Skip to main content
Home Media Press Releases Release
Home Media Press Releases Release
Colorado Supreme Court to hear arguments at Broomfield High School on April 29

Thursday, April 23, 2015

DENVER – The Colorado Supreme Court will hear oral arguments in two cases on Wednesday, April 29, 2015, at Broomfield High School 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, 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 Colorado 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 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 Gregory J. Hobbs Jr., Nathan B. Coats, Allison H. Eid, Monica M. Márquez, Brian D. Boatright and William W. Hood III.

The two cases are:

  • 13SC902: Sebastian v. Douglas CountyFabian Sebastian asked the Colorado Supreme Court to review his case against the Douglas County Sheriff’s Office after a trial court dismissed the case, and on second review the Colorado Court of Appeals agreed with the trial court.  Sebastian was a passenger in the back seat of a vehicle that had been stopped by sheriff’s deputies after leaving the scene of a reported gang fight involving guns.  Two other people in the car ran and hopped over a fence after the car was stopped. One deputy directed a police dog to chase the two suspects, but he stopped at the fence, turned, and then entered the stopped car through an open door and began attacking Sebastian, who suffered severe injuries to his left arm.  In the trial court, Sebastian’s attorney failed to respond in time to the defendants’ motion to dismiss the case, and the court granted the motion.  Sebastian then filed a motion asking the trial judge to set aside its judgment based on his attorney’s misinterpretation of filing rules, but the court declined.  A division of the Court of Appeals sent the case back to the trial court for further consideration, but the trial court again determined Sebastian had failed to prove factors that would have allowed his case to be reinstated.  A different division of the Court of Appeals then upheld the trial court’s judgment, prompting Sebastian’s appeal to the Supreme Court.

 

  • 13SC904: Esquivel-Castillo v. People – Salvador Esquivel-Castillo was convicted of kidnapping and killing his girlfriend.  After the Colorado Court of Appeals rejected all the claims he raised on appeal, the Supreme Court agreed to his petition to review the case. After his trial, the jury found Esquivel-Castillo guilty of felony murder involving kidnapping, but acquitted him of the underlying kidnapping charges because jurors determined the method of kidnapping alleged in the charges filed against him did not match the facts of the case.  Esquivel-Castillo contends the evidence and argument presented by prosecutors, combined with an improper jury instruction on felony murder unconstitutionally expanded the charges prosecutors alleged in the charging document.

 

The proceedings will begin at 9 a.m. Wednesday, April 29, 2015, in the auditorium at Broomfield High School, 1 Eagle Way, Broomfield CO 80020. 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: http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Education/Materials.cfm?s=Spring&y=2015

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.

Media opportunity

 

What:                         Colorado Supreme Court Oral Arguments

When:             9 a.m. – noon, April 29, 2015

Where:           Broomfield High School, 1 Eagle Way, Broomfield CO 80020

Photo opportunities. During oral arguments, the requirements set forth in Chapter 38, Rule 2 of the Colorado Supreme Court Rules are in effect. Rule 2 is attached. Highlights include:

  1. A written request for expanded media coverage (form is attached below) 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 justices, access is open for media opportunities without the limitations of Rule 2. All media representatives also are welcome to photograph the luncheon immediately following the cases.

 

Schedule:

9 a.m. – 9:15 a.m.

Opening remarks

9:15 a.m. – 10:15 a.m.

13SC902: Sebastian v. Douglas County

10:15 a.m. – 10:30 a.m.

Justices conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

10:30 a.m. – 11:30 a.m.

13SC904: Esquivel-Castillo v. People

11:30 a.m. – 11:45 a.m.

Justices conference; attorneys answer students’ questions

11:45 a.m. – 12 p.m.

Justices answer students’ questions

12 p.m. – 1:30 p.m. (est.)

Lunch, justices and selected students

 

Request for Expanded Media Coverage. Requests must be submitted at least one day prior to the proceeding as outlined in Rule 2 (submitting requests three days prior to the proceeding is appreciated to allow for response time). Submit to Chris Ryan, Clerk of the Court, Colorado Supreme Court, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203; fax 720-625-5933. Copies also must be sent to the attorneys in the cases. A fill-in-the-blank request form is attached 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 2 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 written request for expanded media coverage 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 mailed or faxed 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 2.  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.


 

 

Request for Expanded Media Coverage

 

The name of media group:______________________________________________________

Person making request: ________________________________________________________

Contact information: __________________________________________________________

Name, address of counsel (if represented): _________________________________________

___________________________________________________________________________

Date of request:                                                       Date of proceeding: April 29, 2015

Time of proceeding

Case Number

Case Caption

9:15 a.m.

13SC902

Sebastian v. Douglas County

10:30 a.m.

13SC904

Esquivel-Castillo v. People

 

The type of expanded media coverage requested:           Designated Representative:

____ audio                                                                                      __________________________________

____ video                                                                                      __________________________________

____ still photography                                                        __________________________________

Description of the pooling arrangements required by section (5)(B), including the identity of the designated representatives:

 

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________­­­­­­­­­­­­___________________

 

 

Request for Expanded Media Coverage. Requests must be submitted at least one day prior to the proceeding as outlined in Rule 2 (submitting requests three days prior to the proceeding is appreciated to allow for response time). Submit to Chris Ryan, Clerk of the Court, Colorado Supreme Court, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203; fax 720-625-5933. Copies also must be sent to the attorneys in the cases.
The undersigned hereby certifies that on the ____ day of _______, 2015, a true and correct copy of the foregoing Request for Expanded Media Coverage was mailed, faxed or hand delivered to the following persons at the locations or fax numbers indicated:

 

 

 

 

 

   13SC902: Sebastian v. Douglas County

 

For the Petitioner:

Matthew J. Cron, Arash Jahanian, Qusair Mohamedbhai and Aaron Belzer, Rathod Mohamedbhai LLC, 1518 Blake St., Denver, CO 80202, tel. 303-578-4400, fax 303-578-4401,

and

Andrew Sandomire and Eric V. Field, Law Offices of Sandomire & Schwartz, 281 S. Pearl St., Denver, CO 80203, tel 303-868-9398, fax 303-831-9374

For the Respondent:

Kelly Dunnaway, Douglas County Attorney’s Office, 100 Third St., Castle Rock, CO 80104, tel. 303-660-7414, fax 303-688-6596


13SC904: Esquivel-Castillo v. People
 

For the Petitioner:

Eric A. Samler, Samler & Whitson P.C., 1127 Auraria Pkwy., Suite 201B, Denver, CO 80204, 303-670-0575

For the Respondent:
Melissa D. Allen, Assistant Attorney General, 1300 Broadway, 9th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, tel. 720-508-6479

 

 

      _____I agree to comply with all relevant orders and all criteria set forth in Rule 2.

 

 

 

Signature____________________________________ Date___________
 

 

 

 

 

important announcement contact us   •   interpreters   •   faq   •   photos   •   holidays Menu Important Announcement Home Search Courts Probation Jury Self Help ⁄ Forms Careers Media Administration Contact us Interpreters FAQ Photo Gallery Holiday Schedule