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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
June 18, 2012

2012 CO 44. No. 12SA63. In re the Marriage of Wiggins.
CRCP 45—Production of Subpoenaed Documents.

The Supreme Court reversed the district court’s discovery order and held that documents subpoenaed pursuant to CRCP 45 may be produced by the subpoenaed witness only at the deposition, hearing, or trial specified in the subpoena, unless all parties and the subpoenaed witness agree to an alternate arrangement or by other court order. The Court remanded the case to the district court with directions to ensure that all physical and electronic copies of the subpoenaed employment file and other documents, which were improperly obtained before the hearing specified in the subpoena, be identified and recovered, and then returned or destroyed. The Court also directed the district court to determine whether sanctions in this case were appropriate for the rule violation.

2012 CO 45. No. 12SA97. People v. Lynn.
Custodial Interrogation—Unambiguous Request for Attorney—Cease All Questioning—Miranda Rights.

The Supreme Court affirmed the trial court’s order suppressing defendant’s statements. Defendant’s question to his interrogator—“When can I talk to a lawyer?”—was an unambiguous request for counsel. Following that question, the interrogator should have ceased all questioning. By continuing to question defendant, the interrogator violated defendant’s Miranda rights.

2012 CO 46. No. 10SC187. Amos v. Aspen Alps 123, LLC.
Real Property—CRCP 120—Public Trustee Sale—Foreclosure—Antitrust—Bid-Rigging.

The Supreme Court affirmed the court of appeals’ judgment and held that notice was sufficient under CRCP 120. The Court concluded that where the parties have received actual notice that afforded them an opportunity to present their objections, and where no prejudice resulted, a completed foreclosure sale will not be disturbed for a failure to strictly comply with Rule 120’s notice requirements. The Court also determined that, based on the limited trial record in this case, plaintiffs failed to establish bid-rigging as a defense. Accordingly, the Court reversed the court of appeals’ judgment holding that illegal bid-rigging had occurred.

2012 CO 47. No. 10SC269. Pierson v. People.
Rape Shield Statute—Relevancy of Evidence.

Defendant sought review of the court of appeals’ judgment affirming his various convictions of felony sexual assault on a child and indecent exposure. The district court denied defendant’s pre-trial motion to admit evidence of the child’s similar victimization by a teenage cousin during the same time period. The court of appeals upheld the trial court’s ruling, finding that the proffered evidence of prior sexual contact did not fall within the rape shield exception for the source of semen, pregnancy, disease, or similar evidence of sexual intercourse, and that it was not relevant for any of the other purposes offered by defendant.

The Supreme Court affirmed the judgment of the court of appeals. The Court found that the proffered evidence amounted to evidence of specific instances of the victim’s previous sexual activity, which was neither included within the exception for alternate sources of semen, pregnancy, disease, or similar evidence, nor otherwise sufficiently probative as an alternate explanation for the victim’s sexual knowledge or pain. Therefore, the trial court did not abuse its discretion in excluding the proffered evidence.

2012 CO 48. No. 11SA288. People v. Vissarriagas.
Criminal Law—Fourth Amendment—Suppression of Evidence—Inventory Search—Pretextual Traffic Stop.

In this interlocutory appeal, the Supreme Court considered whether the trial court erred in suppressing evidence seized by police in the course of an inventory search on the basis that the traffic stop preceding the inventory search was pretextual and the inventory search therefore invalid. The Court held that, regardless of the officers’ pretextual or subjective intent in stopping the vehicle, the officers possessed an independent and objective basis to make the traffic stop; therefore, the stop was valid. The Court found there were insufficient factual findings to allow it to review the validity of the inventory search. Accordingly, the trial court’s suppression order was reversed and the case was remanded to the trial court for factual findings and conclusions of law concerning the validity of the inventory search.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions