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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
January 13, 2014

2014 CO 1. No. 13SA216. In re Young v. Jefferson County Sheriff.
Immunity for Law Enforcement Officers Transporting Juveniles—CRS § 19-2-508(7).

In this original CAR 21 proceeding, the Supreme Court held that the trial court erred in finding that allegations of negligence alone are sufficient to overcome the statutory grant of immunity and the presumption of good faith afforded to law enforcement officers pursuant to CRS § 19-2-508(7). Accordingly, a party seeking to rebut the presumption of good faith in § 19-2-508(7) must allege something more than negligence.

2014 CO 2. No. 12SC198. Hickerson v. Vessels.
Statute of Limitations—CRS § 13-80-103.5(1)(a)—Partial Payment Doctrine—Laches.

The Supreme Court held that the separation of powers doctrine does not bar application of the defense of laches to a debt collection action filed within the original or restarted six-year statute of limitations period. Laches does not conflict with the plain meaning of the relevant statute of limitations, nor does it conflict with the partial payment doctrine, which is a creature of Colorado common law. Since early statehood, Colorado case law has recognized the application of equitable remedies to legal claims. Accordingly, the Court reversed the judgment of the court of appeals and remanded the case for consideration of issues it did not reach.

2014 CO 3. No. 11SC59. In re the Marriage of Cardona and Castro.
Disposition of Property—Equitable Distribution of Marital Property—Accrued Leave.

The Supreme Court considered whether accrued vacation and sick leave may be considered marital property subject to division under CRS § 14-10-113 of the Uniform Dissolution of Marriage Act (UDMA). The Court held that where a spouse has an enforceable right to be paid for accrued vacation or sick leave, such accrued leave earned during the marriage is marital property. Where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution can be reasonably ascertained, it is subject to equitable division under the UDMA. However, where the value of such leave at the time of dissolution cannot be reasonably ascertained, the court should consider the employee spouse’s right to such leave as an economic circumstance of the parties when equitably dividing the marital estate.

In this case, the Court concluded that the trial court erred in considering the value of the spouse’s accrued leave as part of the marital estate because no competent evidence was presented to establish that the spouse had an enforceable right to payment for such leave. The Court therefore affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment on narrower grounds.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions