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Colorado Supreme Court Opinions
June 4, 2012

2012 CO 41. No. 11SC552. People v. Maser.
Appellate Jurisdiction—Appeals From the District Court

In this appeal, the Supreme Court addressed whether the court of appeals has jurisdiction to review a district court order dismissing a misdemeanor charge in a county court case that was improperly transferred to the district court in violation of a chief judge’s order governing such transfers within the judicial district. The Court held that although it is questionable whether the district court had jurisdiction to dismiss the county court charge, the only forum for an initial appeal of such a dismissal is in the court of appeals. Accordingly, the case was remanded to the court of appeals to review the district court’s dismissal on the merits.

2012 CO 42. No. 11SA326. People v. Arapu.
Scope of a Suspect’s Consent to Search a Dwelling—Review of a Redacted Affidavit Supporting a Search Warrant—Independent Source Rule.

The Supreme Court held that a suspect who consents to a law enforcement officer entering his or her dwelling to monitor another person inside permits the law enforcement officer to ask the monitored person for identifying information. The Court also held that a suspect who consents to a law enforcement officer remaining inside his or her dwelling—to gather belongings and to secure the dwelling—permits the law enforcement officer to remain in the apartment until all law enforcement personnel have left the dwelling. Accordingly, the Court reversed the district court’s suppression of the drug-related evidence. The Court also reversed the district court’s suppression of a firearm, because it would have been discovered in a search pursuant to a warrant supported by a redacted affidavit that independently established probable cause to search the apartment for drug-related evidence. The case was remanded to the district court for proceedings consistent with its opinion.

2012 CO 43. No. 11SA261. In re Rivera: Sender v. Cygan.
Real Property—Recording—Sufficient Notice.

In response to a certified question posed by the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado, the Supreme Court held that a recorded deed of trust that completely omits a legal description is defectively recorded and cannot provide constructive notice to a subsequent purchaser of another party’s security interest in the property. The Court held that, under the circumstances of this case, actual knowledge cannot be imputed to the trustee, and the deed of trust did not otherwise provide sufficient notice of defendant’s security interest in the debtor’s property. The Court therefore answered the certified question in the negative and returned the case to the Bankruptcy Court for further proceedings.

Colorado Supreme Court Opinions