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TCL > October 2005 Issue > Court Business

October 2005       Vol. 34, No. 10       Page  113
From the Courts
Court Business

Court Business

Colorado Judicial Branch

Claims for Relief for Specified Dollar Amounts in Civil Cases

The Colorado Rules of Civil Procedure (C.R.C.P.) outline the protocols for filing civil complaints in Colorado state trial courts. These rules prohibit plaintiffs from stating specific dollar amounts in their complaints.

The C.R.C.P. governs whether civil court pleadings can or must state a specific dollar amount when they are filed in state courts. Pursuant to C.R.C.P. 8 (a) Claims for Relief, no dollar amount shall be stated in the prayer or demand for relief.

C.R.C.P. 8 (a) specifically outlines the items that a claim contains: A claim for relief "[p]leading which sets forth a claim for a relief whether an original claim, counterclaim, cross-claim, or a third-party claim, shall contain: (1) if the court is of limited jurisdiction, a short and plain statement of the grounds upon which the court’s jurisdiction depends; (2) a short and plain statement of the claim showing that the pleader is entitled to relief; and (3) a demand for judgment for the relief to which the pleader claims to be entitled. No dollar amount shall be stated in the prayer or demand for relief. Relief in the alternative or of several different types may be demanded."

The rules cited above apply to district court cases, where the amount in controversy exceeds $15,000. In county court, where the jurisdiction of the court extends to matters of $15,000 or less, the court uses a simplified procedure where the complaint may state either that the amount does not exceed the jurisdiction of the court or the specific amount of the claim.

If a finding of liability is determined by the court, the damages phase of the case then ensues. CRS §13-64-204. Special damages findings required.

(1) If liability is found in a trial under this part 2, the trier of fact, in addition to other appropriate findings, shall make separate findings for each claimant specifying the amount of:

(a) Any past damages for each of the following types:

(I) Medical and other costs of health care;

(II) Other economic loss except loss of earnings;

(III) Loss of earnings; and

(IV) Noneconomic loss;

(b) Any future damages and the period of time over which they will be paid, for each of the following types:

(I) Medical and other costs of health care;

(II) Other economic loss except loss of future earnings which would be incurred for the life of the claimant or any lesser period;

(III) Loss of future earnings which would be incurred for the work life expectancy of the claimant or a lesser period; and

(IV) Noneconomic loss which would be incurred for the life of the claimant or any lesser period.

(2) The calculation of all future damages under subparagraphs (I), (II), and (IV) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall reflect the costs and losses during the period of time, including life expectancy, if appropriate, that the claimant will sustain those costs and losses. The calculation of loss under subparagraph (III) of paragraph (b) of subsection (1) of this section shall be based on loss during the period of time the claimant would have earned income but for the injury upon which the claim is based.

(3) The fact that payment of any judgment will be paid by periodic payments shall not be disclosed to a jury.

Dated: August 23, 2005

From the Court:

Mary J. Mullarkey,
Chief Justice
Gerald Marroney,
State Court Administrator

 

Colorado Judicial Department
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Directives

Notice of Availability

A full set of the Chief Justice Directives may be purchased from the Colorado Judicial Department for $15, which includes copying, handling, and postage costs. Checks should be made payable to Colorado Judicial Department and should be mailed to: Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203. Individual Chief Justice Directives will be assessed a $5 charge, pursuant to Chief Justice Directive 96-01, concerning standard research fees. Chief Justice Directives also are available from the Colorado Supreme Court homepage at: http://www.courts.state.co.us/supct/directives/ supctdirectives.htm.

Publication in The Colorado Lawyer

Chief Justice Directives will be published on a space available basis in this "Court Business" section of The Colorado Lawyer. Some attachments may be omitted due to space restrictions. To obtain a copy of attachments, contact: Court Services Division, Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., #300, Denver, CO 80203.

 

 

Chief Justice Directive 95-01
Supreme Court of Colorado, Office of the Chief Justice
Amended August 2005
Authority and Responsibility of the Chief Judges

The chief judge is the administrative head of all district and county courts within a judicial district, unless otherwise noted in this directive, as delegated by the Chief Justice pursuant to Colorado Constitution, Article VI, Section 5(4). The chief judge of the Court of Appeals has the administrative authority and responsibility over the Court of Appeals and is covered by this directive. The chief judge of the Second Judicial District shall not have administrative authority over the Denver County Court. The presiding judges of the Denver Probate and Juvenile courts shall have the same authority as a chief judge for their respective courts. The chief judge of each court has the authority and responsibility to manage the court consistent with this directive.

1. Delegation of Authority

The chief judge may delegate authority to the district administrator (or judicial administrator, as appropriate), clerk(s) of court, chief probation officer, and other judges as deemed appropriate. The chief judge maintains ultimate authority and responsibility despite delegation pursuant to this directive. In this directive, where authority is assigned to the chief judge, that authority may be delegated pursuant to this paragraph. The chief judge may designate an acting chief judge during any absence of the chief judge.

2. Administrative Relationships

To facilitate the administration of the district, the chief judge shall appoint a management team in each district. It is recommended that the management team include at a minimum, the chief judge, district administrator, clerk(s) of court, and chief probation officer and a presiding county court judge from within the district. The chief judge has the authority to appoint other members of the management team as appropriate considering the needs of the district and the issues to be determined.

The chief judge shall make every effort to develop a clear understanding of the role of the chief judge in relation to other district and county judges, the presiding county court judge, the district administrator, the chief probation officer, and the clerks of the various courts in the district. The chief judge shall schedule en banc meetings on a regular basis and require judges and appropriate court personnel to attend the en banc meetings. The chief judge shall meet with the management team on a regular basis to address problems and improve services within the district. The chief judge shall require regular staff meetings of court personnel within the district as appropriate.

3. Assignment of Judges

a. The chief judge has authority to assign district and county court judges in accordance with the following guidelines.

i. District judges may be assigned to any district or county court within the district when necessary;

ii. Qualified county judges may be assigned to any court in the district when necessary, pursuant to §13-3-110, C.R.S.;

iii. A judge may be assigned by written order to a particular court, to a division within a court, to try a specific case, or hear or decide all or any part of a case.

b. The chief judge shall establish a date for the swearing in of new judges considering the court budget and needs of the judge-appointee, in consultation with the Chief Justice.

4. Judicial Schedules and Court Hours

a. Chief judge:

i. The chief judge shall require that there is a judge available during all business hours and all business days of the court.

ii. The chief judge shall require that there is an on call and emergency schedule for judicial officers to be available and shall distribute that schedule as appropriate or make sure those that need to know have a clear procedure for emergency issues.

iii. The chief judge shall have the authority to require all part-time county court judges to submit their court schedules to the chief judge for review and approval on a daily, weekly, monthly or quarterly basis. Changes in the schedule may be made with the approval of the chief judge.

iv. The chief judge shall have the authority to appoint a presiding county court judge pursuant to § 13-6-215, C.R.S.

b. Judges and magistrates:

i. Full-time judges are required to maintain a full-time schedule and are required to be available during the normal business hours of the court. Part-time judges shall maintain a schedule approved by the chief judge consistent with the statutory creation of the position, pay and class of county.

ii. All judges and magistrates shall arrange to have assigned matters handled by another judge or magistrate before leaving the courthouse or taking administrative, vacation or educational leave.

5. Case Assignment, Case Management and Calendaring Procedures

a. In order to ensure that the chief judge has adequate time to discharge administrative duties, the chief judge may assume a reduced caseload consistent with the needs of the particular district.

b. The chief judge may assign and reassign cases to courts or divisions within the courts and may delegate the assignment power.

c. The chief judge may establish uniform case management, case processing, and calendaring procedures for all district and county courts in the district.

6. Requests for Judicial Assistance

a. Requests for judicial assistance from outside the district will be submitted by the chief judge to the state court administrator.

b. All requests from the state court administrator for judges to serve outside of their own jurisdiction shall be coordinated with the chief judge.

7. Authorization for Leave

a. Leave for Judges. All judges shall notify the chief judge of proposed vacation time in writing. The chief judge shall coordinate vacation time to satisfy local needs. The chief judge may approve leave in excess of vacation time, or for administrative and educational purposes.

b. Leave for Court Employees. The chief judge may establish and maintain a vacation schedule for court and probation employees in accordance with the personnel rules in order to ensure adequate staffing of the court at all times.

8. Personnel Responsibilities

a. The chief judge may assign and reassign employees to meet the needs of the district.

b. The chief judge shall maintain personnel records for all employees.

c. The chief judge shall evaluate magistrate performance on an annual basis.

9. Budget and Fiscal Responsibilities

The chief judge is responsible for managing the budget within the district in accordance with fiscal policies and procedures established by the State Court Administrator’s Office.

10. Facilities and Equipment

a. The chief judge is responsible for the assignment and management of all district facilities, including, but not limited to, courtrooms, chambers, clerks’ offices, probation offices, jury rooms, and office space.

b. The chief judge is responsible for maintaining an inventory of all the furniture and equipment within the district and for reallocating equipment and furniture for more efficient use.

c. The chief judge is responsible for coordinating with county authorities those aspects of facility management that affect both county and state responsibilities, including the cleanliness, safety, security and adequacy of the court and probation facilities. Use of the court’s facilities for non-court functions by outside groups or agencies shall be approved by the chief judge in consultation with county authorities.

d. The chief judge must ensure that all purchases of IT equipment comply with the standards established by the technology division of the State Court Administrator’s Office.

11. Combined Courts

The chief judge may consolidate district and county court clerks’ offices at any location for operating or judicial efficiency.

12. Enforcement

The chief judge has the authority to enter an administrative order requiring compliance with an administrative decision of the chief judge. Judges, court and probation employees have a duty to comply with all directives and administrative orders of the chief judge. The chief judge may mandate training, mediation or other appropriate measures for any judge. Noncompliance with a directive or an administrative order may result in a personnel action, a report to the performance commission, a report to the Commission on Judicial Discipline, or other remedy as appropriate.

13. Chief Judge Performance

Chief Judges are reappointed by the Chief Justice on an annual basis. Complaints concerning the chief judge’s administrative performance shall be addressed in writing to the Chief Justice.

14. Interpretation

Any disputes arising from the exercise of the authority described in this directive shall be resolved by the Chief Justice.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 24th day of August, 2005.

 

Mary J. Mullarkey,
Chief Justice

 

Chief Justice Directive 05-05
Supreme Court of Colorado, Office of the Chief Justice
Continuing Education and Professional Practice Requirements for Continued
Certification and/or Active Roster Status of Court Interpreters

I. APPLICATION

Continuing education and professional practice requirements apply to interpreters who are certified or part of the active court interpreter rosters maintained by the Colorado Judicial Department. Meeting these continuing education and professional practice requirements is a condition for continued certification or active roster status for all Colorado court interpreters. There are no exceptions.

II. PURPOSE

To ensure that certified and active roster interpreters maintain and improve their interpreting skills; expand their knowledge of forensic, legal, scientific, drug, slang and idiomatic vocabulary; and remain cognizant and mindful of the Colorado Judicial Department Code of Professional Responsibility for Court Interpreters throughout their professional careers.

III. REQUIREMENTS

Effective September 1, 2005, all certified and active roster interpreters shall have completed 24 hours of approved continuing education and 48 hours of professional interpretation practice during each two-year compliance period thereafter in order to maintain their certified and/or active roster status.

The first continuing education compliance period for interpreters certified or on the active roster as of September 1, 2005 will end on January 31, 2008. For all others, the first compliance period is for a period of at least two years following the date on which the interpreter passes the oral certification exam or is added to the active roster, ending on January 31. For example, if an interpreter passes the oral certification exam in November 2005, the continuing education compliance period for that interpreter would end on January 31, 2008. Subsequent compliance periods are two-year periods beginning February 1 and ending January 31.

EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS: Every certified and active roster court interpreter shall complete 24 continuing education credit hours per compliance period. At least two (2) of these training hours must be earned at an ethics workshop approved by the Court Interpreter Program (CIP) of the State Court Administrator’s Office. Every CIP approved class hour shall be counted as one credit hour of continuing education, up to a maximum of 16 credit hours per educational activity.

Continuing Education credit is approved for a minimum of 1 hour, is measured in half-hour increments and is rounded down. No credit will be given for attending only a portion of a participatory activity that is 3 hours or less in length.

A maximum of six (6) continuing education credits earned in excess of the 24 hour requirement in any compliance period will be eligible to be carried over to the next two-year compliance period. If an interpreter earns more than two (2) ethics credits in a review period, the additional credits may carry over as general credits but will not be counted toward the ethics requirement for the next reporting period.

PROFESSIONAL PRACTICE REQUIREMENTS: Every certified and active roster interpreter shall complete a minimum of 48 hours of professional interpretation assignments during each reporting period. In the case of court interpreting assignments, hours should be entered on a standard court interpreter continuing education and professional practice compliance form, available on the judicial website, by showing court location, date, case number, and number of hours spent on each case. In judicial districts where court interpreters are hired to cover specific shifts, case number information will not be necessary; rather, interpreters may note the days and shifts worked and have these hours confirmed by a supervisory signature. Finally, a written statement from a judicial administrator, managing court interpreter or interpreter coordinator attesting to the approximate number of court hours may also be submitted in lieu of a listing of court cases.

There are no exemptions to the foregoing requirements for court certified and active roster interpreters who reside out-of-state, or whose certification credential was not obtained through the state of Colorado.

IV. ACCEPTED TRAINING

Accepted continuing education activities are those specifically approved by the CIP for credit. They may include courses offered at accredited institutions of higher learning, conferences or workshops sponsored by professional organizations, educational sessions sponsored or organized by the Colorado Judicial Department, activities approved for legal education credit and group or self-study activities approved in advance by the CIP. Continuing Education credits must reflect a variety of training, and therefore no single educational activity shall be awarded more than 16 credit hours.

V. CREDIT FOR TEACHING

Certified court interpreters who serve as instructors in educational activities approved by the CIP are eligible to receive continuing education credit related to that activity up to a maximum of 16 hours per compliance period. Preparation time may be computed at a maximum rate of 2 hours per each hour of instruction.

VI. VERIFICATION OF COMPLIANCE

Every court certified and active roster interpreter is responsible for completing a standard court interpreter continuing education and professional practice compliance form, available on the judicial website, listing continuing education activities and minimum hours of professional interpretation at the conclusion of each two-year reporting period and submitting it to the CIP Administrator; and to sign a sworn statement that the information provided is true and correct. The interpreter must maintain documentation to verify compliance with minimum continuing education requirements for a three-year period.

VII. NON-COMPLIANCE

If a court certified or active roster interpreter fails to submit a court interpreter continuing education and professional practice compliance form at the end of the two-year reporting period, then s/he will be deemed out of compliance.

If it is determined that an interpreter is out of compliance with continuing education and/or professional practice requirements, the case will be referred to a three-member subcommittee of the Court Interpreter Oversight Committee. This subcommittee will make a good faith effort to contact the interpreter and develop a compliance plan. If the subcommittee’s efforts to communicate with the interpreter fail, or a compliance plan cannot be negotiated, or a compliance plan is developed but not completed to the subcommittee’s satisfaction within a six month period, the interpreter will be removed from the certified court interpreter or active roster interpreter directories maintained by the Colorado Judicial Department and posted on the judicial website; and judicial administrative authorities will be notified of the interpreter’s non-compliance with continuing education requirements.

In the case of interpreters certified by the Colorado Judicial Department, non-compliance will cause certification to lapse. To regain certified status, the interpreter will be required to pass a recognized court interpreter certification exam.

VIII. INACTIVE STATUS

An interpreter may request to be assigned inactive status at any time, for any reason. In the case of certified interpreters, inactive status will not affect certification. The period of inactivity is limited to 5 consecutive years. Requests for inactive status must be submitted in writing to the Court Interpreter Program Administrator in advance or as practicable. The interpreter will be notified of the CIP Administrator’s decision within 15 business days.

Only an interpreter who is in good standing with the Colorado Judicial Department is eligible for inactive status. An interpreter on inactive status is not required to comply with continuing education requirements once inactive status is assigned, but is awarded credit if he or she chooses to complete continuing education courses during the period of inactivity. While on inactive status, an interpreter is not listed on the active court interpreter rosters and should not interpret in the courts.

If an inactive certified interpreter does not contact the CIP administrator to return to active status within 5 years of becoming inactive, the interpreter’s certification will lapse.

RETURNING TO ACTIVE STATUS: To return to active roster status, an inactive interpreter must submit a written request to the CIP Administrator within 5 years of being granted inactive status. Otherwise, the interpreter will be required to undergo orientation training (if not certified) or pass the oral certification exam (if certified) to return to active status. An interpreter who returns to active status after a period of inactivity must complete one full compliance period before being allowed to re-enroll in inactive status.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 24th day of August, 2005.

Mary J. Mullarkey,
Chief Justice

 

© 2005 The Colorado Lawyer and Colorado Bar Association. All Rights Reserved. Material from The Colorado Lawyer provided via this World Wide Web server is protected by the copyright laws of the United States and may not be reproduced in any way or medium without permission. This material also is subject to the disclaimers at http://www.cobar.org/tcl/disclaimer.cfm?year=2005.


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