Summaries of Published Opinions
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”).
July 5, 2016
2016 CO 54. No. 16SA8. State v. The Castle Law Group, LLC. Colorado Consumer Protection Act—Deceptive Trade Practice—Disclosure.
The State filed an enforcement action against The Castle Law Group and its affiliated vendors, alleging, inter alia, violations of the Colorado Consumer Protection Act (CCPA), CRS §§ 6-1-101 to -115. The State alleged that defendants engaged in a deceptive trade practice by generating and submitting deceptive invoices reflecting systematically inflated costs incurred for foreclosure-related services, while falsely representing to mortgage servicers that these inflated costs were “actual, necessary, and reasonable.” In this original proceeding, the Supreme Court held that, for purposes of a deceptive trade practices claim under the CCPA, disclosure of a price charged does not automatically insulate a party from claims that the price is deceptive. The Court further held that evidence of the market rates charged by unaffiliated vendors for foreclosure-related services is directly relevant to establishing whether the costs invoiced by the vendors were the actual or reasonable costs of such services. The Court therefore reversed a trial court order excluding testimony concerning the market rate for foreclosure-related services.
2016 CO 55. Nos. 16SA153 & 16SA154. In re Title, Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2015–2016 #132 and #133. Single Subject.
The Supreme Court held that Initiatives #132 and #133 encompass multiple subjects in violation of article V, § 1(5.5) of the Colorado Constitution and CRS § 1-40-106.5. By combining the restructuring of the Colorado Reapportionment Commission with changes to the constitutional role of the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission, both initiatives violate the single subject requirement. Further, Initiative #132 removes the power to draw congressional districts from the General Assembly and reallocates that constitutional power to the new Redistricting Commission. This constitutes an additional third subject. The Court therefore reversed the actions of the Title Board and remanded these cases to the Title Board with directions to strike the title, ballot title, and submission clauses, and to return the initiatives to their proponents.
2016 CO 56. No. 16SA157. In re Title, Ballot Title & Submission Clause for 2015–2016 #156. Clear Title—Totality of the Circumstances.
The Supreme Court held that the title that the Ballot Title Board set for Initiative 2015–2016 #156 violates the clear title requirement because it is confusing and fails to aid voters in deciphering the purpose of the initiative and in deciding whether to support or oppose it. The Court therefore reversed the Title Board’s setting of title and returned the initiative to the Board.