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Colorado Supreme Court to hear arguments at Mountain Vista High School on Oct. 17, 2017

Thursday, October 12, 2017

DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases on Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017, at Mountain Vista High School in Highlands Ranch before an audience of students. The public also is invited to attend.

The visit is part of the Colorado Judicial Branch’s Courts in the Community, an outreach program the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals initiated on Law Day (May 1), 1986. The Courts in the Community program was developed to provide Colorado high school students insight regarding the Colorado judicial system and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings. The court will hear arguments in actual cases from which it will issue opinions. The court generally issues opinions within a few months of the arguments.

All seven justices hear cases together. They are Chief Justice Nancy E. Rice and Justices Nathan B. Coats, Allison H. Eid, Monica M. Márquez, Brian D. Boatright, William W. Hood III and Richard L. Gabriel.

The two cases are: 

  • 16SC815, Keith Love and Shannon Love v. Mark Klosky and Carole Bishop: The Loves and Kloskys live next door to each other, and a 70-foot catalpa tree straddles their mutual property line. Neither couple planted the tree, which the Kloskys want to cut down. The Loves, however, enjoy the tree and want to protect it, so they filed suit in Denver District Court to prevent the tree’s destruction, arguing they had jointly cared for it with the Kloskys. A trial court, however, found the Loves’ care for the tree was not enough to constitute joint care, and concluded a 1966 Supreme Court ruling required it to allow the Kloskys to cut down the tree. The trial court stayed its ruling, preserving the tree pending appeals. The Loves asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to review the trial court’s decision, and that court affirmed, with two members of the three-judge panel explaining why the Supreme Court might want to review the case to reconsider its decision in the 1966 case. The Supreme Court then granted the Loves’ request to review the case.

 

  • 15SC448, People of the State of Colorado v. Isidore A. Griego: The Colorado Supreme Court agreed to review Isidore Griego’s convictions for attempted reckless manslaughter and attempted second-degree assault to determine whether somebody who drives drunk but does not place a particular person, as opposed to the public at large, at substantial risk for likely death or serious bodily injury can be guilty of attempted manslaughter and attempted assault. Mr. Griego was arrested in 2005 and 2006. In 2005, Mr. Griego drove at night without putting his headlights on, and when an officer tried to pull him over, Mr. Griego began driving erratically. In 2006, an officer found him passed out behind the wheel of his car in the middle of an intersection with the engine running and the transmission in drive. On both occasions, Mr. Griego, who had previously been arrested for six alcohol-related driving offenses, had a strong odor of alcohol on his breath. In the trial court, Mr. Griego unsuccessfully asked the court to dismiss the charges, arguing the charges were improperly broad as applied to his case because there were no specific victims identified. Mr. Griego appealed, and the Colorado Court of Appeals reversed his convictions in a 2-1 decision after agreeing with his argument that prosecutors failed to prove he placed any specific person at risk based on his actions. The prosecution appealed that reversal to the Supreme Court.

 

The proceedings will begin at 9 a.m. Tuesday, Oct. 17, 2017 in the auditorium at Mountain Vista High School, 10585 Mountain Vista Ridge, Highlands Ranch, CO 80126. A question-and-answer session, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. At the conclusion of the second argument, the students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Supreme Court justices.

There will be a limited number of seats for the public. Audio recordings from the two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.

 

Editor’s Note:

The documents related to these two cases are located at: https://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Materials.cfm?s=Fall&y=2017

Additional information on the Courts in the Community program is available at: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Community.cfm

News media organizations interested in recording the arguments may contact Jon Sarché at the State Court Administrator’s Office (contact information below). The following pages contain information about expanded media coverage.

We will be reserving seats for journalists. Please contact Jon Sarché at jon.sarche@judicial.state.co.us or at 720-625-5811 if you plan to attend.

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