Location: SCR 352
Acts newly adopted by the Uniform Law Commission
COMMITTEE ON COLORADO COMMISSION ON UNIFORM STATE LAWS
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02:11 PM -- Acts newly adopted by the Uniform Law Commission
4. Preliminary discussion items for proposed 2018 legislative agenda:
- a. Acts newly adopted by the Uniform Law Commission
i. Directed Trust Act - Steve Brainerd, CBA Trusts & Estates Section, the act is being studied and considered by the section and requests the commission not proceed with this act this year. The Directed Trustees Act was adopted by the Colorado legislature in 2014 and the CBA would like more time to see how it and this act would fit together. He would like the commission to wait until the 2019 legislative session.
ii. Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act – Catherine Seal, CBA Elder Law Section. As an ABA advisor to the ULC drafting committee on this act, she is aware of the need for guardianship reform and is a proponent of this act. Although the final language of the act has not yet been released, the CBA is trying to determine what conforming amendments may be necessary, what other language changes may be needed to conform with current law, what portions of the law should be left in place, and what court forms need to be changed. This process will take more than a few months and she requests that the commission not proceed with the act this year. The commission wondered if a possible approach might be to adopt the act but delay the effective date so that there is a body in law in place, given the public demand for change, to help preempt other, less comprehensive legislation from being passed. The commission also wondered if the CBA had thoughts on how to inform the public and legislature that future legislation is in the works. The commission suggested the possibility of introducing the bill, knowing that it will not pass, to give focus to the CBA’s reform work and raise legislative and public awareness that their calls for reform are being addressed. Ms. Seal was concerned about repealing some aspects of Colorado law that should be retained and the public perception that might result from a bill not being enacted.
Letitia Maxfield, CBA Elder Law Section, added that this act affects adult and minor guardianships and conservatorships. It focuses on “least restrictive means” which constitutes a significant change to the current process. It would require courts to make very specific decisions about a person’s distinct abilities, more stringent evaluations, and rewriting most court forms regarding this area of law. The section does not support introducing the act for public education purposes and would be concerned about being blamed for the act’s failure and being perceived as being against reform when they do support it. She added that the CBA has a group available to make public presentations where needed. The commission suggested that there may also be merit to introducing the bill and not allowing it to pass this session to gather more information from stakeholders and to get a better idea of the fiscal note impact.
iii. Protected Series Act – There was no public testimony on this act. The commission noted that there have been numerous past objections to series in Colorado and there does not seem to be support for this act in Colorado at this time.
iv. Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act – Jeremy Schupbach, CBA Director of Legislative Relations. The bar is looking at this act and would like the commission to wait to introduce it. The commission noted that there was significant controversy surrounding this act at the annual meeting and suggested that it might be worthwhile to introduce this act this year to determine stakeholders and to move the discussion along. The act is being actively pushed in other states for passage this year.
v. Uniform Parentage Act - Marie Avery Moses, CBA Family Law Section. This act is similar to the 2002 version but updated to deal with civil unions and surrogacy. The section believes that this act is not needed in Colorado as a well-established body of law dealing with parentage and how to establish it already exists in Colorado. In addition, she noted issues in the act with regard to notice, the termination of parental rights, and establishing the presumption of parentage. The commission questioned whether current Colorado law adequately addresses any of the surrogacy issues, which was one of the major reasons for the act. Ms. Moses suggested that the surrogacy provisions of the uniform act could perhaps be incorporated separately.
vi. Model Veterans Treatment Court Act and Model Veterans Treatment Court Rules – Judge David Shakes, Fourth Judicial District in El Paso and Teller Counties. Colorado is a national leader in Veterans courts, was one of the first states to deal with felonies in these courts, has six Veterans Trauma Courts, and is a national mentor court to other states. The act is a good act and would be helpful for states wanting to create such courts. But Colorado does not need it. It already has almost 10 years of experience with Veterans courts, the statutory authority to create them, and has been successful at developing these courts through local collaborative efforts that reflect the needs of the communities involved. In addition, the state court administrator office has an accreditation program in the works. The commission wondered whether Colorado has developed rules or guidelines, similar to the rules in the model act, for Colorado courts and whether the courts might have written materials regarding how their courts work that could be shared with the ULC. Judge Shakes stated that Colorado does not have rules and that he may be able to give the ULC some insight into Colorado’s process.