Cross references: For admissibility of witnesses' testimony, see part 1 of article 90 of this title and C.R.C.P. 43; for admissibility of evidence of failure to wear a safety belt system to mitigate damages resulting from a motor vehicle accident, see § 42-4-237 (7).

Law reviews: For a discussion of Tenth Circuit decisions dealing with evidence, see 66 Den. U.L. Rev. 767 (1989).

13-25-102. United States census bureau mortality table as evidence. In all civil actions, special proceedings, or other modes of litigation in courts of justice or before magistrates or other persons having power and authority to receive evidence, when it is necessary to establish the expectancy of continued life of any person from any period of such person's life, whether he or she is living at the time or not, the most recent United States census bureau expectation of life and expected deaths by race, sex, and age table, as published by the United States census bureau from time to time, must be received as evidence, together with other evidence as to health, constitution, habits, and occupation of the person regarding the person's expectancy of continued life.

Source: L. 1893: p. 261, § 1. R.S.08: § 2490. C.L. § 6536. CSA: C. 63, § 2. CRS 53: § 52-1-2. C.R.S. 1963: § 52-1-2. L. 91: Entire section amended, p. 358, § 16, effective April 9. L. 2014: Entire section amended, (SB 14-048), ch. 46, p. 222, § 1, effective August 6.


Tables are admissible where personal injuries are alleged to be permanent. Where in an action for personal injuries there is evidence that the disability complained of is permanent, the mortuary tables are admissible to establish the plaintiff's expectancy of life. Rio Grande S. R. R. v. Nichols, 52 Colo. 300, 123 P. 318 (1912).

Under this section, a mortality table which has legislative recognition at any given time is evidence to be considered with other pertinent matter as bearing upon the life expectancy of person whose rights are being adjudicated; such table does not fix the liability of an employer, and under certain circumstances might be wholly disregarded by the industrial commission. Colo. Fuel & Iron Corp. v. Indus. Comm'n, 148 Colo. 557, 367 P.2d 597 (1961).

However, the tables are not conclusive, but are to be considered in connection with other evidence as to the health, habits, and condition of the injured party. Rio Grande S. R. R. v. Nichols, 52 Colo. 300, 123 P. 318 (1912); Riss & Co. v. Anderson, 108 Colo. 78, 114 P.2d 278 (1941); Colo. Fuel & Iron Corp. v. Indus. Comm'n, 148 Colo. 557, 367 P.2d 597 (1961).

Evidence as to the age, habits, and health of the absentee is admissible, because bearing upon the probable duration of his life. The mortuary table prescribed by this section is admissible for the reason that it bears upon the probable duration of his life. New York Life Ins. Co. v. Holck, 59 Colo. 416, 151 P. 916 (1915).

In such cases the litigant may avail himself of the admissibility of the mortality tables or not, at his pleasure. Gilligan v. Blakesley, 93 Colo. 370, 26 P.2d 808 (1933).

In determining the life expectancy of a claimant, the industrial commission may use any recognized expectancy tables without their formal introduction by either party at the hearing. Indus. Comm'n v. Big Six Coal Co., 72 Colo. 377, 211 P. 361 (1922) (decided prior to the abolition of the industrial commission in 1986).

13-25-103. Mortality table. (Repealed)

Source: L. 1893: p. 261, § 2. R.S. 08: § 2491. C.L. § 6537. CSA: C. 63, § 3. CRS 53: § 52-1-3. L. 55: p. 371, § 1. L. 60: p. 138, § 1. C.R.S. 1963: § 52-1-3. L. 77: Entire section R&RE, p. 804, § 1, effective July 1. L. 86: Entire section R&RE, p. 691, § 1, effective July 1. L. 93: Entire section amended, p. 250, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2002: Entire section amended, p. 1354, § 1, effective July 1. L. 2014: Entire section repealed, (SB 14-048), ch. 46, p. 222, § 2, effective August 6.

13-25-104. Proof of handwriting. Comparison of a disputed writing, with any writing proved to the satisfaction of the court to be genuine, shall be permitted to be made by witnesses in all trials and proceedings, and the evidence of witnesses respecting the same may be submitted to the court and jury as evidence of the genuineness or otherwise of the writing in dispute.

Source: L. 1893: p. 264, § 1. R.S. 08: § 2492. C.L. § 6538. CSA: C. 63, § 4. CRS 53: § 52-1-4. C.R.S. 1963: § 52-1-4.


An expert in handwriting may depose as to the authenticity of the handwriting in question, though he acquires his knowledge of the writing of the person to whom it is ascribed merely by examination of specimens proven or admitted to be his genuine handwriting, such specimens being produced in court and the witness comparing them and stating his conclusions as to their similarity or dissimilarity. Salazar v. Taylor, 18 Colo. 538 (1893); Ausmus v. People, 47 Colo. 167, 107 P. 204 (1910).

It is not necessary that an expert testify as to the authenticity of the writing. If there is a genuine writing which may be used to compare the handwriting of the disputed handwritings, then such disputed writings are admissible into evidence. Lewis v. People, 174 Colo. 334, 483 P.2d 949 (1971).

Anyone can identify handwriting by comparison. The rule is that when a writing in issue is claimed on the one hand and denied upon the other to be the writing of a particular person, any other writing of that person's may be admitted in evidence for the mere purpose of comparison with the writing in dispute, whether the latter is susceptible of or supported by direct proof or not; but before any such writing shall be admissible for such purpose, its genuineness must be found as a preliminary fact by the presiding judge, upon clear and undoubted evidence. Wilson v. Scroggs, 85 Colo. 537, 277 P. 784 (1929).

Preliminary determination of genuineness of writing. This section requires that before a disputed writing is admissible for comparison purposes, the court shall make a preliminary determination that the writing is genuine. In order for the court to make such a determination, the party offering the evidence must make a prima facie showing of genuineness based on clear and competent evidence. People v. Taylor, 197 Colo. 161, 591 P.2d 1017 (1979).

For proof of extraneous writing as genuine, see Bradford v. People, 22 Colo. 157, 43 P. 1013 (1896); Brindisi v. People, 76 Colo. 244, 230 P. 797 (1924).

Something must connect the authors of the two writings. Before such standards of comparison are admissible, there must be something to connect the author of them with the writing, the authenticity of which is in dispute. Wilson v. Scroggs, 85 Colo. 537, 277 P. 784 (1929).

If shown to be authentic it is admissible as standard of comparison. Where the genuineness of a signature is an issue, the court should allow all evidence which tends to establish the genuineness of a signature offered in evidence as a basis of comparison, and should then determine as a matter of law whether the authenticity of such signature has been established, and if this has been done to his satisfaction, then the proven signature should be admitted as a standard of comparison to be used by witnesses and jurors in determining the issue. Wilson v. Scroggs, 85 Colo. 537, 277 P. 784 (1929).

Disputed signature need not be admitted to be genuine if comparison shows it is. In an action involving a disputed signature, it is not the law that before an alleged genuine signature may be admitted in evidence as a standard of comparison, it must be admitted to be genuine. If the evidence establishes the signature to be genuine to the satisfaction of the court, it is admissible. Wilson v. Scroggs, 85 Colo. 537, 277 P. 784 (1929).

The words "the same" appearing in this section refer to "writing proved" as well as to "disputed writing" and the words "and such writings" may well have been stricken from the original bill as superfluous. Brindisi v. People, 76 Colo. 244, 230 P. 797 (1924).

This section is not applicable to a prosecution for forgery in a federal court. Withaup v. United States, 127 F. 530 (8th Cir. 1903).

Applied in People v. Todd, 189 Colo. 117, 538 P.2d 433 (1975).

13-25-105. Certificate of register - patent. The official certificate of any register or receiver of any land office of the United States to any fact or matter on record in his office shall be received and held competent to prove the fact as certified. The certificate of any such register of the entry or purchase of any tract of land within his district shall be taken to be evidence of title in the party who made such entry or purchase, or his heirs and assigns; but a patent for land shall be considered a better legal and paramount title in the patentee, his heirs, or his assigns than such register's certificate of the entry and purchase of the same land.

Source: R.S. p. 309, § 3. G.L. § 1080. G.S. § 1310. R.S. 08: § 2494. C.L. § 6540. CSA: C. 63, § 6. CRS 53: § 52-1-6. C.R.S. 1963: § 52-1-6.


The statute was clearly intended to cover only facts and matters affirmatively appearing on record in the land office; and it is too simple a proposition to admit of argument that it does not authorize receiving in evidence a certificate stating that a certain fact or matter does not appear on record. Knoth v. Barclay, 8 Colo. 300, 6 P. 924 (1885).

Land entered as herein prescribed has always been held to be the subject of contract and sale, and the receipt of the money and the issuance of the certificate have universally been held to be such a segregation of the land from the public domain as to entitle the party to his patent, and to warrant legal proceedings for the purposes of procuring it. Godding v. Decker, 3 Colo. App. 198, 32 P. 832 (1893).

A purchase money receipt from land office is prima facie evidence. A receipt for the purchase money of lands issued by the receiver of a land office of the United States is prima facie...

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