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The Colorado Supreme Court on Friday issued a brief order upholding the Title Board's decision to reject a proposed ballot initiative that would have used a novel method of amending the constitution while revamping much of the state's direct democracy process.

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In reaching its decision, the three-member panel’s majority found a lower court judge reinterpreted Colorado’s open records law to mean the CU Board of Regents had a duty to disclose the applications of the people who came before the board at the final stage of the process. 

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R. Brooke Jackson, right, the federal judge in Colorado who curbed the Denver Police Department’s use of chemical weapons and projectiles against peaceful racial justice protesters last summer, will step down later this year and create a vacancy for President Joe Biden to fill.

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The U.S. Supreme Court has declined to review a Colorado case that questioned how clearly attorneys must communicate the immigration consequences of a guilty plea to their clients, an issue which Attorney General Phil Weiser had argued the justices need not decide.

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Eric Brandt, who broadcasts his pugilistic confrontations with law enforcement over a YouTube channel, sued Sheriff James Crone (who has since retired) for threatening to arrest him and allegedly preventing him from completing an open records request at the sheriff's office building.

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The explanation for his dismissal pointed to the man's prior negative experience with the criminal justice system, which both sets of judges agreed may affect Black Americans disproportionately. Nevertheless, the other, non-racial reasons for excusing the man were persuasive.

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The Judicial Conference has labeled Colorado as a "judicial emergency" due to high numbers of case filings in the seven-judge district court. One of the seats has been vacant since 2019, and the Biden administration has not yet sent a nomination to the U.S. Senate.

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The number of civil cases filed in federal court in Colorado rose by 39% between 2000 and 2019, and the administrative body for the judiciary has called for two additional judges to handle the workload in the state. However, the rate of cases that make it to trial has slowly dropped over the past two decades, now comprising less than 1% of civil cases annually.

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Following the Court’s unanimous ruling in Allman v. People that criminal sentences are impermissible if they include both prison and probation, the justices have agreed to hear two appeals from the Denver District Attorney’s Office to clear up whether their decision extends to the sentencing of those who commit sex offenses.

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Mike Lindell, like Trump lawyers Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell earlier, stands to lose $1.3 billion in the defamation lawsuit for his aggressive promotion of a theory that the election was stolen because Dominion voting equipment flipped votes to Democratic nominee Joe Biden.

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A total of eight representatives from the legislature, the governor's office and the attorney general's office will select external investigators for an inquiry into the Judicial Department, following revelations of misconduct in the state's court system that went unreported and uninvestigated.

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Colorado’s judicial branch will neither confirm nor deny whether it has any additional records on the allegation that a Court of Appeals judge negotiated an agreement with a law clerk to prevent the clerk from disclosing sexual harassment claims, citing a provision of its rules that requires confidentiality for all investigations it conducts into sexual harassment claims against judges.

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Chief Justice Brian Boatright, his voice sometimes breaking, talked about the harm the allegations have done to the trust the people of Colorado have placed in its judicial branch. He also told the story of a 20-year employee in the branch who said, for the first time in her career, that she was not proud to say she worked for the judicial branch. It broke his heart, Boatright said.

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Starts, stops and money woes created by the coronavirus pandemic have put a strain on Colorado’s court system. The latest major court proceeding to fall victim to COVID-19 delays is the Pueblo County murder trial of Donthe Lucas, 27, accused in the 2013 killing of Kelsie Schelling. 

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Rebecca Love Kourlis, who is a former Colorado Supreme Court justice, and Russell Wheeler, a visiting fellow at the Brookings Institution, talked with Colorado Politics about their preference for more transparent judicial discipline proceedings, and the possibility that workplace culture, not just discipline, is lacking.

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The state Supreme Court has given its blessing to an investigation into the Colorado Judicial Department, weeks after reports emerged of a multimillion dollar contract being authorized for a former employee in order to conceal allegations of misconduct.

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The Colorado Supreme Court this week handed over for investigation to the Colorado State Auditor’s Office a memo detailing nearly two dozen instances of judicial and administrator misconduct at the heart of an alleged $2.72 million hush money contract scandal, but the public may never get a chance to find out what the Auditor’s Office concludes.

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After reports emerged that the Judicial Department and Colorado’s former chief justice awarded a multimillion-dollar contract to an employee to prevent her from disclosing incidents of workplace misconduct and sex discrimination, multiple legal associations and judges are now urging an inquiry.

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At issue was the Colorado Sex Offender Registration Act, which requires the submission of personal information to the Colorado Bureau of Investigation for the sex offender registry. An adult or juvenile may need to register for the rest of their life, or they can petition a judge to discontinue registration. However, the law prohibits adults from deregistering if they have two or more convictions for unlawful sexual conduct.

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As a result of the wastewater overflow from 5 Star Feedlot, Inc. into the Republican River in the spring of 2015, Colorado Parks and Wildlife sought to recover the value of the fish. 5 Star countered that the state needed to prove it acted voluntarily to take the fish, and that 5 Star also knew what it was doing.

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Some members of the legal community are expressing concern about the decision of Colorado’s U.S. senators to recommend a former prosecutor and current corporate attorney to fill a federal judicial vacancy, after the Biden administration had previously requested candidates from “historically underrepresented” legal experiences.

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An appeals judge has urged the Colorado Supreme Court to revise its 1884-era standard for finding laws unconstitutional, advocating for the state’s court system to lower its level of scrutiny to conform with its federal counterpart. 

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A federal judge has allowed a woman’s claim to go forward against three Denver Police Department employees for negligently burning down her home during a lengthy standoff, but dismissed her allegations that the city unlawfully seized her central Denver home in violation of the Constitution.

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“I hope that a lesson has been learned very clearly. This is not the way to practice law. This is not what it means to be a professional. This is not okay,” wrote U.S. District Judge R. Brooke Jackson in an unorthodox reprimand to Adam Frank, the original attorney for plaintiff Travis Cook.