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Court of Appeals division to hear arguments at STRIVE Prep-RISE in Denver on April 19

Friday, April 15, 2022

DENVER – A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in two cases at STRIVE Prep-RISE in Denver on Tuesday, April 19, 2022, before an audience of students. Limited public seating will be available, and all visitors to the school must wear face masks.

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 give Colorado high school students insight into 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 weeks of the arguments.

The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three judges to hear cases. Judges hearing the cases at STRIVE Prep-RISE are David J. Richman, Ted C. Tow III, and Matthew D. Grove.

The cases are: 

  • 21CA172, Rebecca Hogan and Betty Medina v. City of Englewood: The city of Englewood has asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to review a decision by the trial court denying the city’s motion to dismiss a lawsuit filed by two women injured in an accident on a city-owned golf course. Rebecca Hogan and Betty Medina were in a golf cart they were driving from the green of one hole to the tee box of the next when the cart hit a tree stump that was not visible due to long grass around it. The cart stopped abruptly, and Ms. Medina suffered substantial injuries when she was thrown from the cart; Ms. Hogan was less severely hurt. After they sued the city of Englewood, the city filed a motion to dismiss the case, arguing the suit should be prevented by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act. The trial court denied the motion after finding that the city knew or should have known the stump created a dangerous condition, that the financial burden of removing the stump was not significant, and that therefore the city’s governmental immunity should be waived. Attorneys for the city argued in briefs among other things that the stump did not pose an unreasonable risk, and therefore the city’s governmental immunity should remain in effect.
  • 20CA711, People of the State of Colorado v. David Joseph Chapel: David Chapel is appealing his convictions for criminal trespass of a house and criminal trespass of a back yard after he attended a house party in the area. He was convicted and sentenced to probation. The night of the party, Mr. Chapel had consumed enough alcohol that he passed out and was awakened about 4 a.m. by a loud noise and people running from the house. It was early March 2019, and the low temperature that day was 6 degrees below zero. Mr. Chapel followed others fleeing the house and wound up in the back yard of a woman who called police when she saw him on a security camera feed. Mr. Chapel then left that yard and found his way into the garage of another house to try to get warm. He then entered a door leading to a stairway down into a basement apartment, where a resident lit her kitchen stove for him to warm his hands and feet. Her housemate called police, who arrested Mr. Chapel. Among other arguments, Mr. Chapel’s attorneys argued in briefs that the trial court improperly refused Mr. Chapel’s request to present a “lesser of two evils” defense and argue to the jury that he knew it was wrong to enter the basement apartment, but felt it was necessary because he was suffering in the extreme cold.

The proceedings will begin at 10 a.m. Tuesday, April 19, at STRIVE Prep-RISE (18250 E. 51st Ave. in Denver). A question-and-answer session, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments. The 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. Visitors are required to wear a face covering. Video recordings of the arguments will be available online within one to two days of the argument at

Editor’s Note:

The documents related to the cases are available at:

Additional information on the Courts in the Community program is available at:

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 or at 720-625-5811 if you plan to attend.

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