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TCL > October 2011 Issue > Court Business

October 2011       Vol. 40, No. 10       Page  123
From the Courts

Court Business

Visit the related court’s website for complete text of rule changes or proposed rule changes issued by the court. Each court’s website includes corresponding forms, which are not printed in Court Business, and versions with highlights of revisions (deletions and additions). Material printed in Court Business appears as submitted by the court and has not been edited by the staff of The Colorado Lawyer.


Colorado Judicial Department
Chief Justice of the Supreme Court Directives

Notice of Availability

Chief Justice Directives (CJDs) are available online at www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Directives/Index.cfm. The website lists CJDs by date and allows users to search by topic. Hard copies of the CJDs are available for $.25 per page (approximately $125 for a full set) and may be obtained by contacting the Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., Ste. 300, Denver, CO 80203.

Publication in The Colorado Lawyer

CJDs will be published on a space-available basis in this "Court Business" section of The Colorado Lawyer. Attachments may be omitted for space reasons. To obtain a copy of attachments, contact: Court Services Division, Colorado Office of the State Court Administrator, 1301 Pennsylvania St., Ste. 300, Denver, CO 80203; or visit www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Directives/Index.cfm.

_____________________________________

Attachment to CJD 05-01
Directive Concerning Access to Court Records
Colorado Judicial Department Public Access to Court Records Policy
Amended July 26, 2011

The Attachment to Chief Justice Directive 05-01, Directive Concerning Access to Court Records, was amended by the Court on July 26, 2011 and became effective August 1, 2011. Questions about this policy may be directed to Linda Bowers, Court Services Manager at (720) 921-7839 or linda.bowers@judicial.state.co.us. The amended policy and CJD 05-01 can be found on the Court’s website at www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Directives/Index.cfm.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice
Colorado Supreme Court

_______________________________________

CJD 85-31
Concerning the Assessment and Collection of Statutory Fines,
Fees,
Surcharges, and Costs in Criminal, Juvenile, Traffic
and Misdemeanor Cases

Amended

Fines, fees, surcharges, and costs are statutorily mandated and provide a significant amount of funding for programs and services throughout the State. The assessment of these amounts shall be standard practice, regardless of the court level or location. Waiver or suspension of fines, fees, surcharges, and costs, shall be clearly indicated in the court records.

All statutorily mandated fines, fees, surcharges, and costs including, but not limited to, docket fees, alcohol evaluation costs, Victim Assistance and Victim Compensation surcharges, probation supervision fees, drug, sex offender and special advocate surcharges, shall be assessed by district, juvenile, and county court judges and magistrates. Amounts assessed shall not be waived or suspended unless authorized by statute or rule. If the statute or rule is silent as to the court’s authority for waiver or suspension of the specific fine, fee, surcharge, or cost being considered, this CJD shall provide authority for the court to waive or suspend the imposition or collection of the amount only in those instances where the court finds the Defendant or Respondent has no ability to pay the assessed amount.

Fines, fees, surcharges, and costs shall not be waived or suspended except as permitted by law and only upon request of the Defendant, Respondent, collection investigator or probation officer. The court shall only grant a waiver or suspension after making a finding of financial inability to pay the assessment, based on a review of a financial affidavit or similar supporting documentation. The court shall record the order to waive or suspend required assessments. The court judicial assistant shall enter the required assessments and use the appropriate modifiers to document the order of the court to waive or suspend all or some of the amount assessed. All assessed statutory fines, fees, surcharges, and costs shall be collected by the court unless they are waived or suspended pursuant to the court’s order.

The collection investigator may be utilized by the court to determine whether the assessed amounts can be paid based on a review of the Defendant or Respondent’s financial position. The collection investigator shall make a recommendation to the court that certain amounts be waived or suspended if the Defendant or Respondent is unable to pay.

CJD 85-31 is amended and adopted on the date of the signing of the amended CJD.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 19th day of August 2011.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice
Colorado Supreme Court

______________________________________

CJD 98-01
Costs for Indigent Persons in Civil Matters
Amended

I. Statutory Authority

Section 13-16-103 C.R.S. provides for an indigent person to prosecute or to defend in a court proceeding without the payment of costs, at the discretion of the judge. In the event that the indigent person successfully prosecutes or defends an action or proceeding, a judgment shall be entered in favor of the indigent person for court costs. If these costs are collected by the indigent person, that person shall pay the court in the amount of court costs which were waived.

II. Indigency Determination

A petitioner or plaintiff or a respondent or defendant in a civil case must be indigent to proceed in a court action without the payment of costs. Indigency should be determined by using the attached procedures.

III. Costs That May Not Be Waived

Any obligation for payment to a person or entity other than the State of Colorado, which arises in the course of prosecuting or defending a civil action or special proceeding is not one which can be waived on the basis of a party’s indigency. Waiver of costs is limited to those fees and expenses owed to the state and does not apply to fees and expenses owed to other persons or entities. Therefore, transcript fees, witness fees, and process server fees cannot be waived by the court. As set forth in Section 13-16-124 C.R.S., if the party delivers the documents for service of process to the sheriff, the court cannot waive the sheriff’s fee. The sheriff must make that determination.

IV. Costs That May Be Waived

If the court determines the person to be indigent, any costs owed to the state may be waived. Such costs would include filing fees, reasonable copy fees, jury fees, E-file and E-service fees, and research fees. If the court delivers the documents for service of process to the sheriff, the court can waive the sheriff’s fee and pay such fees from mandated costs.

V. Installment Payment Procedure

A petitioner or plaintiff or a respondent or defendant in a civil case determined not to be indigent may proceed to pay the filing fee in installments, in accordance with the attached procedures.

VI. Dispute Resolution Fees

Fees owed in relation to dispute resolution services are an obligation to another person or entity and so cannot be waived; however if the party is found to be indigent and there are available funds to pay the fees, fees may be reduced. If the Office of Dispute Resolution (ODR) funds are available, the funds may be used to assist with payment for ODR services in accordance with the attached procedures.

Amended as to the installment payments and dispute resolution fees, August 2011.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 19th day of August 2011.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice
Colorado Supreme Court

______________________________________

CJD 11-01
Directive Concerning Statewide Electronic Filing Standards
Amended

The purposes of this CJD are (1) to make uniform the means by which documents are electronically transmitted and accepted through the State’s E-Filing system, (2) to eliminate potentially conflicting local rules that attempt to define those standards, and (3) to increase access to the courts by reducing the number of reasons for rejecting an e-filing.

I. SCOPE

This CJD applies to all documents that are transmitted and accepted electronically using the E-Filing system.

II. LINKING

All related documents (motion, proposed order, response and reply) shall be linked to each other when electronically filed.

III. DOCUMENT FORMAT STANDARDS

A. Electronic Document Size: The size limit for each document filed electronically is 1.5 megabytes.1 For the purpose of this procedure, each electronically filed pleading, motion, brief, or other paper is a separate document. The electronic filing system shall preclude a filer from submitting a document larger than 1.5 megabytes to the court.

B. Oversize Documents: Any document which exceeds 1.5 megabytes shall be separated into electronic files of 1.5 megabytes or less each.

C. Color or Graphics: Documents scanned in color, grey scale, or containing graphics result in larger file sizes and take longer to download. Therefore, it is recommended that filers configure scanners to scan documents at an optimal resolution to conform with the 1.5 megabyte filing size limit.

IV. DOCUMENT SUBMISSION

All documents relating to a single pleading or paper may be filed electronically as a single transaction—although they must remain as separate documents. For example, a motion, exhibits and related affidavits may be filed under a single transaction. This will enable searching for specific documents.

All documents must be submitted by either (1) directly uploading the document from a word processing format (such as Word or Word Perfect) to the E-Filing system, or (2) electronically converting the document from a word processing format into a PDF format and then directly uploading the PDF document to the E-Filing system. Parties shall not upload documents into the E-Filing system in any manner that prevents the Court from copying/pasting text or employing enhanced search functionality within the document. Except as specifically provided in this directive, parties shall not upload documents into the E-Filing system as scanned or graphic images.

V. SUBMISSION OF EXHIBITS, FORM/PREPRINTED DOCUMENTS AND RETURNS OF SERVICE

All exhibits, form/preprinted documents, and returns of service must be submitted through the E-Filing system. However, they may be submitted as scanned or graphic images but shall be uploaded in their original format. For example, color documents shall be uploaded in color and not as black and white scanned copies.

A. Exhibits. Exhibits shall be filed as one transaction, if possible. Exhibits shall be titled according to the party’s designation in the case, such as Plaintiff’s (Petitioner’s) or Defendant’s (Respondent’s) Proposed Exhibits. If there are too many exhibits to fit within one transaction on the E-Filing system, the exhibits may be filed in sequentially numbered groups titled in the following example format: Plaintiff’s (Petitioner’s) Proposed Exhibits—Group 1—Exhibits 1 – 50, Group 2—Exhibits 51-99. Each exhibit shall be a separate item within the transaction. Accordingly, although there will be one PDF file per exhibit, there may be many PDF files within the transaction. The exhibit designation shall be legible when electronically filed.

B. Exhibits of Large Physical Size and Non-Documentary Exhibits. If a party intends to submit an exhibit or document that cannot be submitted through the E-Filing system because of its physical size or because it is non-documentary in nature, an image of the exhibit or document shall be electronically filed for purposes of the record.

C. Documentary Exhibits that Exceed E-Filing Size Restrictions. A party intending to submit any documentary exhibit that exceeds the megabyte file size limit set forth in III above shall separate the exhibit into electronic files as provided in that Directive. If the document cannot be separated, then the party shall place it on a CD or DVD.

D. Audio and Video Exhibits. Audio or video exhibits cannot be submitted through the E-Filing system at this time. Those exhibits shall be placed on a CD or DVD.

VI. TIMELINES FOR SUBMISSION OF EXHIBITS FOR TRIAL AND HEARINGS

A. Exhibits for Parties with an Attorney. The trial court may enter case management orders governing specifics of requirements for efiling exhibits. Unless the court orders otherwise, on or before the hearing or trial date, the parties shall submit all of their exhibits, or images as permitted in §III above, through the E-Filing system. Exhibits for expedited hearings shall be submitted as the court directs.

Parties should anticipate that there are exhibits such as negotiable instruments where the original paper document may need to be tendered to the court. Images of these exhibits shall also be filed through the E-Filing system.

B. Exhibits for Pro Se Parties. Provisions for tender and uploading of exhibits from pro se parties will be addressed at a pretrial or prehearing conference.

VII. JURY INSTRUCTIONS

Proposed jury instructions shall be submitted through the E-Filing system in editable format. The set of instructions provided to the jury as well as a party’s tendered instructions that have been rejected by the court shall be uploaded into the E-Filing system as the court directs.

VIII. DOCUMENT TYPES

When submitting documents using the E-Filing system, the parties shall select a Document Type category that matches the identifiable and specific category of the actual document being submitted. For example, a party filing a Supplemental Disclosure Certificate selects "Supplemental Disclosure Certificate" for electronic filing purposes, because that document type presently exists as a "Type" field. Submitting that document in the category "Filing Other" is not appropriate.

IX. TITLE OF DOCUMENTS

Any document submitted through the E-Filing system must bear a Document Title that is descriptive of the contents of that document. For example, a document titled "XYZ Plaintiff’s Motion for Summary Judgment on Claims 1 and 2 Against Third Party Defendant ABC Corporation" is appropriate. That same document simply bearing the title "Motion" is not appropriate.

X. SIGNATURE REQUIREMENTS

Documents must clearly identify which attorney signed the document.

XI. REJECTION OF E-FILED DOCUMENTS

Attachment A sets forth specific reasons for rejection of electronically filed documents. This Attachment A may be amended by the State Court Administrator or that Administrator’s designee either to remove or to add reasons for rejection.

Courts may accept documents for which Attachment A permits rejection.

No electronically filed document shall be rejected unless it is for one or more of the reasons specified in Attachment A.

The information contained in CJD 05-02 is incorporated herein; therefore, CJD 05-02 is repealed effective May 17, 2011. This CJD is amended August 2011.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 19th day of August 2011.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice
Colorado Supreme Court

__________

1. 1.5 megabytes may be equivalent to approximately 50 pages of plain, typed text or 25 pages of scanned information.

______________________________________

CJD 08-02
Concerning Assessment of Cost Recovery Fees for Maintaining the
Technical Infrastructure Necessary to Support Electronic Access to Court Records

Amended

Whereas, the Judicial Department (hereinafter Department) electronically transmits documents and court records for the efficient operation of the Colorado State Court system, including probation;

Whereas the Department has implemented an Internet based program which gives access to court data to the general public and other governmental entities; and

Whereas the Department has implemented an Internet based program which gives the general public access to the Department’s new e-filing program for pro se litigants; and

Whereas, the Department’s budget as approved by the General Assembly assumes the collection and use of cash funds for hardware, software, and staffing for the different programs deployed by the Department;

Now, therefore, it is ordered that these cost recovery fees are set administratively such that the revenue generated from the fees approximates the direct and indirect costs of the equipment and staff time necessary to provide access to the Department’s computer information system by the public and other agencies. Fees described in the paragraphs below are listed in the fee chart which is Attachment A to this directive.

I. Access fees for private probation

Private probation providers under contract to provide services to the Colorado Judicial Department to supervise certain offenders sentenced by the court to probation pay a fee in order to access and enter data into the court computerized data management system.

II. Public Access to Court Records

The public can obtain electronic access to certain court records through the internet. The cost for this service to the public varies from vendor to vendor and may depend on volume purchases from the vendor.

III. E-filing of Court Documents

A. District Court

The Department contracts with a private vendor to provide E-Filing of court documents in certain cases in the District Court. The private vendor charges a fee per transaction for filing only, and a fee for online service. The vendors may charge additional fees for expedited delivery, alerts or any number of premium services defined by contract.

B. County Court

The Department contracts with a private vendor to provide E-Filing of court documents in certain cases in the County Court. The private vendor charges a flat fee per case for filing only, and an additional fee per case for online service. The vendors may charge additional fees for expedited delivery, alerts or any number of premium services defined by contract.

C. Court of Appeals

The Department contracts with a private vendor to provide E-Filing of court documents in certain cases in the Court of Appeals. The private vendor charges a flat fee per case for filing only, and an additional fee per case for online service. The vendors may charge additional fees for expedited delivery, alerts or any number of premium services defined by contract.

D. Implementation of E-Filing in other Case Types

The Department provides for E-Filing of court documents in other case types, such as small claims cases, and in certain other cases by pro se litigants.

IV. Drug Treatment Providers, Municipal Courts, and Other Organizations authorized to access data in the court management system.

Certain treatment providers and governmental agencies have access to the court’s computerized data management system for purposes of data entry, query or for use as a court data management system (e.g., Municipal Courts).

Changes to Attachment A of this directive may be adopted as an order of the Colorado Supreme Court by the Justice appointed by the Chief Justice as chair of the Public Access Committee.

CJD 08-02 is amended, effective August 6, 2008.

CJD 08-02 is amended, effective August 9, 2011.

Done at Denver, Colorado this 19th day of August 2011.

By the Court:

Michael L. Bender, Chief Justice
Colorado Supreme Court

© 2011 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=2011.


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