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3C9906DA9ED60ED38725821D007214DC Hearing Summary


Date Jan 22, 2018      
Location SCR 352

SB18-015 - Referred to the Committee of the Whole

01:46:06 PM  

Senator Gardner, co prime sponsor, explained SB18-015.  The bill creates an alternate process to remove an unauthorized person (occupant) from a residential property and associated civil and criminal penatlies for certain prohibited behavior.  The owner of his or her authorized agent (declarant) must provide to law enforcement a declaration that provides certain information in order to request that law enforcement remove the trespasser. 

Senatoor Gardner explained that squatting is very serious problem throughout the state.  He continued that this problem is especially prevalent near miliary bases and happens when a service member is deployed.   He explained that current eviction laws are inadequate and untimely, and the bill outlines an alternative, more responsive process for dealing with squatters.



01:53:24 PM  

Senator Hill, co prime sponsor, reiterated the necessity for the bill and reported that military communities are hit especially hard with squatters.

01:54:55 PM  

Senator Gardner answered questions from the committee about protections in the bill for non-service members.  Further discussion ensued about innocent occupants, fraudulent leases, the creation of new criminal penalties specific to squatters, sublets, unscrupulous landlords, and shelter for survival purposes. The committee also covered the criminal and civil remedies that are currently available to address squatting situations.  


02:22:22 PM  

Senator Gardner showed a news clip about squatters in Pueblo. 

02:28:56 PM  

The committee commented on the news clip,  They further discussed criminal trespassing crimes, serial squatters, and the prevalence of the squatting problem throughout the state, not just in El Paso County.




02:34:21 PM  

Myrtis Johnson, representing herself, spoke in support of the measure.  She offered a personal story about her experiences with squatters on her property.  She distributed a copy of her testimony (Attachment B) and a  copy of a note squatters placed on the door (Attachment C).  

02:39:25 PM  

Carrie Thompson, representing the Colorado Criminal Defense Bar, spoke in opposition to the measure.  She expressed concerns with the part of the bill that creates a new crime for damaging or altering property.

02:42:32 PM  

Tim Lane, representing Colorado District Attorneys' Council, provided a neutral position on the bill.  He suggested amending the bill to better define residential squatters.  He also expressed concerns that the bill. as written, may preclude district attorneys from charging squatters with a more serious crime, such as criminal mischief. 

02:48:01 PM  

Liz Peetz, representing the Colorado Association of Realtors, testified in support the bill. She stressed the need to have a remedy to remove unauthorized persons from a home. 

02:50:58 PM  

Senator Coram asked about forfeiture laws in relation to this bill.  The committee further discussed the application of the bill. 

02:57:56 PM
Motion Refer Senate Bill 18-015 to the Committee of the Whole.
Moved Gardner
Coram Yes
Fields No
Kagan No
Cooke Yes
Gardner Yes
Final YES: 3   NO: 2   EXC: 0   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  PASS

The effective date for bills enacted without a safety clause is August 7, 2024, if the General Assembly adjourns sine die on May 8, 2024, unless otherwise specified. Details