COLORADO SUPREME COURT
September 9, 2019
2019 CO 74. No. 18SA215. Luskin Daughters 1996 Trust v. Young. Water Law- Personal Jurisdiction
The Luskin Daughters 1996 Trust (Trust) appealed from the water court's order dismissing its complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief, as well as for damages. The water court concluded that in the absence of an application for the determination of a water right, the Trust's claim of interference by the Youngs with its unadjudicated appropriative rights to springs that arise on the Youngs' land could not proceed before the water court. It therefore granted the Youngs' motion to dismiss pursuant to CRCP 12(b)(1), (2), or (5).
The Supreme Court held that because the water court could not provide the Trust's requested relief without the Trust's first having adjudicated its water rights in accordance with CRS § 37-92-302, the water court properly dismissed the Trust's complaint. It also held that because the Youngs successfully defended the dismissal of this tort action on appeal, they are statutorily entitled to their reasonable appellate attorney fees. The judgment was affirmed and the case was remanded to the water court for a determination of the amount of those fees.
2019 CO 75. No. 17SC614. Brooks v. People.
In this case, the Supreme Court considered whether defendant's prior guilty plea to theft from a person was constitutionally obtained, such that it could be used later to adjudicate him a habitual offender. The Court held that defendant's prior guilty plea to theft from a person was constitutionally valid because defendant understood the charge to which he pleaded guilty. Because defendant was convicted of a relatively simple offense, had prior, relevant experience with the criminal justice system, and was represented by competent counsel who certified that defendant was advised of all the critical elements of theft from a person, the prior guilty plea can be used to adjudicate defendant a habitual offender. The Court of Appeals' opinion was vacated and the judgment was affirmed on different grounds.
2019 CO 76. No. 17SC284. Alliance for a Safe and Independent Woodmen Hills v. Campaign Integrity Watchdog, LLC.
Statutes of Limitations-Attorney Fees. In this case, the Supreme Court considered two questions regarding the meaning of Colo. Const, art. XXVIII, § 9(2)(a). First, the Court construed the term "violation," as that term is used in § 9(2)(a), to determine whether the "violation" that triggers § 9(2)(a)'s one-year statute of...