for the department of public health and environment’s animal feeding operation permit program with a repeal date of July 1, 2025. The bill also extends the fees associated with the program at their current levels.
  • SB 18-056 – “Concerning Monetary Amounts in Civil Actions,” by Sen. Cheri Jahn and Reps. Pete Lee & Yeulin Willett. Under current law, a person may file a civil action in county court if the value of the claim is $15,000 or less. The bill increases that limit to $25,000 or less. The bill also changes the filing fees.
  • SB 18-108  – “Concerning the Issuance of Identification Documents under the ‘Colorado Road and Community Safety Act’ to Persons who are Not Lawfully Present in the United States, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Larry Crowder & Don Coram and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Jonathan Singer. Currently, a person who is not lawfully present in the United States may obtain a driver’s license or identification card if certain requirements are met. One of the requirements is that the person present a taxpayer identification card. The bill allows a person to present a social security number as an alternative to a taxpayer identification card. The bill allows the license or identification card to be reissued or renewed in accordance with the process used for other licenses and identification cards.
  • SB 18-119 – “Concerning False Imprisonment of a Minor, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Bob Gardner & Terri Carver and Rep. Adrienne Benavidez. The bill states that a person commits class 5 felony false imprisonment if he or she confines or detains another person less than 18 years of age by means of tying, locking, caging, chaining, or otherwise restricting that person’s freedom of movement by any instrumentality for an unreasonable amount of time under the circumstances.
  • SB 18-141 – “Concerning Voluntary Contribution Designations on the Colorado Individual Income Tax Return Form,” by Sen. Lois Court and Reps. James Wilson & Chris Hansen. The bill creates the donate to a Colorado nonprofit fund in the state treasury. A voluntary contribution designation line for the fund will appear on the state individual income tax return form.
  • SB 18-150 – “Concerning Measures to Facilitate Voter Registration of Individuals in the Criminal Justice System, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Stephen Fenberg & Kevin Lundberg and Reps. Hugh McKean & Pete Lee. The bill allows a person on parole to preregister to vote. A person who preregisters is required to meet all the requirements of a person who registers.
  • SB 18-191 – “Concerning the Local Government Limited Gaming Impact Fund, and, in Connection Therewith Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Bob Gardner and Reps. Terri Carver & Edie Hooten. The bill annually increases the amount of money credited to the limited gaming impact fund by an amount equal to the growth of the state share from the previous fiscal year.
  • SB 18-205 – “Concerning the Regulation of Industrial Hemp as an Agricultural Product, and, in Connection Therewith, Identifying the Unprocessed Seeds of Industrial Hemp as a Commodity under the ‘Commodity Handler Act’ and Industrial Hemp as a Farm Product under the ‘Farm Products Act,'” by Sens. Vicki Marble & Don Coram and Reps. Marc Catlin & Barbara McLachlin. The bill includes the unprocessed seeds of industrial hemp in the definition of ‘commodity’ within the ‘Commodity Handler Act’, thus subjecting a person who acts as a commodity handler with respect to the unprocessed seeds of industrial hemp to the licensing requirements set forth in the ‘Commodity Handler Act’.
  • SB 18-208 – “Concerning the Creation of the Governor’s Mansion Maintenance Fund,” by Sen. Randy Baumgartner & John Kefalas and Reps. Daneya Esgar & Chris Hansen. The bill creates the governor’s mansion maintenance fund, which is comprised of the money generated from the mansion’s operation, such as rental fees.
  • SB 18-209 – “Concerning Modifications to the Government Data Advisory Board Created in the Office of Information Technology,” by Sens. Beth Martinez Humenik & Nancy Todd and Reps. Dan Thurlow & Dan Pabon. The government data advisory board (board) was created in the office of information technology to advise and provide recommendations to the chief information officer regarding interdepartmental data protocol and best practices in sharing and protecting data in state government. The bill modifies the definition of interdepartmental protocol to reflect current practice. The bill also modifies the composition of the board to include a representative from each state agency and to remove members of the education data subcommittee from the board.
  • SB 18-210 – “Concerning the Regulation of Real Estate Appraisal Management Companies, and, in Connection Therewith, Aligning State Law with Current Federal Law and Regulations,” by Sen. Jack Tate and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & Edie Hooten. The bill amends the definition of ‘appraisal management company’ to contain all of the elements specified in recent amendments to Title XI of the federal ‘Financial Institutions Reform, Recovery, and Enforcement Act of 1989’ (FIRREA) and regulations adopted in furtherance of FIRREA. Section 1 also adds a definition of ‘appraiser panel’ to include appraisers working as independent contractors.
  • SB 18-213 – “Concerning Requiring Local School Districts to Recognize Academic Credits Earned by Students in the Custody of the Division of Youth Services,” by Sen. Beth Martinez Humenik and Rep. Leslie Herod. Under current law, when a student in out-of-home placement transfers from one school to another school, the sending school must certify to the receiving school or school district the course work that the student has fully or partially completed while enrolled at the school. The bill requires receiving schools and school districts to follow the same procedures for a student who transfers to a school or school district from a division of youth services placement.
  • SB 18-233 – “Concerning Technical Modifications to Miscellaneous Provisions of the ‘Uniform Election Code of 1992,’ and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sens. Vicki Marble & Stephen Fenberg and Reps. Mike Foote & Patrick Neville. The bill makes several technical modifications to miscellaneous provisions of the ‘Uniform Election Code of 1992.’
  • SB 18-235 – “Concerning the Creation of the Colorado Industrial Hemp Research and Development Authority,” by Sen. Don Coram and Rep. Jeni James Arndt. The bill creates the Colorado industrial hemp research and development task force to study whether to develop an industrial hemp research and development authority to develop, fund, and promote educational, research, and development programs and collaborative efforts concerning industrial hemp.
  • SB 18-239 – “Concerning a Licensed Chiropractor’s Ability to Perform Animal Chiropractic on an Animal Patient,” by Sen. Vicki Marble and Reps. Jeni James Arndt & James Wilson. Under current law, a licensed chiropractor must obtain a veterinary medical clearance from a licensed veterinarian before performing an animal chiropractic act that falls within the chiropractor’s scope of practice on an animal patient. The bill removes the veterinary medical clearance requirement for licensed chiropractors who have successfully completed 9 hours of course work related to contagious, infectious, and zoonotic diseases.
  • SB 18-253 – “Concerning the Effective Date to Transition the Department of Revenue’s CSTARS Account to the Department of Revenue’s DRIVES Vehicle Services Account,” by Sen. Kent Lambert and Rep. Dave Young. The bill establishes a uniform date of July 1, 2019, to transition the department of revenue’s Colorado state titling and registration (CSTARS) account to the department of revenue’s DRIVES vehicle services account. The bill also delays for one year the corresponding statutory repeal dates.
  • SB 18-262 – “Concerning Targeted Funding for Public Institutions of Higher Education to Help Achieve the Colorado Commission on Higher Education Master Plan Goals, and, in Connection Therewith, Making an Appropriation,” by Sen. Bob Gardner and Reps. Crisanta Duran & Jeff Bridges. The bill makes appropriations to the department of higher education for need-based grants, student stipends, fee-for-service contracts with institutions of higher education, local district college grants, and area technical colleges.
  • SB 18-266 – “Concerning Controlling Costs under the ‘Colorado Medical Assistance Act, and, in Connection Therewith, Using Data and Technology, Creating a Hospital Review Program, and Making and Reducing an Appropriation,” by Sen. Kevin Lundberg and Rep. Dave Young. The bill directs the Department of Health Care Policy and Financing to provide information to providers participating in the accountable care collaborative.
  • SB 18-268 – “Concerning the Scope of the Authority of the Department of Transportation to Award a Design Bid Build Highway Project Contract in an Amount that Exceeds the Estimate of the Department on the Project,” by Sens. Ray Scott & Dominick Moreno and Reps. Barbara McLachlin. If there are fewer than 3 bidders on a design bid build highway project, a provision of current law generally prohibits the department of transportation (CDOT). The bill authorizes a designee of the executive director to award such a contract.

For a complete list of Governor Hickenlooper’s 2018 legislative decisions, click here.

Tenth Circuit: Petitioner Ineligible for Cancellation of Removal After Theft Convictions

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals Issued its opinion in Lucio-Rayos v. Sessions on Tuesday, November 14, 2017.

The issue presented in this case was whether petitioner Lucio-Rayos’s municipal theft conviction qualified as a crime involving moral turpitude (CIMT). If so, it would make him ineligible for cancellation of removal. Lucio-Rayos is a citizen of Mexico who entered the United States without authorization. Although he conceded that he was subject to removal, he sought discretionary relief in the form of cancellation of removal.

Lucio-Rayos first contended that the immigration judge erred in refusing to recuse from his case because the immigration judge’s spouse works with the Denver Immigration and Customs Enforcement office that initiated this removal proceeding. The Tenth Circuit rejected this argument.

In order to prevail on this argument, Lucio-Rayos had to establish that he was deprived of due process and that the deprivation prejudiced him. Lucio-Rayos presented extrajudicial-influence and inherent-bias arguments relying on law that requires a federal judge to recuse in any proceeding in which his impartiality might reasonably be questioned. However, the Immigration and Customs Enforcement office had a plan in place to ensure that the immigration judge’s spouse had no involvement in the case. Further, there is no evidence suggesting that the immigration judge’s spouse played any role in Lucio-Rayos’ removal proceedings. The immigration judge’s spouse was not a party, officer, director, or trustee of a party in this matter.

In addition, Lucio-Rayos has not shown that he was prejudiced by the immigration judge’s refusal to recuse; that is, Lucio-Rayos has not shown that his rights were violated in a manner so as potentially to affect the outcome of the proceedings.

Next, the Tenth Circuit concluded that Lucio-Rayos is ineligible for cancellation of removal. To be eligible for cancellation of removal, Lucio-Rayos had to meet four requirements. The only one at issue was whether Lucio-Rayos’s conviction for theft is a CIMT.

The Tenth Circuit applied the categorical approach by comparing the elements of Lucio-Rayos’s offense to the definition of CIMT, which refers to conduct which is inherently base, vile, or depraved, contrary to the accepted rules of morality, and conduct that is inherently wrong, rather than conduct deemed wrong only because of a statutory proscription. The lower court found that a conviction like Lucio-Rayos’s qualifies as a CIMT only if one element of the offense is that the perpetrator intended to deprive the victim permanently of his property. The Tenth Circuit found, however, that not all convictions under the applicable theft provision require proof that the defendant intended to deprive the victim of his property permanently. The applicable code was found to be divisible.

The Tenth Circuit found that the undocumented alien bears the burden of proof to show that his conviction was not a CIMT. The Tenth Circuit held that, because it was unclear from Lucio-Rayos’s record whether he committed a CIMT, he did not prove eligibility for cancellation of removal.

Lastly, Lucio-Rayos contended that if his conviction was a CIMT, he nevertheless met an exception to ineligibility available for petty offenses. However, the Tenth Circuit held that in this situation, the petty offense exception did not prevent an immigrant’s CIMT conviction from disqualifying him from eligibility for discretionary cancellation of removal.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals DENIED Lucio-Rayos’s petition for review and found he was not eligible for cancellation of removal.

Tenth Circuit: Attorney General’s Interpretation of the Immigration and Nationality Act’s Reinstatement Provision is Reasonable

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals issued its opinion in R-S-C v. Sessions on Wednesday, September 6, 2017.

This case presents a conflict between the provisions of the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA). The asylum section of the INA states that any alien, irrespective of such alien’s status, may apply for asylum. By contrast, the reinstatement provision mandates that a previously deported alien who illegally reenters the United States will have his prior removal order reinstated and is not eligible and may not apply for any relief. The Attorney General has determined that the latter subsection prevails and an illegal reentrant with a reinstated removal order is not eligible for asylum relief.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals was asked to decide whether the Attorney General’s interpretation of the INA is a reasonable interpretation of the statutory scheme.

The background of this case involves R-S-C, a woman originally from Guatemala, who had come to the United States without inspection three times to escape threats and extortion against her in Guatemala. The Tenth Circuit found no merit in the argument that she did not illegally reenter the United States, as she expressly declined to contest the determination that she reentered the United States illegally, and there is no evidence in the record suggesting that she presented herself at the border in search of an immigration officer to file an asylum application, as she had previously claimed.

The Tenth Circuit evaluated whether the Attorney General’s interpretation was reasonable. The court determined this through a two-step framework. First, the Court examined whether Congress has directly spoken to the precise question at issue. The court concluded that the statutory command is ambiguous, as there is conflict between the asylum and reinstatement provisions. The Circuit found that Congress did not clearly resolve the question.

Second, because the statute is silent or ambiguous with respect to the specific issue, the question for the Circuit is whether the Attorney General’s answer is based on a permissible construction of the statute. If so, the court must accept the Attorney General’s construction of the statute. The Circuit rejected an argument that the Attorney General failed to perceive the ambiguity in the statute and felt compelled by Congress when interpreting the statute. The court found that the Attorney General’s silence on the statutory interplay does not mean the Attorney General missed the ambiguity. In rejecting this argument, the court considered whether the interpretation was reasonable, and determined it was, offering five reasons.

First, it is reasonable for the Attorney General to conclude that the reinstatement provision means what it says: that certain aliens are not eligible for “any relief.” It is also reasonable to conclude that the reference to “any relief” naturally means all forms of relief, including asylum.

Second, it is not unreasonable for the Attorney General to decide that the reinstatement provision is more specific than the asylum provision, as the Attorney General focused on the section of the INA that carves out a subset of persons for special treatment, rather than another section that establishes rules for a particular kind of relief that apply across the board.

Third, the Attorney General could reasonably conclude that the reinstatement provision operates with stronger force than the asylum section, as it speaks in mandatory terms, requiring the Attorney General to deny relief to aliens with reinstated removal orders.

Fourth, the asylum provision expressly authorizes the Attorney General to establish additional limitations and conditions, under which an alien shall be ineligible for asylum. By contrast, the Attorney General had no discretion to decide that some kinds of relief are immune from the eligibility bar after a removal order is reinstated. Thus, the Attorney General could have reasonably concluded that the reinstatement provision reflects a stronger congressional command than the asylum section.

Fifth, the Attorney General’s determination reasonably furthers the Illegal Immigration Reform and Immigrant Responsibility Act’s (IIRIRA) purpose in strengthening the reinstatement provision. Congress passed IIRIRA to replace a previous, more lenient, regime. IIRIRA foreclosed discretionary relief from the terms of the reinstated order. This suggests that Congress intended to fortify the effect of the reinstatement provision, and the Attorney General’s interpretation is faithful to that purpose.

In conclusion, the Circuit found that the INA does not clearly answer the question of whether an illegal reentrant with a reinstated removal order may apply for asylum. The Attorney General, however, has reasonably interpreted the ambiguous statutory scheme in concluding that such an alien is not eligible for asylum relief. The court, therefore, defers to the Attorney General’s interpretation.

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals DENIED the petition for review.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Plea Counsel Correctly Advised Defendant of Likelihood of Deportation

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Juarez on Thursday, October 19, 2017.

Foreign National—Immigration—Criminal Attorney—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Deportation.

Juarez is a Mexican foreign national who has lived in Denver since he was approximately 6 years old. In 2009 he was granted lawful permanent residence status. In 2011, after cocaine was found in his possession, Juarez was charged with one felony count of possession of a controlled substance. Juarez pleaded guilty to possession of a schedule V controlled substance, a class 1 misdemeanor. During his providency hearing, Juarez’s attorney acknowledged that this misdemeanor under Colorado state law was the equivalent of a felony under the Immigration and Naturalization Act. Juarez told the court that he understood that the plea could affect his immigration status. Juarez was sentenced to drug court, and after testing positive for THC, he was deported to Mexico. He filed motions for postconviction relief alleging ineffective assistance of counsel, which were denied.

On appeal, Juarez argued that his attorney performed deficiently by failing to inform him that he would be subject to “mandatory deportation” if convicted. Juarez’s attorney acted within the objective standard of reasonableness by informing Juarez that he was “very likely” to be deported by entering into the plea agreement. Therefore, Juarez’s attorney provided constitutionally effective representation.

Juarez also argued that his attorney was required to advise him that his guilty plea would result in lifetime inadmissibility to the United States, mandatory detention, and destruction of the defense of cancellation of removal. Criminal defense attorneys are not required to function as immigration lawyers, and the court of appeals found no support for these arguments. Counsel’s performance was within the range of competence demanded of attorneys in criminal cases.

The order was affirmed.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Colorado Supreme Court: Colorado Human Smuggling Statute Preempted by Federal Immigration & Nationality Act

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Fuentes-Espinoza v. People on Monday, October 9, 2017.

Alien Smuggling—Field Preemption—Conflict Preemption.

This case required the Colorado Supreme Court to determine whether Colorado’s human smuggling statute, C.R.S. § 18-13-128, is preempted by the federal Immigration and Nationality Act, 8 U.S.C. §§ 1101–1537 (2017) (INA). The court concluded that the INA preempts C.R.S. § 18-13-128 under the doctrines of both field and conflict preemption. In reaching this conclusion, the court agreed with a number of federal circuit courts that have reviewed the same INA provisions at issue here and have determined that those provisions create a comprehensive framework to penalize the transportation, concealment, and inducement of unlawfully present aliens and thus evince a congressional intent to occupy the field criminalizing such conduct. In addition, applying the analyses set forth in those federal decisions, the court concluded that C.R.S. § 18-13-128, like the state human smuggling statutes at issue in the federal cases, stands as an obstacle to the accomplishment and execution of Congress’s purposes and objectives in enacting its comprehensive framework. Accordingly, the court reversed petitioner’s judgment of conviction under C.R.S. § 18-13-128.

Summary provided courtesy of Colorado Lawyer.

Public Comment Period Open for 2018 10th Circuit Local Rules

On Tuesday, September 5, 2017, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals released its 2018 local rules for public comment. Comments will be accepted through October 31, 2017. A final version of the new rules will be posted on the Tenth Circuit’s website on December 1, 2017, and the rules will be effective January 1, 2018. A memo describing the changes to the local rules is available here, and a redline of the rule change is available here.

Effective December 31, 2017, two changes will be made to the Federal Rules of Appellate Procedure. Rule 4(a)(4)(B)(iii) will be changed to re-insert a sentence confirming that no fees are due when an amended notice of appeal is filed. Additionally, Rule 28.1(e)(3) will be deleted to correct a scrivener’s error; the rule should have been deleted last year.

Comments regarding the rule change may be submitted to the court clerk via email.

Why Good Lawyers Do Bad Things – Think It Can’t Happen to You?

High-Profile Lawyer Charged with Punching Client in Court,” Above the Law, October 30, 2015.

Storied Plaintiffs Lawyer Disbarred in Kentucky Over Excessive Fees,” National Law Journal, March 21, 2013.

Lawyer Charged with Forging Signatures of 7 Judges on Over 100 Court Documents,” Above the Law, February 24, 2016.

Biglaw Partner and Associate Destroyed Evidence, Suborned Perjury,” Above the Law, June 24, 2015

Headlines like these grab our attention, but they don’t give us much cause for concern. After all, we would NEVER do anything like that. But what about these?

“[Lawyer] agreed to represent a client in his immigration and criminal matters. On [Lawyer]’s advice, his client pleaded guilty to felony sexual assault. The client later regretted his decision to plead guilty, hired other counsel, successfully withdrew his plea, went to trial, and was acquitted.” People v. Romero, 16PDJ057, December 9, 2016.

“[Lawyer] was convicted five times of driving under the influence (DUI) or driving while ability impaired (DWAI). His most recent conviction took place in 2011. Through this conduct, [Lawyer] violated Colo. RPC 8.4(b) (a lawyer shall not commit a criminal act that reflects adversely on the lawyer’s honesty, trustworthiness, or fitness as a lawyer in other respects).” People v. Condon, 16PDJ050, December 23, 2016.

“In October 2015, [Lawyer] sought a $1,000.00 loan from a client to address cash flow problems. The client agreed, so [Lawyer] executed a promissory note in favor of the client, providing for 8% per annum interest and providing that the principal and interest would be due one month hence, in November 2015. The terms of the loan were fair and reasonable. But [Lawyer] did not advise the client in writing of the desirability of seeking independent legal counsel as to the transaction. Nor did he obtain the client’s written, informed consent to [Lawyer]’s role in the transaction, including whether [Lawyer] was representing the client in the transaction. [Lawyer] failed to pay the client by the agreed-upon date, though [Lawyer] did fully repay the client in March 2016. At that time, the client had not yet reported [Lawyer] to disciplinary authorities.” People v. Foster, 17PDJ018, March 15, 2017.

Do these still sound too far-fetched to you? How about these ones?

“Lawyer accepts $5,000 ‘flat fee,’ expecting a complex dispute, but skillfully resolves the matter in one hour. He then keeps the entire fee.”

“While [Lawyer] served as county attorney, he worked on legal issues involving third parties’ management of dirt track racing at El Paso County’s fairgrounds. He was involved with drafting a memorandum of understanding between the County and one of those third parties to address issues that exposed the County to liability. After [Lawyer] left the employ of El Paso County, the County faced ongoing legal issues with that same third party. In 2013, [Lawyer] began representing that party against El Paso County.”

“[Lawyer] is subject to several orders entered in Arapahoe County requiring him to pay child support, various child-related expenses, and child support arrearages. [Lawyer] paid just over half of the child support obligations he owed between June 2015 and November 2016. [Lawyer]’s failure to satisfy these obligations violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer shall not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal) and Colo. RPC 8.4(d) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).”

“[Lawyer] failed to obey a court order to pay monthly child support and to satisfy child support arrearages. Her failure to honor her court-mandated obligations tarnished the integrity of the legal system and harmed her child. Her conduct violated Colo. RPC 3.4(c) (a lawyer shall not knowingly disobey an obligation under the rules of a tribunal) and Colo. RPC 8.4(d) (a lawyer shall not engage in conduct prejudicial to the administration of justice).”

“[Lawyer] was retained by a client in March 2016 in a paternity case. Because he failed to pay registration fees, [Lawyer] was placed on administrative suspension on May 2, 2016. While suspended, [Lawyer] participated in a telephone conference with the court and set a status conference for June 2016.”

“[Lawyer], a bankruptcy attorney, was retained by a lawyer who had been disbarred for knowing conversion. The lawyer’s disbarment order required him to pay restitution to several former clients, as well as more than $220,000 to a medical lienholder. On the client’s behalf, [Lawyer] filed a Chapter 13 bankruptcy petition. He did so to stall a foreclosure sale on the client’s house in the hopes of protecting from creditors up to $105,000 in equity under the homestead exemption, and to avoid entangling the client’s second property in Crested Butte in a Chapter 7 bankruptcy. The petition showed that the client’s debt was over 99% of the allowable limit for Chapter 13 cases. The petition did not, however, list the $220,000 debt to the lienholder; instead, it characterized the amount of the debt as “unknown,” “unliquidated,” and “disputed.” Had that debt to the lienholder been included in the client’s total debt, the amount would have exceeded the Chapter 13 debt limit.”

Are you starting to feel uncomfortable? These situations and others are published monthly in The Colorado Lawyer. Although many of the disciplinary situations are too egregious to relate to, others could happen to anyone – even good lawyers like you.

If you ask any random group of people to rank how ethical they are on a scale of one to one hundred, responses will average about 75, meaning almost everyone is misjudging how they would react to actual ethical dilemmas. Studies regularly show a gap between an ethical goal (how ethical we aspire to be) and ethical judgment (what we actually do). This has been called “bounded ethicality,” and it examines why individuals fail to recognize that external influence and self-interest impact their ethical thinking.

Ethical decisions can be hard for anyone, but the stakes are higher for lawyers because the Colorado Rules of Professional Conduct dictate lawyers’ ethical responsibility. The preamble to the Rules states, “Virtually all difficult ethical problems arise from conflict between a lawyer’s responsibilities to clients, to the legal system, and to the lawyer’s own interest in remaining an ethical person while earning a satisfactory living. . . . The Rules do not . . . exhaust the moral and ethical considerations that should inform a lawyer, for no worthwhile human activity can be completely defined by legal rules.” There are plenty of shades of grey in determining the ethical path, in other words.

On May 15, 2017, Christopher P. Montville of Wheeler Trigg O’Donnell will present a one hour lunch program, “Why Good Lawyers Do Bad Things (And What to Do About it).” This can’t-miss program will explore the reasons why good people sometimes make bad choices, and how to avoid becoming a disciplinary summary in The Colorado Lawyer. Register today by calling (303) 860-0608 or clicking the links below.

 

CLELogo

CLE Program: Why Good Lawyers Do Bad Things

This CLE presentation will occur on May 15, 2017, at the CLE Large Classroom (1900 Grant St., 3rd Floor) from noon to 1 p.m. Register for the live program here and the webcast here. You may also call (303) 860-0608 to register.

Can’t make the live program? Order the homestudy here — Video OnDemandMP3 Audio

Tenth Circuit to Upgrade CM/ECF System

The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals announced that it will upgrade its CM/ECF system to the Next Generation CM/ECF system (NextGen), beginning on Friday, May 12 at noon and finishing by Monday, May 15 at 7 a.m. CM/ECF will not be available during the upgrade. Frequently asked questions about the NextGen system are available here. There are also electronic learning modules available for the PACER NextGen; they are available here. For more information about the upgrade and NextGen, click here.

Colorado Court of Appeals: Failure to Properly Advise Defendant of Immigration Consequences was Deficient Performance

The Colorado Court of Appeals issued its opinion in People v. Sifuentes on Thursday, April 20, 2017.

Felony—Plea Agreement—Immigration—Deportation—Ineffective Assistance of Counsel—Prejudice.

The prosecution charged defendant with distributing and conspiring to distribute a controlled substance, class three felonies. Defendant later pleaded guilty to an added count of distribution of a schedule III controlled substance as a class four felony, in exchange for dismissal of the original charges. The trial court sentenced defendant to Community Corrections (Comcor) for five years. Comcor, however, rejected defendant when Immigration and Customs Enforcement placed him on an immigration detainer following his conviction. The trial court therefore resentenced defendant to 42 months in prison followed by three years of mandatory parole. Unbeknownst to defendant and defense counsel, the conviction triggered automatic mandatory deportation under federal law.

Defendant filed a Crim. P. 35(c) petition for postconviction relief seeking to withdraw his guilty plea on the ground of ineffective assistance of his plea counsel based on the erroneous advice regarding deportation. The postconviction court denied the petition. Although the court agreed that plea counsel failed to properly advise defendant, it determined that defendant did not suffer prejudice because due to the purported evidence against him, even if defendant had known the consequences of his plea, it would not have been rational for him to reject the plea offer. The court further concluded that even if he had established prejudice, defendant was not entitled to relief due to the circumstances of his providency hearing.

On appeal, defendant contended that the district court erred in determining that his plea counsel’s deficient performance did not prejudice him. When an alien defendant enters a guilty plea based on erroneous representations as to deportation consequences, he will in most cases be permitted to withdraw the plea. Here, defendant presented some objective corroborating evidence of his prejudice claim (e.g., his plea counsel’s testimony confirming defendant’s concerns about deportation and her erroneous advice about deportation). Although the prosecution’s case against defendant appeared to be strong, it cannot be concluded that a conviction would have resulted if defendant went to trial. The court of appeals concluded that rejecting the guilty plea offer and going to trial would have been a rational decision for defendant. Because defendant established a reasonable probability that his plea counsel’s deficient performance affected the outcome of the plea process, he was allowed to withdraw his guilty plea.

The order was reversed and the case was remanded with directions.

Summary provided courtesy of The Colorado Lawyer.

HB 17-1134: Creating Civil Remedy Against Elected Officials in Sanctuary Jurisdictions

On January 30, 2017, Rep. Dave Williams and Sen. Vicki Marble introduced HB 17-1134, “Concerning Holding Colorado Government Accountable for Creating Sanctuary Jurisdiction Policies.”

The bill is known as the ‘Colorado Politician Accountability Act’.

The bill includes a legislative declaration that states that addressing sanctuary jurisdictions is a matter of statewide concern and that makes findings about how sanctuary policies are contrary to federal law and state interests.

The bill creates a civil remedy against the state or a political subdivision of the state (jurisdiction) and against its elected officials for creating sanctuary policies. The bill also creates a crime of rendering assistance to an illegal alien that can be brought against an elected official for creating a sanctuary jurisdiction.

An elected official is responsible for the creation of a sanctuary jurisdiction if the elected official votes in favor of imposing or creating a law, ordinance, or policy that allows the jurisdiction to operate as a sanctuary jurisdiction, fails to take steps to try to change a law, ordinance, or policy that allows the jurisdiction to operate as a sanctuary jurisdiction, or is a county sheriff who imposes or enforces a policy that allows the jurisdiction to operate as a sanctuary jurisdiction in a county in which the elected officials have not voted to impose or create a sanctuary jurisdiction.

The bill allows any person who claims that he or she is a victim of any crime committed by an illegal alien who established residency in a sanctuary jurisdiction to file a civil action for compensatory damages against a jurisdiction and against the elected officials of the jurisdiction who were responsible for creating the policy to operate as a sanctuary jurisdiction. Notwithstanding the protections of the ‘Colorado Governmental Immunity Act’, the jurisdiction and its officials who are responsible for creating a sanctuary jurisdiction are civilly liable for damages if the person who engaged in the criminal activity:

  • Is determined to be an illegal alien;
  • Had established residency in the sanctuary jurisdiction; and
  • Is convicted of the crime that is a proximate cause of the injury to a person or property.

The maximum amount of compensatory damages for injury to persons is $700,000 per person or $1,980,000 for injury to 2 or more persons; except that no person may recover in excess of $700,000. The maximum amount of compensatory damages for injury to property is set at $350,000 per person or $990,000 for injury to multiple persons; except that no person may recover in excess of $350,000.

The bill defines a ‘sanctuary jurisdiction’ as a jurisdiction that adopts a law, ordinance, or policy on or after the effective date of this bill that prohibits or in any way restricts an official or employee of the jurisdiction from:

  • Cooperating and complying with federal immigration officials or enforcing federal immigration law;
  • Sending to or receiving from or requesting from federal immigration officials information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of an individual;
  • Maintaining or exchanging information about an individual’s immigration status, lawful or unlawful, with other federal agencies, state agencies, or municipalities;
  • Inquiring about an individual’s name, date and place of birth, and immigration status while enforcing or conducting an official investigation into a violation of any law of this state;
  • Continuing to detain an individual, regardless of the individual’s ability to be released on bail, who has been identified as an illegal alien while in custody for violating any state law; or
  • Verifying the lawful presence and eligibility of a person applying for a state or local public benefit as required by state and federal law.

The bill sets forth the requirements for determining when an illegal alien has established residency in a sanctuary jurisdiction. An ‘illegal alien’ is defined as a person who is not lawfully present within the United States, as determined by federal immigration law.

The governing body of any jurisdiction is prohibited from adopting a law, ordinance, rule, policy, or plan or taking any action that limits or prohibits an elected official, employee, or law enforcement officer from communicating or cooperating with an appropriate public official, employee, or law enforcement officer of the federal government concerning the immigration status of an individual residing in the state. The governing body of a jurisdiction is required to provide written notice to each elected official, employee, and law enforcement officer of the jurisdiction of his or her duty to communicate and cooperate with the federal government concerning enforcement of any federal or state immigration law. The governing body of any jurisdiction in this state is required to annually submit a written report to the department of public safety (department) that the jurisdiction is in compliance with the cooperation and communication requirements. If the department does not receive those written reports, the department is required to provide the name of that jurisdiction to the state controller.

A law enforcement officer of a jurisdiction who has reasonable cause to believe that an individual under arrest is not lawfully present in the United States shall immediately report the individual to the appropriate U.S. immigration and customs enforcement office (ICE) within the department of homeland security. The governing body of any jurisdiction is required to report annually to the department on the number of individuals who were reported to ICE by law enforcement officers from that jurisdiction. The department is directed to compile and submit annual reports on compliance to the general assembly and to the state controller. The state controller is required to withhold the payment of any state funds to any jurisdiction that is found by the department to have failed to comply with these reporting requirements. The state controller shall withhold funds until the department notifies the state controller that the jurisdiction is in compliance.

The bill creates the crime of rendering assistance to an illegal alien through a sanctuary jurisdiction, which is a class 4 felony. A person who is an elected official of a jurisdiction commits rendering assistance to an illegal alien through a sanctuary jurisdiction if, with intent to hinder, delay, or prevent the discovery, detection, apprehension, prosecution, conviction, or punishment of illegal aliens within the jurisdiction:

  • He or she was responsible for creating a sanctuary jurisdiction in the jurisdiction to which the official is elected; and
  • When, as a result of the protection afforded by a sanctuary jurisdiction, a third person engages in criminal activity and the third person:
  • Is an illegal alien as legally defined by federal immigration law;
  • Had established residency in the sanctuary jurisdiction that was created by the official; and
  • Has been convicted of a crime that caused injury to a person or to property.

A person who has knowledge of a crime committed by an illegal alien as a result of the creation of a sanctuary jurisdiction may file an affidavit with the attorney general or with a district attorney outlining the crime and requesting that charges be brought or that a grand jury be impaneled. The attorney general or district attorney shall investigate and respond in writing with his or her decision to the person filing the affidavit within 49 days. If the attorney general or district attorney declines to bring charges or impanel a grand jury, the person may file a second affidavit directly with the applicable court.

The bill includes a severability clause and a provision that states that the bill is not subject to judicial review.

The bill takes effect upon passage and applies to acts or omissions occurring on or after said date.

The bill was introduced in the House and assigned to the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs and Judiciary committees. It is scheduled to be heard in the State, Veterans, and Military Affairs committee on February 22, 2017, at 1:30 p.m.

Top Ten Programs and Homestudies of 2016: The Best of the Rest

The year is drawing to a close, which means that the compliance period is ending for a third of Colorado’s attorneys. Still missing some credits? Don’t worry, CBA-CLE has got you covered.

Today on Legal Connection we are featuring the Best of the Rest: the top programs and homestudies in the areas of law not previously covered, including construction law, disability law, agricultural law, water law, natural resources law, immigration law, and marijuana law. Although these practice areas are varied, the homestudies and programs featured below are top-notch. For practitioners in these areas of law, visit cle.cobar.org/Practice-Area to find more programs and homestudies in your area of practice, and visit cle.cobar.org/Books to search our selection of books.

Construction Law — Residential Construction Defect Law 2016: Intermediate to Advanced Class
The program will highlight significant construction defect liability, damages and insurance developments occurring over the past two years and described in the Fifth Edition of Residential Construction Law in Colorado (CLE in Colo., 2015) written by Ronald M. Sandgrund, Scott F. Sullan and Leslie A. Tuft. A copy of the book is included as part of the course materials. No written materials other than a list of cases and statutes discussed will be supplied. This program is an advance program and is not intended to provide a general overview of construction defect law or practice. Each Homestudy includes a PDF copy of the CLE book, Residential Construction Law in Colorado, 5th Edition. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 3 general credits.

Immigration Law — Immigration Law 2016
Attend this program and you will receive practical training for representing individuals in immigration proceedings, including juveniles and survivors seeking asylum and other humanitarian relief. Topics covered include: Immigration Law 101, Special Immigrant Juvenile Status, U Visas, T Visas, and VAWA, Cancellation of Removal and Trial Advocacy Skills in Immigration Court, Asylum Law, and Model Asylum Hearing. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits.

Water Law — Water Law 101 in 2016
This is the eighth in a series of courses related to Colorado water law and administration. This particular course will introduce you to the basic legal framework governing Colorado water law, rights, and administration as of 2016. You will become familiar with court cases, matters and issues critical to your understanding of water and water law in Colorado. You will learn about Colorado’s different types of water rights, how they are administered, the role of the State and Division Engineers, and what is required for changes of water rights. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits.

Environmental Law — Colorado’s Future Energy Economy: Legal Landscape
Attend this program and hear perspectives of officials and leaders at national and state and federal government levels on the direction of Colorado’s energy industry. Plus, gain invaluable insights on such from environmentalists, the energy industry, academia, and private firm practitioners. Take advantage of this unique opportunity to learn about the latest developments in the legal landscape behind Colorado’s energy and natural resources industries. Attend this program and personally unravel the issues with the experts. AND, at the same time, you will sharpen your practice skills and expand your knowledge to better serve your clients! Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 7 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

Natural Resources Law — Oil, Gas, and Mining: Current Legal Issues
This Oil, Gas and Mining Law program is the one to attend to get up to speed on energy issues currently affecting Colorado and the West. You will leave this seminar with a better understanding of the latest regarding pertinent litigation, regulations and solutions for quieting title, financing, and distressed companies. Taught by experts, this program will provide you with an opportunity to network with colleagues and experts, and to catch up on hot topics in the energy law arena. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 9 general credits, including 1 ethics credit.

Disability Law — Social Security Disability: Advanced Practice
Your distinguished panel of Judges, ODAR and Colorado Disability Determination Services Officials, a vocational expert, and seasoned private firm SSDI practitioners will provide you with the latest information on: Changes, Statistics, and Findings of the Colorado Disability Determination Services Office, What’s Happening in Region 8 and at Headquarters – Office of Disability Adjudication and Review?, State of the Denver Regional Office of Disability Adjudication and Review, Attorney Fee Agreements and Fee Petitions, How-to’s of Vocational Expert Examination, Perspectives of the Appeals Council, Appeals Council and Federal District Court Arguments, Case Law and Rulings, and How to File in Federal Court and Win! Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 8 general credits.

Agricultural Law — Rural Land Transactions: Contract Issues
Whether you represent the buyer or seller of ranch land, cattle, timber or recreational ranches, farms or other rural lands, this program is for you! Attend and your faculty of seasoned real estate attorneys and brokers will guide you through the nuances of rural land transactions, and help you avoid mistakes and potential pitfalls. You will receive straightforward guidance on Buyer Entity Pros and Cons, Federal Grazing Permits, Water, Mineral and Wind Rights, Growing Crops, and much more. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 4 general credits.

Marijuana Law — Enforcing Cannabis Contracts, Including the Use of Arbitration in the Cannabis Industry
A key fear in the cannabis industry is the extent to which cannabis-related contracts are enforceable. This goes beyond contracts for the sale of cannabis itself and may include any number of legal instruments that touch a cannabis business. Although a number of recent court decisions in the Colorado state and federal courts indicate a trend toward the enforcement of cannabis-related contracts, and these cases will be discussed, many doubts remain regarding the enforceability of cannabis-related contracts. Arbitration provides a unique forum for the resolution of cannabis-related disputes that may provide greater legal certainty and enforceability. This CLE presentation covers the nuts and bolts of arbitration law relevant to the enforcement of purportedly illegal contracts, and goes beyond to identify techniques counsel should consider when drafting arbitration clauses for cannabis businesses and their partners. Order the Video OnDemand here, the CD homestudy here, and the MP3 here. Available for 3 general credits.

Courthouse of the U.S. District Court Closed on Friday, December 9, 2016

The U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado announced a courthouse closure. On Friday, December 9, 2016, from 12:45 to 6 p.m., the courthouse will be closed for business due to a law enforcement training exercise. The Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse will be closed to the public. The Byron G. Rogers Courthouse will remain open, but no court business will be conducted. Court business in the Durango and Grand Junction courthouses will be conducted as scheduled. All electronic systems to include CM/ECF and PACER will remain in operation during this time period. For more information, click here.