Colorado Supreme Court
The summaries of Colorado Supreme Court published opinions are provided by the Court; the CBA cannot guarantee their accuracy or completeness. Both the summaries and full opinions, as well as the lists of petitions for rehearing and certiorari and the granted original proceedings pursuant to the Colorado Appellate Rules, are available on the CBA website, www.cobar.org (click on “For Members” and then “Opinions/Rules/Statutes”), and on the Colorado Judicial Branch website, www.courts.state.co.us (click on “Courts/Supreme Court/Case Announcements”).
October 3, 2016
2016 CO 68. No. 16SA94. Higgins v. People. Criminal Law—Juvenile Law—Psychotherapist– Patient Privilege—Constitutional Law.
This companion case to People v. Johnson, 2016 CO 69, raises two questions. First, does a trial court have statutory authority to order a juvenile charged as an adult to undergo a state-administered mental health assessment for a reverse-transfer proceeding? The Supreme Court answered that question in the negative in Johnson, but does not answer that question here because it is hypothetical—the question is not based on the facts of this case. Second, is a trial court required, before a mental health assessment, to provide a juvenile with warnings based on the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination? The Court does not answer that question either, because (1) Higgins consented to the evaluation while represented by counsel, and (2) any claims that ineffective assistance of counsel vitiated Higgins’s consent are premature. Therefore, the Court vacated the order to show cause and remanded the case for further proceedings.
2016 CO 69. No. 16SA96. Johnson v. People. Criminal Law—Juvenile Law—Psychotherapist– Patient Privilege.
This case raises two questions involving what a trial court may order when a juvenile seeks reverse-transfer of her criminal case from trial court to juvenile court. First, when a juvenile requests a reverse-transfer hearing, does she waive her psychotherapist–patient privilege...