2019.05.30 Case Law Summary

Unpublished Opinions

Please remember the Court of Appeals Policy concerning citation of unpublished opinions:

Citation of unpublished opinions is forbidden, with the following exceptions:

(1) Unpublished opinions may be cited to explain the case history or to establish the doctrines of law of the case, res judicata, or collateral estoppel;

(2) This policy shall not apply to opinions that were designated as “Not Selected for Official Publication” and were announced between January 1, 1970 and November 1, 1975, but nevertheless were published in the Pacific Second Reporter. (Policy adopted April 28, 1994)

Copies of unpublished opinions are provided for private use and are not to be included in an electronic database or otherwise published.

Unpublished cases can be requested from the COA at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Opinion_Request.cfm

Or, send me an email at rkapoor@coloradoorpc.org and I can send you a copy directly.

People in the Interest of DPE, 17CA1751 (April 18, 2019)

On appeal from an order terminating mother’s parental rights, mother contended that the trial Judge’s failure to disclose that she was a co-guardian of a person with M.H. M.H. was a member of the family’s treatment team who was also a material expert witness at the termination hearing.

The court of appeals concluded that the trial judge’s failure to obtain a waiver of conflict from mother on the record was reversible error and reversed the termination order. The court reasoned that the judge’s close relationship with M.H. created the appearance of impropriety in violation of the judicial canons, which meant that the conflict had to be waived or the judge had to recuse.

Congratulations to ORPC appellate attorney Debra Dodd on this reversal!

People in Interest of DP, 18CA0989 (April 18, 2019)

Father was incarcerated for the duration of the case. At the adjudicatory hearing, although father was not present, his attorney entered an admission to a petition on his behalf. At the dispositional hearing, there was no discussion of father’s treatment plan other than to enter a dispositional order and allow him two weeks to object to it.