Reported Cases

In re the Marriage of Leverett, ___ P.3d ___ (Colo.App. 2012)

In re the Marriage of Rubio, ___ P.3d ___ (Colo.App. 2012)

In re D.I.S., 249 P.3d 775 (Colo. 2011)

In re the Marriage of Hein, 253 P.3d 635 (Colo.App. 2010)

In re the Interest of A.M., 251 P.3d 1119 (Colo.App. 2010)

In re the Marriage of White and Martin, 240 P.3d 534 (Colo.App. 2010)

In re the Interest of J.M.A., 240 P.3d 547 (Colo. App. 2010)

In re the Interest of C.A.B.L., 221 P.3d 433 (Colo.App. 2009)

Sidman v. Sidman, 240 P.3d 360 (Colo.App. 2009)

In re the Marriage of Rozzi, 190 P.3d 815 (Colo.App. 2008)

Sapp v. El Paso County Dept. of Human Services, 181 P.3d 1179 (Colo.App. 2008)

In re the Adoption of C.A., 137 P.3d 318 (Colo. 2006)
Grandparent Visitation; Status of Adoptive Parents
Overturned the Colorado Court of Appeals decision in In re R.A., Jr., 121 P.3d 295 (Colo.App. 2005). Held that adoptive parents legally and constitutionally have the same rights as natural parents. Also held that a presumption must be given to parents’ wishes regarding visitation sought by grandparents with the parents’ minor children. This presumption may be overcome by clear and convincing evidence showing that the parents’ wishes regarding grandparent visitation is not in the best interests of the minor children. The ultimate burden of proof in a case involving grandparent visitation lies with the grandparents.

In re Marriage of Warkocz, 141 P.3d 926 (Colo.App. 2006)
Property Division; Military Retirement
As a part of the parties’ Separation Agreement Wife was awarded a percentage of Husband’s military retirement that he hoped to receive in the future. Husband ultimately retired from the military and in fact did receive military retirement benefits. Additionally, Husband applied for a received Veteran’s Administration disability benefits that required him to waive a portion of his military retirement benefits ultimately reducing Wife’s portion of the military retirement previously awarded to her. Court of Appeals reversed the trial court holding that Wife’s was entitled to a judgment for the amount Husband’s unilateral act of applying for and receiving VA disability reduced her percentage of the military retirement.

In re R.A., Jr., 121 P.3d 295 (Colo.App. 2005)
Grandparent Visitation; Status of Adoptive Parents
Held that adoptive parents legally and constitutionally have the same rights as natural parents. Held that when parents object to a request for grandparent visitation the Court may only grant such visitation where they find that the parents are unfit or denying the visitation of the grandparents would result in substantial harm to the minor children. This holding was subsequently overturned by the Colorado Supreme Court in In re the Adoption of C.A., 137 P.3d 318 (Colo. 2006).

People in the Interest of A.J.C., 88 P.3d 599 (Colo. 2004)
Failed Adoption; Interstate Custody Dispute; Standing of Non-Parents to Seek Custody
The Birth Mother of a child proposed to relinquish her rights to that child in the State of Missouri and had the child placed with a prospective adoptive couple who resided in Colorado. Subsequently the Birth Mother changed her mind regarding relinquishment and the Missouri Court ordered the child returned to her. The prospective adoptive couple then brought a custody (now known as allocation of parental responsibilities) action in Colorado. The Colorado Trial Court dismissed the action. On appeal to the Colorado Supreme Court the Court held that the prospective adoptive couple had standing to bring the custody action in Colorado and the trial court was compelled to hold an evidentiary hearing regarding the best interests of the minor child. The Court found that the Missouri action did not prohibit the Colorado Court from exercising jurisdiction as the Missouri action involved an adoption and relinquishment case, not a custody action, and the Missouri had declined to exercise jurisdiction over the custody action by failing to hold an evidentiary hearing regarding the best interests of the minor child.

In re the Petition of R.G.B., 98 P.3d 958 (Colo.App. 2004)
Stepparent Adoption
District Court Magistrate was required to advise the parties of their right to a hearing before a District Court Judge. Failure to do so was reversible error.

In re the Petition of R.A., 66 P.3d 146 (Colo.App. 2002)
Grandparent Visitation
The first of the R.A./C.A. line of cases. Held that Colorado’s Grandparent Visitation Statute was not unconstitutional on its face. In order for Colorado’s Grandparent Visitation Statute to be applied in a constitutional matter a trial court must give special weight to the wishes of the parents regarding grandparent visitation.

In re the Petition of M.G., 58 P.3d 1145 (Colo.App. 2002)
Kinship Adoption; Grandparent Visitation
Held that Colorado’s Grandparent Visitation Statute was not unconstitutional on its face. Furthermore, a trial court could properly deny an adoption petition based on the fact that the adoption would ultimately cut off a right of a grandparent to seek grandparent visitation where the same was in the best interests of the minor children.

Devenyns v. Hartig, 983 P.2d 63 (Colo.App. 1998)
Personal Injury; Physician-Patient Privilege
Defendant in a personal injury action did not waive her physician-patient privilege by providing her medical records to her own insurance company for payment of her medical expenses.

Kepley v. Kim, 843 P.2d 133 (Colo.App. 1992)
Personal Injury; Damages
A jury’s determination that a plaintiff suffered $3,000 in economic damages for the cost for treatment of chronic pain was inconsistent with its determination that the plaintiff suffered no damages for pain and suffering. Case was remanded back to the trial court for a new trial on damages.

Allstate Insurance Co. v. Allen, 797 P.2d 46 (Colo. 1990)
Personal Injury; Prejudgment Interest
Insurer was not liable for prejudgment interest over and above its policy limits where its insured had caused injuries to plaintiff that exceeded its policy limits.

In re the Marriage of Van Inwegen, 757 P.2d 1118 (Colo.App. 1988).
Child Support
Where the parties’ income exceeded the upper limits of Colorado’s Child Support Guidelines it was improper for the court to mechanically extrapolate the child support obligation. Rather, the trial court was required to look at all factors set forth in Colorado’s Child Support Statute in determining the proper amount of support.

Lopez v. Dist. Ct., 199 Colo. 207, 606 P.2d 853 (1980)
Interstate Custody Jurisdiction
Where California Court had determined it had jurisdiction regarding custody of a minor child Colorado Court lacked jurisdiction under the Uniform Child Custody Jurisdiction Act to adjudicate the custody of the same child while the California action was pending.

People v. Dist. Ct., 199 Colo. 197, 606 P.2d 450 (1980)
Juvenile Delinquency
Trial court properly exercised its discretion in denying a district attorney’s untimely request for the transfer of a delinquency action from juvenile court to district court.