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  • Denver Ordinance Prohibiting Camping Withstands District Court Scrutiny
    September 18, 2020
    The question of whether camping ordinances violate an individual’s right to be free from cruel and unusual punishment under the Eighth Amendment has resurfaced. In this case,  a Denver District Court judge upheld Denver's ordinance prohibiting camping on public property as constitutional, facially and as applied. Facially, the court determined the ordinance neither distinguished based on status nor criminalized status. The court held that the ordinance was not directed to homelessness, but rather was directed to an activity that is often associated with homelessness. As applied, the record showed that the police did not target the defendant based on his status and that the police offered shelter, which he refused. The court held the ordinance constitutional as applied in this case because the evidence showed the police were not “motivated by a discriminatory purpose nor a desire to harm a ‘politically unpopular group,’ and thus there was no ‘animus’” on the part of the police.

    While the decision landed in favor of Denver’s ordinance, the question remains: will the Colorado Supreme Court weigh in on this topic du jour?
  • Colorado Supreme Court Affirms Municipal Authority to Regulate Firearms
    July 7, 2020

    In late June, the Colorado Supreme Court in Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, 18SC817 (Colo. 2020), unanimously upheld a 2013 state statute that prohibits large-capacity ammunition magazines, defined as more than 15 rounds, typically associated with semi-automatic weapons. C.R.S. § 18-12-301 et seq. The Court held that this law does not violate the right to bear arms found under Art. II, Sec. 13 of the Colorado Constitution because the state general assembly used a reasonable exercise of police power in enacting the statute.

    The decision is important for municipalities because the Court affirmed and clarified the standards that apply in a lawsuit over a local or state firearms law. The Court clarified that right to bear arms is not an unlimited right and is subject to reasonable regulation. The standard in Colorado that a court uses to see whether the law should be upheld is called “reasonable exercise test” and originates from Robertson v. City & County of Denver, 874 P.2d 325 (Colo. 1994).

  • Tenth Circuit Holds Curfew on Door-to-Door Commercial Solicitors Violation of First Amendment
    June 15, 2020

    On May 15, the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals struck down a 7:00 p.m. curfew for door-to-door commercial solicitors because it did not survive First Amendment scrutiny under the Central Hudson test, affirming the district court’s judgment, which concluded that Castle Rock has failed to demonstrate that the curfew advances its substantial interests in a direct and material way. CML filed an amicus brief in support of Castle Rock in this case.


Historical Amicus Briefs


For each of the below cases, click the link on the case name to view the Colorado Municipal League's amicus brief on the subject. If you have any questions about a case or cannot access the brief, please contact the League.




American Multi-Cinema, Inc. v. City of Aurora, – P.3d – , 2020 WL 34677 (Colo. App. 2020), petition pending. Taxpayer, which operated movie theaters, appealed city finance director's decision affirming city's denial of refund claims regarding use tax levied on taxpayer's master licensing agreements (MLAs) with motion picture distributors. The Colorado Court of Appeals found in favor of the City.

Aptive Environmental v. Castle Rock, – F.3d – , 2020 WL 2503912 (10th Cir. 2020). The Tenth Circuit struck down a 7 p.m. curfew on door-to-door commercial solicitation. The Court faulted the town for failing to adduce concrete and non-speculative evidence that the ordinance actually advances “in a direct and material way” the town’s substantial interest in public safety and residents’ privacy.

Forest View Co. v. Town of Monument (Colo. 2020). The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that municipalities are not liable for paying "just compensation" to pay for those within a private restrictive covenant when the municipality uses its eminent domain powers within the covenant’s boundaries.  

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners v. Polis, – P.3d – , 2020 WL 3496348 (Colo. 2020). The decision is important for municipalities because the Court affirmed and clarified the standards that apply in a lawsuit over a local or state firearms law.



City of Golden v. Sodexo America, LLC, 441 P.3d 444 (Colo. 2019). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the college's payment of taxpayer was a wholesale sales transaction and thus exempt from sales tax under municipal code.

Doe 1 v. Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, 451 P.3d 851 (Colo. 2019). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the Department, as a state agency, was not a state public body under OML; the Department's policy was an interpretive rule not subject to APA’s rulemaking requirements; and the Department's referrals of physicians to Board did not constitute final agency actions reviewable under APA.

Griswold v. National Federation of Independent Business, 449 P.3d 373 (Colo. 2019). Organization that represented interests of small business owners brought action against state of Colorado and its Secretary of State, alleging that funding mechanism whereby Colorado’s Department of State charged for some of its services to then fund its general operations was unconstitutional under the Taxpayer’s Bill of Rights (TABOR). The Supreme Court held it was constitutional under TABOR.

Hamer v. City of Trinidad, 924 F.3d 1093 (10th Cir. 2019). Wheelchair user filed action against city, alleging that city's sidewalks and curb cuts for access to those sidewalks did not comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) or the Rehabilitation Act. The Court of Appeals held that the repeated violations doctrine applied to claims under Title II of the ADA and the Rehabilitation Act.

Lech v. Jackson, 791 Fed. App’x 711 (10th Cir. 2019), petition for cert. pending. The Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals held that when the state acts pursuant to its police power, rather than the power of eminent domain, its actions do not constitute a taking for purposes of the Takings Clause, and as a matter of first impression, police officers' acts in damaging home while attempting to apprehend criminal suspect barricaded inside home fell within scope of lawful police power.



Barner v. Town of Silt, 2018 WL 5295828 (Colo. App. 2018) (unpublished), cert. denied. The Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, held the City liable where a water main break caused a home to flood under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA).

City and County of Denver v. Dennis, 418 P.3d 489 (Colo. 2018). Conservator of motorcycle passenger brought action against the city and county for negligence and premise liability, alleging that the street's deteriorated condition contributed the automobile accident in which passenger suffered permanent brain injuries. The Colorado Supreme Court held that deteriorated condition of the road did not constitute a dangerous condition under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA).

City of Boulder v. Public Service Company of Colorado, 420 P.3d 289 (Colo. 2018). Utility supplier brought action against city, city council, and various elected officials, seeking judicial review of city ordinances related to city council's creation of light and power utility. The Supreme Court held that the utility supplier's complaint asserted a viable declaratory judgment claim against city, rather than simply a claim for judicial review of city's attempt to create a light and power utility.

Colorado Union of Taxpayers Foundation v. City of Aspen,  418 P.3d 506 (Colo. 2018). The Colorado Supreme Court upheld a city bag fee against a challenge under the constitution—Taxpayers Bill of Rights (TABOR)—because the purpose of ordinance was not to raise revenue for the general expenses of government, and thus waste reduction fee was not a tax to which TABOR applied.

Gessler v. Smith,  419 P.3d 964 (Colo. 2018). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the Secretary of State was a “public officer” for purposes of public trust statutes; and allegations that the Secretary of State used state funds for partisan purposes and that he accepted a reimbursement for personal purposes, fell within the ambit of the ICE's jurisdiction.

Lopez v. City of Grand Junction, 2018 WL 3384674 (Colo. App. 2018) (unpublished), cert. denied. Plaintiffs brought action against city on claims of negligence and vicarious liability to recover for personal injuries and property damage when an independent contractor doing maintenance work on utility lines that powered a traffic light allegedly ruptured a natural-gas line, which allegedly caused gas to enter house through a sewer line and explode. In an unpublished opinion, the Court of Appeals held that the independent contractor's liability is attributable to the City.

M.A.K. Investment Group, LLC v. City of Glendale,  897 F.3d 1303 (10th Cir. 2018). Property owner filed § 1983 action alleging that city's adoption of resolution declaring properties blighted violated its due process and equal protection rights. The Tenth Circuit held due process required city to provide owner with direct individualized notice of its blight determination; and due process did not require that city provide owner with notice of thirty-day time frame in which to seek review.

Save Cheyenne v. City of Colorado Springs,  425 P.3d 1174 (Colo. App. 2018), cert. denied. After city conveyed portion of public park pursuant to land exchange, non-profit corporation filed suit seeking declaration that resolution authorizing exchange was null and void and seeking injunctive relief preventing exchange. The Court of Appeals held in favor of the City because any common law dedication was abrogated by city ordinance; and provisions of city charter limiting granting of leases and franchises on city parks did not apply to exchange.

Smokebrush Foundation v. City of Colorado Springs,  410 P.3d 1236 (Colo. 2018). The Colorado Supreme Court held that city did not waive its sovereign immunity under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) as to landowner's injuries that purportedly resulted from airborne asbestos contaminants during demolition of the gas department building. But, as a matter of apparent first impression, coal gasification plant that used to sit on the city-owned property was a “public gas facility” within the meaning of the CGIA.

TABOR Foundation v. Regional Transportation District, 416 P.3d 101 (Colo. 2018). Objectors brought action against regional transportation district, scientific and cultural facilities district, and Department of Revenue to challenge under the Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR) districts' collection of statutory sales tax for candy, soft drinks, cigarettes, direct mail advertising materials, and food containers. The Colorado Supreme Court held as matter of first impression, “new tax” within meaning of TABOR did not result from incidental and de minimis revenue increases, and legislation authorizing sales taxes at issue caused only incidental and de minimis revenue increases.

Taylor v. City of Boulder, 2018 WL 1193629 (Colo. App. 2018) (unpublished), cert. denied. The Colorado Court of Appeals, in an unpublished opinion, held that the City was liable for injuries caused by a water meter pit on private property.



City and County of Denver v. Expedia, Inc., 405 P.3d 1128 (Colo. 2017). Online travel companies sought review of hearing officer's determination that they owed lodger's taxes, along with penalties and interest, to city that assessed those taxes in connection with fees charged by companies for facilitating hotel reservations. The Colorado Supreme Court held that companies were “vendors” with responsibility to collect lodger's tax and remit it to city, and that companies' markup for selling reservations to lodgers, which companies retained, was subject to tax.

Rocky Mountain Retail Management, LLC v. City of Northglenn, 393 P.3d 533 (Colo. 2017). The Supreme Court held that a city ordinance permitting local licensing authority to consider “number, type, and availability” of existing medical marijuana facilities before approving or denying application for local license was not void for vagueness, and substantial evidence supported city's decision to deny applicant's request for license to operate medical marijuana center.

UMB Bank, N.A. v. Landmark Towers Association, Inc., 408 P.3d 836 (Colo. 2017). The Colorado Supreme Court held the ten-day period in which association could file a statement of intent to contest the election that created district began on the date on which the election results were certified; and the statute specifying the ten-day period in which to file a statement of intent to contest an election is a non-claim statute, which precludes application of the doctrine of equitable tolling. Note, the litigation is ongoing, but CML only participated up to this point.



City of Fort Collins v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association, 369 P.3d 586 (Colo. 2016). State oil and gas association brought action against home-rule city requesting declaration and permanent injunction related to city's fracking moratorium. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the moratorium involved a matter of mixed state and local concern; Oil and Gas Conservation Act did not impliedly preempt moratorium; but moratorium operationally conflicted with Act.

City of Longmont v. Colorado Oil and Gas Association, 369 P.3d 573 (Colo. 2016). Oil and gas association brought action against home-rule city, seeking declaratory judgment and injunction enjoining enforcement of city's ban on hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, on ground that ban was preempted by Oil and Gas Conservation Act. The Colorado Supreme Court held in favor of the association because the Act was determined to be of statewide concern.

Delta–Montrose Electric Association v. City of Delta, 2016 WL 4252605 (Colo. App. 2016) (unpublished). The Colorado Court of Appeals has upheld a district court decision, affirming the City of Delta's right to provide electrical services in territory previously served by Delta-Montrose Electric Association.

Ryals v. City of Englewood, 647 Fed. App’x 869 (10th Cir. 2016); see also Ryals v. City of Englewood, 364 P.3d 900 (Colo. 2016). The Colorado Supreme Court, upon a certified question from the Tenth Circuit, held that sex offender residency was an issue of mixed state and local concern, as a factor in determining whether state law preempted city ordinance; but city ordinance did not conflict with state law, and therefore, was not preempted by state law. The Tenth Circuit mooted the case before it based on this holding.



American Family Mutual Insurance Co. v. American National Property and Casualty Co., 370 P.3d 319 (Colo. App. 2015). Insurers brought subrogation action against Water Board and Colorado Department of Public Safety, alleging inverse condemnation and negligence, after embers from prescribed burn on Water Board land caused wildfire which resulted in significant property damage. The Colorado Court of Appeals held that insurers had standing to assert inverse condemnation claims; and alleged taking of insureds' property did not serve nor was intended to serve a public purpose.

Reno v. Marks, 349 P.3d 248 (Colo. 2015). The Colorado Supreme Court held that evidence supported finding that clerk's denial of requesters records request to review voted paper ballots from general election was proper, and thus requester was not entitled to an award of costs and attorney fees under CORA.



Daniel v. City of Colorado Springs, 327 P.3d 891 (Colo. 2014). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a parking lot that serves a public golf course is a "public facility" under the recreation area waiver of the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) and that governmental immunity can be waived if an injury results from a dangerous condition of a public parking lot, so long as that parking lot is "located in" a "recreation area."

Town of Dillon v. Yacht Club Condominiums Home Owners Association, 325 P.3d 1032 (Colo. 2014). The Colorado Supreme Court held that ordinances authorizing road improvement project and authorizing police chief to designate no-parking zones on rights-of-way were reasonable exercise of town's police power.



Mountain–Plains Investment Corp. v. Parker Jordan Metropolitan District, 312 P.3d 260 (Colo. App. 2013). The Court of Appeals held that an entity subject to the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA) could charge for labor to fulfill the request at a rate of $25 and could require a deposit before fulfilling request. 

Webb v. City of Black Hawk, 295 P.3d 480 (Colo. 2013). The Colorado Supreme Court held that an ordinance prohibiting bicycles traveling from outside streets of municipality on streets within municipality was not a matter of purely local concern but, rather, was a matter of mixed state and local concern for purposes of determining whether state statute or home-rule municipality's ordinance governed.



Town of Minturn v. Sensible Housing Co., Inc., 273 P.3d 1154 (Colo. 2012). After town enacted annexation ordinances for nine parcels of property, putative title holder, which was a party to a quiet title action concerning the parcels in separate litigation, filed action for judicial review of the annexation ordinances, alleging that the annexations were outside of town's authority and that town abused its discretion by approving the annexations without an election. The Colorado Supreme Court held that because both actions involve the same parties and subject matter, the priority rule applies to the annexation judicial review proceeding, and the quiet title action should proceed first.



Denver Post Corp. v. Ritter, 255 P.3d 1083 (Colo. 2011). Newspaper sought disclosure of Governor's personal cell phone records under the Colorado Open Records Act (CORA). The Colorado Supreme Court held that newspaper failed to state a claim for disclosure of Governor's personal cell phone records that was cognizable under CORA.

Henderson v. City of Fort Morgan, 277 P.3d 853 (Colo. App. 2011). Individual brought action against city seeking declaratory and injunctive relief alleging that city council's voting procedure violated the Colorado Open Meetings Law (COML). The Court of Appeals held that city council's use of anonymous written ballots did not violate COML.



Palizzi v. City of Brighton, 228 P.3d 957 (Colo. 2010). The Colorado Supreme Court held that all evidence relevant to the determination of the present market value of condemned property is admissible, including evidence of the most advantageous potential future use of the entire property, even if the condemned property would need to be dedicated as part of annexation and rezoning of the entire property in the future.

Rocky Mountain Christian Church v. Bd. of County Comm'rs, 613 F.3d 1229 (10th Cir. 2010) (cert. denied). The Tenth Circuit found in favor of Rocky Mountain Christian Church and held that evidence was sufficient for jury to conclude that county's land use regulations effectively deprived church and other religious institutions of reasonable opportunities to practice their religion in violation of RLUIPA.



Bd. of County Commissioners of Rio Blanco v. Exxonmobil Oil Corp., 222 P.3d 303 (Colo. 2009). A split Colorado Supreme Court upheld an opinion by the Court of Appeals, which held that equipment and materials used by company in its natural gas operations were not “construction and building materials,” and thus were not subject to county's use tax.

Denny Const., Inc. v. City and County of Denver ex rel. Bd. of Water Commissioners, 199 P.3d 742 (Colo. 2009). The Colorado Supreme Court held that lost profits in a breach of contract action due to impaired bonding capacity are not speculative as a matter of law and a political subdivision was not exempt by immunity legislation from breach of contract claims.

Mesa County Bd. of County Commissioners v. State, 203 P.3d 519 (Colo. 2009). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the constitutional provision requiring advance voter approval for tax policy change directly causing a net tax revenue gain to any district does not require a second election for legislation directing how revenue received as result of an election waiving limits on revenue should be used.

Wolf Ranch, LLC v. City of Colorado Springs, 220 P.3d 559 (Colo. 2009). The Colorado Supreme Court held that drainage fees imposed by city fell within Regulatory Impairment of Property Rights Act's (RIPRA) exception for legislatively formulated fees imposed upon a broad class of property owners.



Colorado Intergovernmental Risk Sharing Agency v. Northfield Ins. Co., 207 P.3d 839 (Colo. App. 2008). State intergovernmental risk sharing agency filed suit against insurer with which it had contracted to provide tiered insurance coverage to city for building in which hot springs swimming pool was located, asserting breach of contract, after insurer denied agency's request for coverage for loss resulting from partial collapse of building's roof over the pool. The Court of Appeals \ held that anti-concurrent causation (ACC) clause in insurance contract barred agency from recovering from insurer funds agency had paid for loss.

Town of Marble v. Darien, 181 P.3d 1148 (Colo. 2008). Citizens who were proponents of a project to place a monument in a town park brought an action against town and town council for an alleged violation of the Colorado Open Meetings Law (OML). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a notice of a meeting of town council was a full notice, as required by the OML, with respect to the project. CML also participated at the Court of Appeals.

Town of Telluride v. San Miguel Valley Corp., 185 P.3d 161 (Colo. 2008). The Colorado Supreme Court held that as a matter of first impression, extraterritorial condemnation by town of property for parks and open space constituted a lawful, public, local and municipal purpose, and thus fell within the scope of the home rule article of the Colorado Constitution; and the statute prohibiting municipalities from condemning property outside their boundaries for open space and parks was unconstitutional with respect to home rule municipalities.



City and County of Denver v. Crandall, 161 P.3d 627 (Colo. 2007). The Colorado Supreme Court held that recurring symptoms of service representatives from exposure to environmental conditions at city airport concourse were not separate and discrete injuries, for purposes of determining when 180-day period in which to file a notice of claim with city under the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA) began to run.

City of Fort Morgan v. Colorado Public Utilities Commission, 159 P.3d 87 (Colo. 2007). The Colorado Supreme held the PUC was authorized to issue a certificate of public convenience and necessity (CPCN) to other utility to provide firm natural gas transportation services to the businesses that were being serviced with interruptible natural gas service by municipal utility, and natural gas utility could obtain a CPCN before it obtained local government approval.

Steedle v. Sereff, 167 P.3d 135 (Colo. 2007). The Colorado Supreme Court held that operative “injury” was the wrongful death itself, and thus the $150,000 per injury damages cap in the Governmental Immunity Act did not apply separately to each plaintiff, but rather to the wrongful death action as a whole.

Town of Carbondale v. GSS Properties, LLC, 169 P.3d 675 (Colo. 2007). Town brought action against property owner for violation of watershed protection ordinance, alleging negligence and public nuisance, and seeking injunctive relief. The Colorado Supreme Court upheld the trial court, which concluded that property owner had violated ordinance, awarded damages on negligence claim, and ordered abatement of nuisance. 



Board of County Commissioners of Gunnison County v. BDS Intern., LLC., 159 P.3d 773 (Colo. App. 2006). County brought action against natural gas producer seeking to enjoin producer from maintaining or drilling wells without complying with county regulations. The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that most of the county regulations were preempted by state law.

City of Florence v. Pepper, 145 P.3d 654 (Colo. 2006). Workers' compensation claimant, a city volunteer police reserve officer, appealed decision of Industrial Claim Appeals Office that he was not employee. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the statute allowing governing body to exclude volunteer police from being considered employees was effectively repealed, and claimant was entitled to workers' compensation coverage.

JAM Restaurant, Inc. v. City of Longmont, (cert denied 2006). Business owner filed action against city to preclude the amortization, under a municipal zoning ordinance, of his sexually oriented business. The Court of Appeals held that statute precluding such amortization preempted city ordinance.

State v. City and County of Denver, 139 P.3d 635 (Colo. 2006). The Colorado Supreme Court had a split decision, therefore upholding the district court opinion which upheld Denver's firearms regulations despite statewide legislation because the regulations were deemed a matter of local concern. 


Bruce v. City of Colorado Springs, 131 P.3d 1187 (Colo. 2005) (cert. denied 2006). The Colorado Supreme that a street light service charge did not constitute “tax” subject to voter approval under state Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR) or city's TABOR, and cable television charge collected by provider was not tax.

Town of Castle Rock, Colo. v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005). Wife brought civil rights action against municipality and police officers based on officers' refusal to enforce domestic abuse restraining order against husband. The U.S. Supreme Court held that Colorado law did not give wife a right to have police enforce restraining order; Colorado law did not create personal entitlement to police enforcement of restraining orders; and wife did not have protected property interest in police enforcement of restraining order. CML participated at the Tenth Circuit level.


Board of County Commissioners, Costilla County v. Costilla County Conservancy District, 88 P.3d 1188 (Colo. 2004). County conservancy district brought action against board of county commissioners, alleging that the board violated the Open Meetings Law (OML) by failing to give public notice of meeting relating to water pollution which was attended by two commissioners. The Colorado Supreme Court held OML applies only to meetings that are part of the policy–making process, and evidence in record failed to demonstrate requisite link between contested meeting and policy–making function of board, and thus such meeting was not subject to OML public notice requirements.

City of Littleton, Colo. v. Z.J. Gifts D-4, L.L.C., 541 U.S. 774 (2004). The U.S. Supreme Court held where city's “adult business” licensing scheme simply conditioned operation of adult business on compliance with neutral and non-discretionary criteria and did not seek to censor content, language in ordinance providing for judicial review of adverse licensing decisions in accordance with state's ordinary review procedures was sufficient to satisfy First Amendment requirements. CML participated at the Tenth Circuit level.

Department of Transportation v. Stapleton, 97 P.3d 938 (Colo. 2004). Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) and Pitkin County brought condemnation action against property owner seeking to condemn property adjacent to state highway to construct parking and transit facilities. The Colorado Supreme Court held that CDOT had implied statutory authority to condemn property for construction of a parking and transit facility.

Gumina v. City of Sterling, 119 P.3d 527 (Colo. App. 2004). The Court of Appeals held that city council's failure to comply strictly with requirements for executive sessions rendered meetings open such that recorded minutes were open to public.

Town of Frisco v. Baum, 90 P.3d 845 (Colo. 2004). Plaintiff appealed decision of town's approval of conditional land use development application. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the neighbor was required to file the action in the municipal court, with a right to appeal to the district court, rather than filing the action originally in the district court.


Board of County Commissioners of LaPlata County v. Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission, 81 P.3d 1119 (Colo. App. 2003). Board of County Commissioners sought review of rule promulgated by Colorado Oil and Gas Conservation Commission (COGCC) which dealt with permits to drill. The Court of Appeal held rule was invalid on its face in that it would preempt all local government actions regarding drilling beyond those that materially impeded or destroyed the state's interest.

City of Northglenn v. Ibarra, 62 P.3d 151 (Colo. 2003). Foster care provider was convicted and fined, in the trial court, for violating home-rule city ordinance prohibiting unrelated or unmarried registered sex offenders from living together in a single-family residence. The Colorado Supreme Court held that state law preempted the ordinance, as to adjudicated delinquent children who were registered sex offenders living in foster care homes.


Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County v. City of Aurora, 62 P.3d 1049 (Colo. App. 2002). County sought judicial review of city's annexation of developer's property. The Colorado Court of Appeals held that: (1) city satisfied Municipal Annexation Act's contiguity requirement; (2) city and developer had standing to challenge county's designating county roads as “open spaces” for purposes of Act's contiguity requirement; and (3) city substantially complied with Act's impact report requirement.

City of Commerce City v. State, 40 P.3d 1273 (Colo. 2002). The Colorado Supreme Court held that statutes governing automated vehicle identification systems superseded conflicting provisions of home-rule cities' ordinances.

City of Longmont v. Henry-Hobbs, 50 P.3d 906 (Colo. 2002). Mother of boy who drowned in irrigation ditch brought wrongful death action against city alleging it was negligent in failing to maintain ditch. The Colorado Supreme Court held that: (1) irrigation ditch was “public sanitation facility” for purposes of Colorado Governmental Immunity Act (CGIA), and (2) city waived immunity under CGIA.

Metro Wastewater Reclamation Dist. v. Fireman's Fund Ins. Co., 35 Fed.App’x 839 (10th Cir. 2002) (unpublished). The Tenth Circuit held that under Colorado Court of Appeals' Haller decision, while reasonable belief in nonliability justifiably excuses insured's failure to give timely notice of occurrence, it does not excuse late notice of claim or suit when policy terms explicitly require prompt notice.

Olson v. City of Golden, 53 P.3d 747 (Colo. App. 2002). Taxpayer brought an action seeking an injunction and declaratory judgment against city, city council, city urban renewal authority, and redevelopment corporation, alleging that agreements between city and authority, and authority and corporation, violated Urban Renewal Law and Taxpayers' Bill of Rights (TABOR). The Court of Appeals held that: (1) taxpayer did not have standing to bring action under Urban Renewal Law, and (2) as a matter of first impression, authority was not a “district” subject to TABOR.

Town of Frederick v. North American Resources Co., 60 P.3d 758 (Colo. App. 2002). The Colorado Court of Appeals held that: (1) municipality's ordinance was not wholly preempted by state law, and (2) setback, noise abatement, and visual impact provisions of municipal ordinance were preempted on basis of operational conflict.


Animas Valley Sand and Gravel, Inc. v. Board of County Commissioners of County of La Plata, 38 P.3d 59 (Colo. 2001). The Colorado Supreme Court held a taking could occur under a fact-specific inquiry even if the property retained some economically viable use.

Krupp v. Breckenridge Sanitation District, 19 P.3d 687 (Colo. 2001). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a plan development fee (commonly referred to as a "PIF") was not a development exaction and was not a regulatory taking.

City and County of Denver v. Qwest Corp., 18 P.3d 748 (Colo. 2001). Telecommunications companies brought action challenging validity of city and county ordinance requiring telecommunications providers to obtain private use permit before occupying or using, or continuing to occupy or use, public rights-of-way in city and county. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the statute governing rights of way for telecommunications providers preempted ordinance.


Fraternal Order of Police, Colorado Lodge No. 19 v. City of Commerce City, 996 P.2d 133 (Colo. 2000). City sought declaratory judgment invalidating voter-approved charter amendment creating permanent panel of arbitrators for binding interest arbitration to resolve impasses in collective bargaining with police officers. The Colorado Supreme Court held that the charter amendment provided the political accountability and safeguards required by the constitutional prohibition against delegation of legislative power.

Town of Eagle v. Scheibe, 10 P.3d 648 (Colo. 2000). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the town's lodging occupation tax of two dollars per day, per occupied room was not an “income tax” which only the General Assembly had constitutional authority to impose.

Town of Telluride v. Lot Thirty-Four Venture, L.L.C., 3 P.3d 30 (Colo. 2000). The Colorado Supreme Court held that: (1) town's “affordable housing mitigation” ordinance constituted “rent control,” within meaning of state statute prohibiting municipalities from enacting rent control for private residential property, and (2) the ordinance conflicted with the state statute, which addressed a matter of mixed local and statewide concern, and thus, the ordinance was invalid.


Board of Commissioners of County of Boulder v. City of Broomfield, 7 P.3d 1033 (Colo. App. 1999). County challenged city's adoption of an urban renewal plan. The Colorado Court of Appeals held that the county lacked standing to challenge the plan under the urban renewal statutes and under TABOR.


Brock v. Nyland, 955 P.2d 1037 (Colo. 1998), overruled by Finnie v. Jefferson County Sch. Dist. R-1, 79 P.3d 1253 (Colo. 2003). The Colorado Supreme Court held substantial compliance is insufficient to satisfy the mandate in the CGIA that a plaintiff file notice of claim with the governing body of the public entity or the attorney representing the public entity. 

Campbell v. Orchard Mesa Irrigation District, 972 P.2d 1037 (Colo. 1998). The Colorado Supreme Court held that an irrigation district was not a local government within the meaning of the taxing and spending election requirements of the Colorado Constitution.

Farmers Insurance Exchange v. Bill Boom Inc., 961 P.2d 465 (Colo. 1998). The Colorado Supreme Court held that commercial vehicles are “non-private passenger motor vehicles” within meaning of statute allowing no-fault insurer for private passenger motor vehicle to pursue subrogation against owner, user, or operator of non-private passenger motor vehicle.


City of Westminster v. Brannan Sand & Gravel Co., Inc., 940 P.2d 393 (Colo. 1997). The Colorado Supreme Court ruled that a mechanic's lien could not be filed against public property.

Swieckowski v. Fort Collins, 934 P.2d 1380 (Colo. 1997). Parents of 15-year-old bicyclist who suffered injuries which rendered him a quadriplegic when he rode his bicycle off drop-off and into drainage ditch at sudden end of improvement which had widened roadway brought action against city. The Colorado Supreme Court held hazard was not result of negligent act or omission by city in maintaining roadway, as would bring action within waiver to immunity under GIA, and hazard was result solely of inadequate design and thus was not “dangerous condition” under GIA.

Town of Parker v. Norton, 939 P.2d 535 (Colo App. 1997). The Colorado Supreme Court held that provision of Recreational Trail System Act stating that “[n]othing in this article” permits acquisition of recreational trails by proceedings in eminent domain merely clarifies that Act itself does not grant any eminent domain authority, but provision does not affect home rule municipality's right to seek condemnation for recreational trial if it had authorization independent of Act.

Town of Superior v. Midcities Co., 933 P.2d 596 (Colo. 1997). The Colorado Supreme Court held that town's annexation of landowner's property without annexation agreement or without first obtaining landowner's approval of annexation violated Annexation Act.

U.S. West Communications, Inc. v. City of Longmont, 948 P.2d 509 (Colo. 1997). Telephone local exchange carrier brought declaratory judgment action against city, challenging validity of ordinance requiring owners and operators of existing overhead electric and communications facilities to relocate facilities underground at their own cost. The Colorado Supreme Court held ordinance was reasonable exercise of city's general police powers and its statutory powers to regulate streets, sidewalks, and utility poles; and ordinance did not constitute uncompensated “taking” of carrier's property in violation of state or federal Constitution.


Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County, Colo. v. Bainbridge, Inc., 929 P.2d 691 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held counties could not impose or exact school impact fee at time of issuance of building permit or certificate of occupancy in addition to that provided for by statute at time of subdivision approval, but the General Assembly has not preempted field of public-school finance.

Board of County Commissioners of Douglas County v. Sundheim, 926 P.2d 545 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held an action challenging quasi-judicial decision of governmental body and requesting money damages under § 1983 did not have to be brought within 30–day filing limitation set forth in rules of civil procedure.

City and County of Denver By and Through Board of Water Commissioners v. Gallegos, 916 P.2d 509 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a water meter pit was not public water facility within meaning of the CGIA so as to effect waiver of defendants' governmental immunity.

City of Aurora v. Board of County Commissioners of Adams County, 919 P.2d 198 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme held that county could allocate revenue from specific ownership tax to county road and bridge fund.

City of Aspen v. Marshall, 912 P.2d 56 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held a landowner had no right, vested or otherwise, to retain hot tub and deck she had constructed prior to receiving appropriate approvals; and city and commission were not estopped from refusing to grant building permit approval to landowner for hot tub and deck.

City of Englewood v. Commercial Union Assur. Companies, 940 P.2d 948 (Colo. App. 1996), aff'd in part, 984 P.2d 606 (Colo. 1999). Cities sued their comprehensive general liability insurers, seeking declaration of coverage in connection with potentially responsible party letters from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) concerning the cities' role in the disposal of sewage sludge at a landfill. The Colorado Court of Appeals held joint venture exclusion which appeared in some of the policies barred coverage for any liability arising out of insureds' joint operation of waste treatment plant. The Colorado Supreme Court held government-mandated response or cleanup costs constituted “damages,” within the meaning of the policies.

City of Wheat Ridge v. Cerveny, 913 P.2d 1110 (Colo. 1996). The City of Wheat Ridge tried to hold a special election for a TABOR question and was sued in district court. At the district court level, the court held that Wheat Ridge could not hold a special election for a tax question under the Colorado Constitution. Appeals for this case concerned attorney’s fees; CML only participated at the district court level.

Fraternal Order of Police, Colorado Lodge No. 27 v. City & County of Denver, 926 P.2d 582 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held that home rule provisions of the State Constitution which specifically grant Denver the authority over the qualifications of its municipal officers superseded the provisions of the POST Act because state did not have a sufficient interest in the qualifications of Denver's deputy sheriffs.

Havens v. Board of County Commissioners of County of Archuleta, 924 P.2d 517 (Colo. 1996). The Colorado Supreme Court held that electorate of governmental entity may, pursuant to Taxpayer's Bill of Rights, authorize retention and expenditure of excess revenue without forcing corresponding revenue reduction.

Regional Transp. Dist. v. Lopez, 916 P.2d 1187 (Colo. 1996). Bus passenger brought action against regional transportation district under the CGIA for negligence and for failure to pay personal injury protection benefits. The Colorado Supreme Court held premature filing of PIP claim was not failure to comply with jurisdictional prerequisite that required dismissal with prejudice.

Zaner v. City of Brighton, 917 P.2d 280 (Colo. 1996). Individuals brought action against city, challenging referendum election to obtain voter approval for transfer of city's electric utility franchise from one utility to another, on ground that timing of referendum violated state constitutional Taxpayer's Bill of Rights (TABOR). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the TABOR provision governing scheduling of elections applies only to issues of government financing, spending, and taxation governed by TABOR, and has no bearing on people's ability to schedule special elections on local measures not affected by TABOR.


Bolt v. Arapahoe County School Dist. Six, 898 P.2d 525 (Colo. 1995). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the school district had constitutionally required voter approval in advance for its bond redemption mill levy increases; and school district's abatements and refunds mill levy was properly levied without voter approval.

City of Aurora v. Acosta, 892 P.2d 264 (Colo. 1995). Taxpayers brought action against city seeking to invalidate two voter-approved ballot issues and limit district's spending base as approved in second ballot issue. The Colorado Supreme Court held that ballot issues did not violate the state constitution.

City of Colorado Springs v. Tipton, 910 P.2d 75 (Colo. App. 1995). The Court of Appeals held that an ordinance establishing statute of repose precluded city from bringing action to recover taxes payable for more than three years.

City of Grand Junction v. Ute Water Conservancy Dist., 900 P.2d 81 (Colo. 1995). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the water conservancy district's repurchase of revenue bond did not discharge underlying debt and thus, protection of statute prohibiting curtailment or limitation of water services continued beyond date of repurchase.

Denver Pub. Co. v. City of Aurora, 896 P.2d 306 (Colo. 1995). Newspaper publisher sought injunction against enforcement of city ordinance proscribing hawkers from directly soliciting occupants in vehicles traveling on city streets. The Colorado Supreme Court held that ordinance was narrowly tailored to serve city's significant interest in assuring traffic safety and, as such, was constitutional.

Nicholl v. E-470 Public Highway Authority, 896 P.2d 859 (Colo. 1995). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the authority's plan to finance construction of portion of highway by releasing bond proceeds out of escrow and re-marketing bonds did not create new financial obligation so as to require voter approval; authority's plan to finance construction of portion of highway by using intergovernmental loans constituted new multi-year fiscal obligation that required voter approval; and collection and expenditure of tolls and other revenues to service highway construction bonds after bond proceeds had been broken out of escrow did not require voter approval.

State v. Bd. of Commissioners Mesa County, 897 P.2d 788 (Colo. 1995). The Supreme Court held that the county's responsibility to provide courthouses and courthouse services was not “subsidy” within meaning of constitutional amendment authorizing local districts to reduce or end their subsidy to any programs delegated to them by General Assembly for administration.


Apollo Stereo Music v. City of Aurora, 871 P.2d 1206 (Colo. 1994). Companies engaged in business of servicing coin-operated amusement machines brought action against city seeking declaratory judgment that tax imposed on gross receipts was unconstitutional income tax. The Colorado Supreme Court held that tax operated as constitutionally permissible sales tax and not as income tax.

Bickel v. City of Boulder, 885 P.2d 215 (Colo. 1994). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a ballot question proposing increase of taxes and issuance of bonds did not involve “bonded debt” for purposes of constitutional prohibition on consolidation of bonded debt issues.

Dept. of Hwys. v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel., 869 P.2d 1289 (Colo. 1994). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the excavation requirements statute does not create implied waiver of sovereign immunity such as would permit state, or entities of the state, to be held liable for tort damages resulting from negligent excavations by state employees.


City of Lafayette v. Barrack, 847 P.2d 136 (Colo. 1993). Property owners sued city, asserting contractual and due process claims in connection with termination of water service. The Colorado Supreme Court held the owners' notice of intent to sue under Governmental Immunity Act was untimely with respect to fraud and misrepresentation claims.

City of Littleton v. State, 855 P.2d 448 (Colo. 1993). City brought suit to collect storm drainage utility fees assessed against state as owner of community college and elementary school. The Colorado Supreme Court held the Constitution did not prohibit imposition of fee against State Land Board, as owner of school, and statute authorized imposition of fee against community college.

City of Thornton v. Replogle, 873 P.2d 30 (Colo. App. 1993), aff'd, 888 P.2d 782 (Colo. 1995). The Court of Appeals held that statutory 12–week limitation on receipt of medical impairment benefits related to mental impairment, meant that temporary disability benefits could be offset against a maximum award of “medical impairment benefits” of 12 weeks, and not that 12 weeks was cap on any type of disability benefits awarded for mental impairment.

Jafay v. Board of County Commissioners, 848 P.2d 892 (Colo. 1993). The Colorado Supreme Court held board's actions in rezoning were quasi-legislative rather than quasi-judicial and, thus, judicial review was not available; landowner's due process rights were not violated by the lack of a quasi-judicial hearing to challenge the rezoning, in light of landowner's participation in a public hearing on the rezoning.

Metro Wastewater Reclamation Dist. v. Continental Cas. Co., 834 F. Supp. 1254 (D. Colo. 1993). The District Court held that: Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) enforcement actions were not “suit” that would trigger insurers' duty to defend and response costs under Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act (CERCLA) qualified as “damages” under policies.

Submission of Interrogatories on Senate Bill 93-74, 852 P.2d 1 (Colo. 1993). Of five interrogatories submitted by the Colorado General Assembly, the Supreme Court declined to answer three of the five interrogatories and held that: (1) state lottery proceeds dedicated by constitutional amendment to park and wildlife preservation are subject to limitations on state fiscal year spending under TABOR and (2) Limited Gaming Control Amendment to Constitution does not permit general assembly to enact limitations on revenues collected by limited gaming control commission.


City of Colorado Springs v. Timberlane Associates, 824 P.2d 776 (Colo. 1992). The Colorado Supreme Court held that nullum tempus doctrine (a common law doctrine that the government is not subject to the statute of limitations) did not shield municipality from application of statute of limitations.

Martin v. Montezuma-Cortez School Dist. RE-1, 841 P.2d 237 (Colo. 1992). The Supreme Court allowed teachers to strike, without expanding the right to other public employees--such as firefighters or other emergency service personnel—thereby limiting the expansive right to strike created by the Court of Appeals.

REN v. City of Colorado Springs, 823 P.2d 1359 (Colo. 1992). The Colorado Supreme Court held that municipal court was not required to afford juveniles procedures of Children's Code when juveniles were prosecuted for violating municipal ordinances, penalty for which may not be jail sentence.

State v. Moldovan, 842 P.2d 220 (Colo. 1992). The Colorado Supreme Court held a motorcyclist could bring negligence action alleging that state breached statutory duty under fence law; and motorcyclist was required to bring claim under general negligence principles rather than negligence per se theory.

Voss v. Lundvall Bros., Inc., 830 P.2d 1061 (Colo. 1992). The Colorado Supreme Court held that Oil and Gas Conservation Act preempted home-rule city from enacting land-use ordinance that imposed total ban on drilling of any oil, gas, or hydrocarbon wells within city.


City of Colorado Springs v. Investment Hotel Properties, Ltd., 806 P.2d 375 (Colo. 1991). The Colorado Supreme Court held that renting of hotel room is not a “resale” of the furnishings in that room, so that purchase of furnishings for the hotel is subject to use tax.

City of Lakewood v. Mavromatis, 817 P.2d 90 (Colo. 1991). The Colorado Supreme Court held that delivery of road petition to county clerk for entry in road book was insufficient to constitute compliance with applicable recording act, and thus did not give constructive notice to subsequent purchasers of subject property, absent indexing of instruments in grantor and grantee indices.

Colorado State Bd. of Land Commissioners v. Colorado Mined Land Reclamation Board, 809 P.2d 974 (Colo. 1991). The Colorado Supreme Court held that filing of complaint for judicial review was condition precedent for preserving lessee's right to seek appellate review of county's denial of application for special use permit and requirements of Act pertaining to adherence to county zoning regulations do not unconstitutionally infringe on the authority of the State Land Board.

Coparr, Ltd. v. City of Boulder, 942 F.2d 724 (10th Cir. 1991). The Court of Appeals held that Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) did not preempt city pesticide ordinance imposing notification requirements on commercial pesticide applicators.

Grynberg v. City of Northglenn, 829 P.2d 473 (Colo. App. 1991); overruled by City of Northglenn v. Grynberg, 846 P.2d 175 (Colo. 1993)(CML also participated as amicus). The Court of Appeals held the owner established that his right to explore for coal and reduce coal to possession was taken by inverse condemnation. The Colorado Supreme Court reversed, holding city's acquisition of surface estate was not a taking. U.S. Supreme Court denied cert.

Hecla Min. Co. v. New Hampshire Insurance Co., 811 P.2d 1083 (Colo. 1991). Two cases were consolidated sua sponte by the court considering the duty of insurers to defend against and provide indemnification for claims of environmental damage against insured that conducted mining operations.


Citizens for Quality Growth Petitioners' Committee v. City of Steamboat Springs, 807 P.2d 1197 (Colo. App. 1990), cert. denied (Colo. 1991). The Colorado Court of Appeals held that authorization of conditional use which required further act of city council was legislative in nature and, thus, subject to referendum process.

City and County of Denver v. State, 788 P.2d 764 (Colo. 1990). The Colorado Supreme Court held that state statute forbidding municipalities from adopting residency requirements for municipal employees unconstitutionally interferes with power of home rule municipalities to determine conditions of employment for their employees.

City of Craig v. Hammat, 809 P.2d 1034 (Colo. App. 1990), cert. denied (Colo. 1991). The Colorado Court of Appeals held that city ordinances for collection of delinquent utility charges by imposition of liens analogous to tax liens did not conflict with state statutes.

Fort Collins v. Root Outdoor Advertising, 788 P.2d 149 (Colo. 1990). The Colorado Supreme Court held the city could not remove certain nonconforming signs, pursuant to amortization provision of its sign code, without paying just compensation.


AT&T Communications of Mountain States, Inc. v. State, Dept. of Revenue, 778 P.2d 677 (Colo. 1989). The Colorado Supreme Court held that access services for interstate phone calls were intrastate telephone services within the meaning of statute governing taxation on intrastate telephone services and, thus, sales of such services were taxable.


Denver v. Mountain States Tel. & Tel., 754 P.2d 1172 (Colo. 1988). The Colorado Supreme Court held (1) governmental/proprietary distinction has no validity in context of utilities relocation law, and (2) relocation of underground telephone lines necessitated by sewer construction furthered health and welfare of municipality's citizens in newly annexed development, and thus, telephone company was required to bear costs of relocating its facilities.


East Grand County School Dist. No. 2 v. Town of Winter Park, 739 P.2d 862 (Colo. App. 1987), cert. denied (Colo. 1987). Court of Appeals held town council's submission of proposed urban renewal plan to electorate did not excuse town council from obligation to hold public hearings; and approval of election results prior to making statutory findings did not comply with statutory requirements.


Board of County Commissioners of Arapahoe County v. Denver Board of Water Commissioners, 718 P.2d 235 (Colo. 1986). The Colorado Supreme Court held neither Public Utilities Commission nor any other body had constitutional and statutory authority to regulate activities of board or require it to supply water.


Mt. Emmons Mining Co. v. Town of Crested Butte, 690 P.2d 231 (Colo. 1984). Mining corporations brought action for declaratory and injunctive relief against town and various town officials challenging the town's watershed district permit ordinance. The Colorado Supreme Court held the factual record was not sufficiently developed.


Cherry Hills Farms, Inc. v. City of Cherry Hills Village, 670 P.2d 779 (Colo. 1983). The Colorado Supreme Court held a service expansion fee–the purpose of which was to establish additional sources of revenue to fund expansion of city services–was an excise tax because it was levied directly by city on use of the property without assessment or regard to value of the property.

State v. Young, 665 P.2d 108 (Colo. 1983). The Colorado Supreme Court held there must be reasonable opportunity for claimant to discover basic and material facts underlying claim before she is duty-bound to give statutory notice required for claim against public entity.


City of Colorado Springs v. Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, 648 P.2d 671 (Colo. App. 1982), cert. denied. The Colorado Court of Appeals held funds could not be transferred from the General Fund to the Road and Bridge Fund due to the prohibitory language in section 30-25-106, 12A C.R.S. (1986). The same decision was reached in City of Greeley v. Board of County Commissioners, Weld County, 644 P.2d 76 (Colo. App. 1981).

Community Communications Co., Inc. v. City of Boulder, 455 U.S. 40 (1982). The United States Supreme Court held that the ordinance, enacted under the “home rule” powers of the city, did not enjoy the “state action” exemption from the Sherman Act liability. The Colorado Municipal League participated as amicus at the Tenth Circuit.

Theobald v. Bd. of County Commissioners of Summit County.,  644 P.2d 942 (Colo. 1982). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the comprehensive land use code which was adopted by the county was not invalid as an attempt by board of county commissioners to restrictively zone property without following statutory procedures.


City of Greeley v. Board of County Commissioners, Weld County, 644 P.2d 76 (Colo. App. 1981). The Colorado Court of Appeals held that funds could not be transferred from the General Fund to the Road and Bridge Fund due to the prohibitory language in section 30-25-106, 12A C.R.S. (1986). The same decision was reached in City of Colorado Springs v. Board of County Commissioners of El Paso County, 648 P.2d 671 (Colo. App. 1982).

Margolis v. District Court, In and For Arapahoe County, 638 P.2d 297 (Colo. 1981). The Colorado Supreme Court, in three joint cases, held zoning and rezoning are legislative in character and thus are subject to the referendum and initiative powers reserved to the people under the State Constitution.

City of Montrose v. Public Utilities Commission of State of Colorado, 629 P.2d 619 (Colo. 1981). The Colorado Supreme Court held that a municipal decision to surcharge municipal franchise fees was not arbitrary or capricious and did not violate equal protection.

Union Rural Elec. Association, Inc. v. Town of Frederick, 629 P.2d 1093 (Colo. App. 1981),  aff'd, 670 P.2d 4 (Colo. 1983). The Colorado Court of Appeals held that the town's extension of electrical service did not constitute a taking of utility's property without just compensation.


Cesario v. City of Colorado Springs, 616 P.2d 113 (Colo. 1980). The Colorado Supreme Court held that the city council could not amend the description on its unilateral annexation ordinance after hearings on the ordinance had been concluded.


Weed v. City of Pueblo, 591 P.2d 80 (Colo. 1979). The Colorado Supreme Court held that nothing would permit private company to bind city by its contracts with suppliers, company was not city's agent and thus not privy to city's immunity from taxation, and thus city was not entitled to refund of state sales and use taxes paid by contractor during construction of the project and for which contractor was reimbursed by city.


Adams County Ass'n for Retarded Citizens, Inc. v. City of Westminster, 580 P.2d 1246 (Colo. 1978). The Colorado Supreme Court remanded a city council denial of a special use permit because the council came to its decision based on a mix of permissive and non-permissive factors.

City of Loveland v. Public Utilities Commission of Colorado, 580 P.2d 381 (Colo. 1978). The Colorado Supreme Court held that regulation by Commission of public utility services provided by municipalities outside their boundaries is for protection of nonresident customers and does not fall within constitutional prohibition against interference by special commissions with municipal property.

In re Interrogatories of Governor Regarding Sweepstakes Races Act, 585 P.2d 595 (Colo. 1978). The Colorado Supreme Court held that: (1) the proposed games under the legislation were lotteries, and (2) provision of Colorado Constitution proscribing lotteries prohibited exercise of legislative power, whether by referendum or otherwise, to approve lotteries, and thus purported legislation of lotteries by referendum was void and of no effect.


City of Thornton v. Farmers Reservoir and Irrigation Co., 575 P.2d 382 (Colo. 1978). The Colorado Supreme Court held a home rule municipality has a constitutional power to condemn water and water rights.


City of Aurora v. Zwerdlinger, 571 P.2d 1074 (Colo. 1977). The Colorado Supreme Court held that under city charter and Colorado Constitution, ordinance raising rates and charges for water supplied by city was administrative ordinance not subject to referendum powers.

Greeley Police Union v. City Council of Greeley, 553 P.2d 790 (Colo. 1976). The Colorado Supreme Court held that provision of amendment providing for compulsory, binding arbitration between police union and municipality of unresolved disputes was unconstitutional.

Minturn v. Foster Lumber Co., 548 P.2d 1276 (Colo. 1976). The Colorado Supreme Court held that two percent tax imposed on all construction and building materials businesses and occupations in town was an unauthorized “income tax”, although it was denominated an occupation tax.


City of Louisville v. District Ct. for County of Boulder, 543 P.2d 67 (Colo. 1975). The Colorado Supreme Court took up the question of when entities can enjoin a city from pre-annexation activities, such as hearings.

Stroud v. City of Aspen, 532 P.2d 720 (Colo. 1975). The Colorado Supreme Court held that an ordinance which provided that an applicant for a permit in commercial core district must either provide parking spaces on site pursuant to specific formula or enter into lease agreement with city for required number of parking spaces and which did not provide standards for city's providing of parking facilities contained an improper delegation to the city manager to determine price, length of time of lease, and provision of parking facilities and was therefore overbroad.


City of Aurora v. Dilley, 526 P.2d 657 (Colo. 1974). The Colorado Supreme Court a proposed initiated city charter amendment unconstitutional, which provided that members of city fire department were to have right of collective bargaining and that there was to be compulsory arbitration in event that issues were unresolved in bargaining.


City of Boulder v. Regents of University of Colorado, 501 P.2d 123 (Colo. 1972). The Colorado Supreme Court held that inasmuch as State Constitution gives board of regents exclusive control and direction of all funds of, and appropriations to, the university, city could not force regents to collect admissions tax upon charges made to attend public events.


Fort Collins-Loveland Water District v. City of Fort Collins, 482 P.2d 986 (Colo. 1971).The Colorado Supreme Court held that neither individual plaintiffs who did not live within annexed territory nor plaintiff water districts had standing to sue challenging annexation ordinance.


Board of County Commissioners of Saguache v. Edwards, 468 P.2d 857 (Colo. 1970). The Colorado Supreme Court held the Board of County Commissioners have a statutory duty to redistrict their counties to have equal population for each district.


Adams v. City of Colorado Springs, 308 F. Supp. 1397 (D. Colo. 1969), aff'd, 399 U.S. 901 (1970). Upheld the Colorado annexation statute permitting qualified electors in area to be annexed to vote on proposed annexation when area to be annexed had at least one-sixth but not more than two-thirds of its perimeter contiguous with the annexing municipality, but which did not permit election if area to be annexed had over two-thirds contiguity.

Brooks v. Zabka, 450 P.2d 653 (Colo. 1969). The Colorado Supreme Court held that exception to power of referendum provided for by city charter for ordinances making the tax levy did not include sales tax ordinance.

City and County of Denver v. Duffy Storage and Moving, 450 P.2d 339 (Colo. 1969). The Colorado Supreme Court invalidated an ordinance imposing municipal income tax. The Court did uphold an ordinance imposing tax on all persons engaged in any business, trade, occupation, profession, or calling of any kind having fixed or transitory situs within city for any period of time in calendar month and an ordinance imposing tax on performance of service within city by any employee were valid.


Englewood v. Mountain State Telephone and Telegraph Co., 431 P.2d 40 (Colo. 1967). The Supreme Court held that telephone company, which used public streets belonging to the city for its facilities, and which was granted a 20-year franchise by the city to operate its telephone system, but on expiration of the franchise refused to seek a new agreement, acquired a valid state franchise or right, regardless of the validity or its original city franchise, by virtue of a statute which permitted it not only to maintain facilities in the city's public ways, but also the right to construct and operate additional ones therein without obtaining city franchise.


Berman v. City and County of Denver, 400 P.2d 434 (Colo. 1965). The Supreme Court held that a home rule city had power to adopt sales and use tax under grant of authority given by the people in the Constitution


Colorado Springs v. Kitty Hawk Development, 392 P.2d 467 (Colo. 1964). The Supreme Court held that development company which obtained from city water and sewer service for subdivision by meeting city's conditions that subdivision be annexed by city and that the payment be made to city would not be entitled to recover payment from city.


Englewood v. City and County of Denver, 123 Colo. 290 (Colo. 1951). The Supreme Court that in its function of acquiring and supplying Denver residents with water, as a municipal function, City of Denver was free of jurisdiction of Public Utilities Commission and Denver was not under public duty to furnish water to Englewood at any kind of rates or to furnish water at all. This decision was overruled by Board of County Com'rs of Arapahoe County v. Denver Bd. of Water Com'rs, 718 P.2d 235 (Colo. 1989).


McNichols v. City and County of Denver, 230 P.2d 591 (Colo. 1950). The Colorado Supreme Court held that where city consented to mortgage its assets to secure the payment of bonds, the bonds became more than mere revenue bonds, and must be deemed to have increased outstanding indebtedness of the city. The League petitioned for rehearing, concerned about categorizing pledged property as debt. The Court denied the rehearing.