April 23, 2019

Colorado Supreme Court: Defendant Did Not Overcome Presumption of Regularity Regarding Incorrect Verdict Forms in Record on Appeal

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in LePage v. People on Monday, February 24, 2014.

Presumption of Regularity.

The Supreme Court considered whether the court of appeals correctly applied the presumption of regularity when it determined that the jury did not receive the correct verdict forms. The trial judge read to the jury the correct elemental instructions and verdict forms; therefore, it can be inferred that the jury received the correct verdict forms. When the record was certified on appeal, however, one of the verdict forms was stapled to a refused jury instruction that was not given to the jury, raising the inference that the jury in fact may not have received the correct verdict forms.

The Court held that defendant failed to show that the jury did not receive the correct verdict forms. The court of appeals had affirmed the trial court’s judgment, holding that failure to give the jury the verdict form for the lesser included offense was not reversible error. The Supreme Court, however, affirmed the trial court’s judgment because defendant did not show that the trial court erred. Therefore, the Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment on other grounds.

Summary and full case available here.

CJD 98-03, “Preparation of Record in Death Penalty Cases,” Repealed

On Tuesday, February 18, 2014, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the repeal of CJD 98-03 regarding preparation of the record in death penalty cases. The repeal is effective February 5, 2014. It was repealed to allow the courts to electronically transmit the trial court record in death penalty cases to the Appellate Court.

HB 13-1086: Changing Requirement for Record Preparation in Appeals to District Court

On January 16, 2013, Rep. Roger Wilson and Sen. Kevin Grantham introduced HB 13-1086 –  Concerning the Preparation of the Record in Appeals from County Court JudgmentsThis summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Under current law, in county court civil or criminal actions that are appealed to the district court, the record on appeal must be completed within 42 days after judgment. The bill revises the process to require the record to be completed within 42 days after the filing of notice of appeal rather than of the judgment. The completed record shall be certified by the clerk of the court, not by a county court judge. The bill applies to appeals from judgments entered on or after July 1, 2013.The CBA LPC voted to support this legislation. On Feb. 7, the House gave final approval of the bill; the bill is assigned to the Judiciary Committee in the Senate.

Since this summary, the Senate Judiciary Committee referred the bill unamended to the consent calendar for the Senate Committee of the Whole.

Colorado Supreme Court: Record on Appeal Did Not Satisfy C.A.R. 10(b); Appeal Dismissed With Prejudice

The Colorado Supreme Court issued its opinion in Northstar Project Management, Inc. v. DLR Group, Inc.  on Monday, February 11, 2013.

CAR 10(b)—Designation of Appellate Record.

The Supreme Court held that the court of appeals erred when it held that the record designated by DLR Group, Inc. (DLR) on appeal satisfied CAR 10(b). The court of appeals did not have the information necessary to determine whether the evidence sufficiently supported the jury’s verdict in favor of Northstar Project Management, Inc. The judgment of the court of appeals was reversed and the case was remanded for dismissal of DLR’s appeal with prejudice pursuant to CAR 38(e).

Summary and full case available here.