Colorado Supreme Court Decisions

The Colorado Supreme Court consists of seven justices, including a Chief Justice and six Associate Justices. All seven of the justices hear each case brought before the Supreme Court in a full panel, known as en banc review. These cases generally involve appeals from the Colorado Court of Appeals, but the Colorado Supreme Court also has direct jurisdiction over certain types of cases identified by Article VI of the Colorado Constitution. These include habeas corpus cases, criminal appeals, challenges to the constitutionality of statutes, Public Utilities Commission matters, and matters involving judicial misconduct, among others. The Colorado Supreme Court has the exclusive authority to set rules of practice and procedure that govern civil and criminal cases in courts throughout the state.

Justices on the Court are appointed by the Governor of Colorado, rather than being elected by voters. When a vacancy arises, the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission must meet within 30 days to review candidates. To be eligible, a candidate must be under 72 years old, registered to vote in Colorado, and licensed to practice law in the state for the last five years. Once the Commission selects two or three finalists, the Governor will choose the new justice from that group. If the Governor does not make a selection, the current Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court will make the decision. Once a justice has been selected, they will serve for at least two years and then seek retention in the next general election. If they are retained, they will go through a retention election every 10 years thereafter.

The Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court serves as the chair of the Colorado Supreme Court Nominating Commission. The Chief Justice appoints chief judges in the Court of Appeals and district courts, and the Chief Justice has the authority to appoint other judges to serve on state courts. The other justices elect the Chief Justice.

Browse Opinions From the Colorado Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the Colorado Supreme Court
Glover v. Resource Land Holdings LLC  
Date: November 15, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 77
Docket Number: 20SA278

Justia Opinion Summary: After years of unsuccessful negotiation and several years of contentious litigation, this case came before the Colorado Supreme Court to resolve a dispute over the placement of an irrigation ditch and maintenance obligat...

In re Colo. Indep. Legis. Redistricting Comm'n  
Date: November 15, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 76
Docket Number: 21SA305

Justia Opinion Summary: In an original proceeding filed to the Colorado Supreme Court, at issue were the final legislative redistricting plans for the Colorado Senate and House of Representatives, adopted and submitted to the Court by the Color...

Colorado v. Weeks  
Date: November 8, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 75
Docket Number: 20SC340

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury found Benjamin Weeks guilty of aggravated robbery and felony menacing. At his sentencing hearing, which was held approximately a month later, the prosecutor asked that the issue of restitution “remain open.” Notab...

Colorado v. Roddy  
Date: November 8, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 74
Docket Number: 20SC491

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jonathan Roddy and his ex-wife have been embroiled in post-decree domestic-relations litigation for more than a decade. In exchange for dismissal of the original criminal charges, Roddy pled guilty to first deg...

In re Colo. Indep. Cong. Redistricting Comm'n  
Date: November 1, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 73
Docket Number: 21SA208

Justia Opinion Summary: The Colorado Supreme Court reviewed the state's final congressional redistricting plan adopted by the Colorado Independent Congressional Redistricting Commission pursuant to article V, section 44.5 of the Colorado Consti...

Colorado v. McKay  
Date: October 25, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 72
Docket Number: 21SA238

Justia Opinion Summary: Pursuant to a warrant, Denver police officers searched defendant Scott McKay’s home and car. During the search, police allegedly found more than four pounds of methamphetamine and a handgun. The State charged McKay with...

Colorado v. Hall  
Date: October 18, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 71
Docket Number: 20SC142

Justia Opinion Summary: In a split decision from a division of the court of appeals, the majority concluded the trial court deprived defendant Levi Hall of his right to a fair trial because the trial court "crossed the line from impartial judge...

Colorado v. Cooper  
Date: September 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 69
Docket Number: 19SC249

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court in this case restricted the generalized expert testimony offered by the State regarding the dynamics of domestic violence. After considering the victim’s testimony, the proposed expert opinions, and the r...

Colorado v. Coons  
Date: September 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 70
Docket Number: 19SC485

Justia Opinion Summary: The trial court in this case admitted the generalized expert testimony offered by the State on the dynamics of domestic violence, ruling that it would be helpful to the jury and impliedly finding that it passed muster un...

Brown v. Long Romero  
Date: September 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 67
Docket Number: 20SA429

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Colorado Supreme Court's review was whether the “McHaffie Rule” applied even where the plaintiff chooses not to assert vicarious liability for an employee’s negligence and, instead,...

Colorado v. Tallent  
Date: September 27, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 68
Docket Number: 20SC205

Justia Opinion Summary: A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals, purporting to apply Colorado v. Morehead, 442 P.3d 413 (2019) announced a new two-step, multifactor test that trial courts would be required to apply when exercising discretio...

Harvey v. Centura, No.  
Date: September 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 65
Docket Number: 20SC261

Justia Opinion Summary: Peggy Harvey and Eileen Manzanares were injured in separate car accidents when their cars were struck by other drivers. Each was then taken to a Centura-affiliated hospital (along with Centura Health Corporation, “Centur...

McDonald v. Colorado  
Date: September 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 64
Docket Number: 20SC354

Justia Opinion Summary: Marquis McDonald was convicted by jury of violating the Colorado Organized Crime Control Act ("COCCA"), a class 2 felony for which McDonald ultimately received a ninety-six year sentence in prison. In challenging his con...

Colorado v. Sanchez  
Date: September 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 63
Docket Number: 20SC47

Justia Opinion Summary: The State challenged the court of appeals decision reversing defendant Gabriel Sanchez’s convictions for two counts of possession. Specifically, the State argued that police use of a pole camera to surveil Rafael Tafoya’...

Colorado v. Tafoya  
Date: September 13, 2021
Citation: 2021 CO 62
Docket Number: 20SC9

Justia Opinion Summary: Because the police suspected Rafael Tafoya of drug trafficking, they mounted a camera on a utility pole across the street from his house without first securing a warrant. For approximately three months, the pole camera c...

The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.