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Colorado Court of Appeals to hear arguments in Trinidad and Las Animas the week of April 15

Monday, April 8, 2019

DENVER – A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Trinidad on Tuesday, April 16, 2019, and in Bent County on Thursday, April 18, 2019, before audiences of high school students. The public also is invited to attend.

In addition to the events with high school students, the three-judge panel also will meet with students from Fisher’s Peak Elementary School in Trinidad and Las Animas Elementary School in Las Animas, and conduct meetings with members of local Access to Justice committees, local bar associations and other groups during the week of April 15.

The events with high school students are part of the Colorado Judicial Department’s Courts in the Community, the 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 give high school students firsthand experience in how the Colorado judicial system works and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings; the judges will hear arguments in real cases and, later, issue opinions in those cases. The court generally issues opinions within a few weeks of arguments.

In Trinidad, the event will be held in the auditorium at Trinidad Middle School. In Bent County, the event will be held with the help of the county and the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless at the Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community.

The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three to hear cases. Judges hearing cases in Trinidad and Bent County are Daniel M. Taubman, Michael H. Berger and Ted C. Tow III.

The two cases to be heard in Trinidad are:

  • 18CA0578, Amir Massihzadeh v. Colorado State Lottery Division: Mr. Massihzadeh bought one of three tickets that matched all six numbers drawn in a November 2005 Colorado Lotto drawing with a $4.8 million jackpot. He and the holders of the other winning tickets each received about $570,000 in lump-sum payments. About 10 years later, investigators learned the other two winning tickets were fraudulent, and several people were convicted of crimes. Mr. Massihzadeh filed a lawsuit against the Colorado State Lottery Division in 2017 after learning of the fraud, arguing he was the sole winner of the drawing and that the Division violated its contract with him and owed him the remaining two-thirds of the jackpot with interest. The trial court agreed with the Division that the revelation of the fraudulent tickets did not change the original contract, which required splitting the jackpot among the holders of the three apparent winning tickets, and that it had fully performed what it was required to do under its contract with Mr. Massihzadeh. The trial court dismissed the lawsuit, but Mr. Massihzadeh argued in his brief to the Court of Appeals that the judge made several mistakes including misinterpreting a state statute governing the Division’s contracts with ticket holders.

 

  • 16CA0728, People of the State of Colorado v. Olivia Navarro-Gonzalez: Ms. Navarro-Gonzalez is appealing her 2015 conviction on a drug charge which led to a 16-year prison sentence, arguing that her constitutional rights against unreasonable search and seizure were violated during a traffic stop that led to discovery of illegal drugs in the car she was driving. Before trial, the trial court ruled that the prosecution would be permitted to use those drugs as evidence during Ms. Navarro-Gonzalez’s trial, rejecting her argument that the drugs were discovered during an unconstitutional search. In her brief, Ms. Navarro-Gonzalez said she was pulled over for an improper lane change. She said the traffic stop took more than 22 minutes, during which time a Mesa County sheriff’s deputy interviewed her three times. She also said despite her refusing consent for the deputy to search her car, he led a drug-detection dog around the car. The dog indicated there may be narcotics present, and a subsequent hand search resulted in the discovery of about 3.6 pounds of heroin in a hidden compartment. In a brief to the Court of Appeals, prosecutors argued that law enforcement officers’ actions were justified by appropriate suspicion of Ms. Navarro-Gonzalez’ actions and that the drug-detection dog’s sniffing around the exterior of the car did not constitute an unreasonable search.

 

The two cases to be heard in Bent County are:

  • 18CA0046, Robert Deland v. Richard Fox: Mr. Deland sued Dr. Fox for medical malpractice over a claim that Dr. Fox improperly removed healthy parathyroid glands during surgery, requiring Mr. Deland to undergo additional medical treatment and suffer injuries and damages. A jury determined Dr. Fox was not negligent and did not cause Mr. Deland’s alleged injuries. In his brief, Mr. Deland argued his right to a fair trial was violated when the trial judge improperly allowed Dr. Fox to testify to the jury about certain properties of parathyroid glands. Mr. Deland’s attorney objected to that testimony, telling the trial judge it was a new theory of defense that was improperly presented for the first time before the jury. After Dr. Fox’s attorney argued that the testimony was appropriate, the trial judge overruled the objection and allowed the testimony. In his brief, Dr. Fox argued his testimony was properly admitted at trial after being disclosed to Mr. Deland before trial but that, in the alternative, any error in the admission of the testimony was harmless and did not disturb Mr. Deland’s right to a fair trial.

 

  • 16CA1940, People of the State of Colorado v. Javarray Charles January: Mr. January was convicted of assaulting a staff member of a Colorado Springs juvenile detention center while he was a resident there in 2016. Mr. January, who was sentenced to four years of probation, appealed his conviction, arguing that the trial judge made several mistakes that violated his right to a fair trial. In his brief, Mr. January argues that one day before trial, the trial court improperly conducted a hearing regarding certain evidence while Mr. January was not in court, in violation of his constitutional right to be present at every stage of trial. He also argued the trial court improperly allowed prejudicial testimony and claimed some comments by a prosecutor during jury selection and closing argument were misleading enough that a new trial is necessary. In their brief, prosecutors argued the fact the defendant wasn’t present for the evidentiary hearing did not hurt his case, that the testimony in question was appropriate and that the prosecutor said nothing improper during jury selection and closing argument.

 

Proceedings at Trinidad Middle School, 607 Miner Dr., Trinidad, CO 81082, will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 16, 2019; proceedings at Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community, 30999 CR15, Las Animas, CO 81054, will begin at 10 a.m. Thursday, April 18, 2019.

Question-and-answer sessions, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. After the second argument at both locations, students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Court of Appeals judges.

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/Court_Of_Appeals/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=Spring&y=2019

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.

 

 

 

 

This information is provided as an e-mail service of the Colorado State Judicial Branch, Office of State Court Administrator, 1300 Broadway, Suite 1200, Denver, Colo. 80203. To discontinue this service or update your e-mail address, please respond to this message with your name, contact information and any comments.

 

Media opportunity

 

What:             Colorado Court of Appeals Oral Arguments

When:             10 a.m. - 12 p.m., April 16, 2019

Where:           Trinidad Middle School, 607 Miner Dr., Trinidad, CO 81082
 

Photo opportunities. During oral arguments, the requirements set forth in Chapter 38, Rule 3 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules are in effect. Rule 3 is attached. Highlights include:

  1. A request for expanded media coverage (https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/request/) must be filed in advance with copies to counsel for the parties.
  2. If granted, only one video camera and/or one still camera is allowed, and that media source must share and pool its coverage with other media.
  3. No flash attachments or lighted television cameras are allowed during the arguments.
  4. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.

 

For information, contact Jon Sarché, 720-625-5811.

 

Following each argument, during the question-and-answer interaction between the students, lawyers and judges, access is open for photography and videography without the limitations of Rule 3. All media representatives also are welcome to photograph the luncheon immediately following the cases.

 

Schedule:

10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Opening remarks

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

18CA0578, Massihzadeh v. Colorado Lottery Division

10:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Judges conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

16CA0728, People v. Navarro-Gonzalez

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Judges conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Judges answer students’ questions

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (est.)

Lunch, judges and selected students

 

Request for Expanded Media Coverage. Requests for expanded media coverage must be submitted at least one day prior to the proceeding as outlined in Rule 3 (submitting requests earlier is appreciated to allow for response time). Requests may be made by filling out the form at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/request/. Contact information for counsel in the cases is provided below.

 

 

Media opportunity

 

What:             Colorado Court of Appeals Oral Arguments

When:             10 a.m. - 12 p.m., April 18, 2019

Where:           Fort Lyon Supportive Residential Community, 30999 CR15, Las Animas, CO 81054
 

Photo opportunities. During oral arguments, the requirements set forth in Chapter 38, Rule 3 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules are in effect. Rule 3 is attached. Highlights include:

  1. A request for expanded media coverage (https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/request/) must be filed in advance with copies to counsel for the parties.
  2. If granted, only one video camera and/or one still camera is allowed, and that media source must share and pool its coverage with other media.
  3. No flash attachments or lighted television cameras are allowed during the arguments.
  4. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.

 

For information, contact Jon Sarché, 720-625-5811.

 

Following each argument, during the question-and-answer interaction between the students, lawyers and judges, access is open for photography and videography without the limitations of Rule 3. All media representatives also are welcome to photograph the luncheon immediately following the cases.

 

Schedule:

10 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

Opening remarks

10:15 a.m. – 10:45 a.m.

18CA0046, Robert Deland v. Richard Fox

10:45 a.m. – 11 a.m.

Judges conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

11 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

16CA1940, People v. January

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Judges conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Judges answer students’ questions

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (est.)

Lunch, judges and selected students

 

Request for Expanded Media Coverage. Requests for expanded media coverage must be submitted at least one day prior to the proceeding as outlined in Rule 3 (submitting requests earlier is appreciated to allow for response time). Requests may be made by filling out the form at https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/request/. Contact information for counsel in the cases is provided below.
Expanded media coverage of court proceedings

 

The presence of expanded media coverage in the Colorado court system’s courtrooms is controlled by strict standards spelled out in Chapter 38, Rule 3 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules effective July 1, 2010. The rule also outlines each step necessary to garner approval for such coverage.

 

There are several points in the Rule of particular note:

  1. A request for expanded media coverage (https://www.courts.state.co.us/Media/request/) must be submitted to the court at least one day before expanded media coverage is requested to begin, unless a longer or shorter time is required or permitted by the court.
  2. Copies of the expanded media coverage request shall be sent to all counsel for each party participating in the proceeding prior to submitting the request to the court.
  3. The request must include a description of the pooling arrangements, including the identity of the designated representatives.
  4. Any party or witness may lodge with the judge a written objection to expanded coverage of all or a portion of a proceeding.

 

Request for expanded media coverage in Colorado state courts

 

 

Rule 3.  Media Coverage of Court Proceedings

  1. Expanded Media Coverage: A judge may authorize expanded media coverage of court proceedings, subject to the guidelines set forth below.
  1. Definitions.  As used in this section, unless the context otherwise requires:
  1. “Proceeding” means any trial, hearing, or any other matter held in open court which the public is entitled to attend.
  2. “Photograph” and “photography” means all recording or broadcasting of visual images, by means of still photographs, videotape, television broadcasts, motion pictures, or otherwise.
  3. “Expanded media coverage” means any photography or audio recording of proceedings.
  4. “Judge” means the justice, judge, magistrate, or other judicial officer presiding over the proceedings. In proceedings with more than one judge presiding, any decision required shall be made by a majority of the judges.
  5. “Media” means any news gathering or reporting agency and the individual persons involved, and includes newspapers, radio, television, radio and television networks, news services, magazines, trade papers, in-house publications, professional journals, or any other news reporting or news gathering agency whose function it is to inform the public or some segment thereof.
  1. Standards for Authorizing Coverage.  In determining whether expanded media coverage should be permitted, a judge shall consider the following factors:
  1. Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would interfere with the rights of the parties to a fair trial;
  2. Whether there is a reasonable likelihood that expanded media coverage would unduly detract from the solemnity, decorum and dignity of the court; and
  3. Whether expanded media coverage would create adverse effects which would be greater than those caused by traditional media coverage.
  1. Limitations on Expanded Media Coverage.  Notwithstanding an authorization to conduct expanded media coverage of a proceeding, there shall be no:
  1. Expanded media coverage of pretrial hearings in criminal cases, except advisements and arraignments;
  2. Expanded media coverage of jury voir dire;
  3. Audio recording or “zoom” close-up photography of bench conferences;
  4. Audio recording or close-up photography of communications between counsel and client or between co-counsel;
  5. Expanded media coverage of in camera hearings;
  6. Close-up photography of members of the jury.
  1. Authority to Impose Restrictions on Expanded Media Coverage.  A judge may restrict or limit expanded media coverage as may be necessary to preserve the dignity of the court or to protect the parties, witnesses, or jurors. A judge may terminate or suspend expanded media coverage at any time upon making findings of fact that: (1) rules established under this Rule or additional rules imposed by the judge have been violated; or (2) substantial rights of individual participants or rights to a fair trial will be prejudiced by such coverage if it is allowed to continue.
  1. Conditions for Coverage.  Expanded media coverage shall be conducted only under the following conditions:
  1. Equipment Limitations.
  1. Video.  Only one person at a time shall be permitted to operate a videotape, television, or motion picture camera. There shall be only one such camera at a time in the courtroom, except that, at the discretion of the judge, the camera operator may have a second camera. The camera operator may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.
  2. Audio.  The court’s audio system shall be used if technically suitable and, in that event, there must be no interference with the court’s use of its system. If the court’s system is not technically suitable, then the person conducting expanded media coverage may install an audio recording system at his or her own expense upon first obtaining approval of the judge. All microphones and related wiring shall be unobtrusive and shall not interfere with the movement of those in the courtroom.
  3. Still Cameras.  Only one person at a time shall be permitted to operate still cameras, which shall make as little noise as possible. The still photographer may use a tripod, but shall not change location while court is in session.
  4. Lighting.  No movie lights, flash attachments, or sudden lighting changes shall be permitted during a proceeding. No modification or addition of lighting equipment shall be permitted without the permission of the judge.
  5. Operating Signals.  No visible or audible light or signal (tally light) shall be used on any equipment.
  1. Pooling Arrangements.  The media shall be solely responsible for designating one media representative to conduct each of the categories of expanded media coverage listed in subsection (I) of this section, and for arranging an open and impartial distribution scheme with a distribution point located outside of the courtroom. If no agreement can be reached on either of these matters, then there shall be no expanded media coverage of the type for which no pooling agreement has been made. Neither judges nor other court personnel shall be called upon to resolve any disputes concerning such pooling arrangements.
  2. Conduct of Media Representatives.  Persons conducting expanded media coverage shall conduct themselves in a manner consistent with the decorum and dignity of the courtroom. The following practices shall apply:
  1. Equipment employed to provide expanded media coverage shall be positioned and operated so as to minimize any distraction;
  2. Identifying marks, call letters, logos, symbols, and legends shall be concealed on all equipment. Persons operating such equipment shall not wear clothing bearing any such identifying information;
  3. Equipment used to provide expanded media coverage shall not be placed in, or removed from, the courtroom while court is in session. No film, videotape, or lens shall be changed within a courtroom while court is in session.
  1. Procedures.  The following procedures shall be followed in obtaining authorization for expanded media coverage:
  1. Request for Expanded Media Coverage.  A written request shall be submitted to the judge at least one day before expanded media coverage is requested to begin, unless a longer or shorter time is required or permitted by the judge. Copies of the request shall be given to counsel for each party participating in the proceeding. The request shall include the following:
  1. The name, number, date and time of the proceeding;
  2. The type (audio, video or still photography) of expanded media coverage requested and a description of the pooling arrangements required by section (e)(II), if any, including the identity of the designated representatives.
  1. Objections.  Any party or witness may lodge with the judge a written objection to expanded media coverage of all or a portion of a proceeding.
  2. Judicial Authorization.  The judge shall rule on a request or objection within a reasonable time prior to the proceeding or promptly after the request or objection if the proceeding has begun. The ruling shall be made on the record and the reasons therefore set forth briefly.
  3. The media or any witness may not appeal, or seek review by original proceeding, the granting or denial of expanded media coverage. A party to the case may seek review of a ruling by original proceeding, if otherwise appropriate, or by post-trial appeal.
  1. Other use of Media.
  1. A judge may authorize the use of electronic or photographic means for the perpetuation of a record, or for purposes of judicial administration.
  2. A judge may authorize the broadcasting, televising, recording, or photographing of investitive, ceremonial, or naturalization proceedings.

 

 

18CA0578 – Amir Massihzadeh v. Colorado Lottery Division

For the Appellant:

Thomas M. Rogers III, Hermine Kallman and Conor A. Vlanigan, Lewis Roca Rothgerber Christie LLP, One Tabor Center, Ste. 3000, 1200 17th St., Denver, Co 80202, 303-623-9222, trogers@lrrc.com, hkallman@lrrc.com, cflanigan@lrrc.com

Robert R. Duncan, The Law Office of Robert R. Duncan LLC, 1960 Forest Pkwy., Denver, CO 80220, 303-669-0932, rduncan@rrd-llc.com

For the Appellee:

Robert H. Dodd, Cynthia P. Delaney and Robert Padjen, Office of the Colorado Attorney General, 1300 Broadway, 8th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, 720-508-6347, robert.dodd@coag.gov, cynthia.delaney@coag.gov, robertpadjen@coag.gov


16CA0728 – People of the State of Colorado v. Olivia Navarro-Gonzalez
For the Appellant:

Casey Mark Klekas, Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, 1300 Broadway, Ste. 300, Denver, CO 80203, 303-764-1400, pdapp.service@coloradodefenders.us

For the Appellee:

Frank R. Lawson, Office of the Colorado Attorney General, 1300 Broadway, 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, 720-508-6000, frank.lawson@coag.gov

 

18CA0046 – Robert Deland v. Richard Fox

For the Appellant:

Randall J. Paulsen, Randall J. Paulsen & Associates, P.C., 8704 Yates Dr., Ste. 100, Westminster, CO 80031, 303-426-7336, randy@rjpaulsenlaw.com

For the Appellee:

David Yun and Jared R. Ellis, Jaudon & Avery LLP, 600 Grand St., Ste. 505, Denver, CO 80203, 303-832-1122, dyun@jalegal.com, jellis@jalegal.com

 

16CA1940 – People of the State of Colorado v. Javarray Charles January
For the Appellant:

M. Shelby Deeney, Office of the Colorado State Public Defender, 1300 Broadway, Ste. 300, Denver, CO 80203, 303-764-1400, pdapp.service@coloradodefenders.us

For the Appellee:

Brenna A. Brackett, Office of the Colorado Attorney General, 1300 Broadway, 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, 720-508-6000, brenna.brackett@coag.gov

 

 

 

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