COLORADO SUPREME COURT
December 11, 2017
2017 CO 105. No. 16SC731. People in Interest of J.W.
Children’s Code—Dependency or Neglect Proceedings—Jurisdiction.
The Supreme Court reviewed whether a juvenile court validly terminated a mother’s parent–child legal relationship without first entering a formal written order adjudicating her children as dependent or neglected. The juvenile court accepted mother’s admission that her children were neglected or dependent, but did not enter a formal order adjudicating the children’s status as to mother before it terminated mother’s parental rights approximately a year later. The Court of Appeals held that the juvenile court lacked jurisdiction to terminate mother’s parental rights because it had not entered an order adjudicating the children’s status as dependent or neglected.
The Supreme Court held that the juvenile court’s acceptance of mother’s admission established the children’s status as dependent or neglected, thus fulfilling the purpose of the adjudicative process and permitting state intervention into the familial relationship. The juvenile court’s failure to enter an adjudicative order confirming the children’s status did not divest the juvenile court of jurisdiction to terminate mother’s parental rights in this case, nor did it impair the fundamental fairness of the proceedings or deprive the mother of due process under the circumstances of this case. Accordingly, the Court reversed the Court of Appeals’ judgment and remanded the case to the Court of Appeals to consider mother’s other contentions on appeal.
2017 CO 106. No. 17SA219. People v. Garcia.
In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court held that the interactions between law enforcement officers and defendant inside her home and in her front yard did not constitute custody for Miranda purposes. Under the totality of the circumstances, the Court concluded that a reasonable person in defendant’s position would not have believed her freedom of action had been curtailed to a degree...