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F949B63F45052E87872587A00074AD9F Hearing Summary


Date Dec 3, 2021      
Location HCR 0112

Uniform Cohabitants’ Economic Remedies Act - Remains on the 2022 legislative agenda

02:14:28 PM  

Chris Radeff, chair of the CBA Family Law Legislative Committee, pointed out that in Colorado there is case law from a 2000 Supreme Court decision, Salzman v. Bachrach, addressing many of the remedies for unjust enrichment available through the uniform act. She added that specific concerns with the act include the possibility of allowing a cohabitant to intervene in the divorce case of the other cohabitant and creating some issues regarding common law marriage by opening up the possibility of the duplication of judicial remedies. Currently in Colorado, common law marriage is a judicial decision determined at the time of a party seeking divorce. She explained that if a party is denied that determination they may be able to reach a similar result as a cohabitant in a different court under this act. There will need to be discussion regarding what court will have jurisdiction, with concerns that if it is the domestic courts it may cause backlogs. In addition, there are concerns regarding the possibility of a cohabitant who was a victim of domestic violence and left that relationship continuing to be harassed/harmed by the other cohabitant/perpetrator using the act and the courts. Ms. Radeff indicated that if the commission does move forward with the act that the CBA would like to work with the commission to address some of these issues. Commissioner Levy pointed out that the act acknowledges equitable interests, which would allow the court to weigh in domestic violence issues but the common law marriage concerns would need more discussion. The commission asked if the Supreme Court decision is comprehensive and considered settled law, or is this an area where statutory clarification would be helpful. Ms. Radeff replied that the case law covers most of the act but mostly relies on unjust enrichment and allowed parties that were not married and not seeking common law marriage to bring an action for recovery for damages. Commissioner Scott pointed out that common law cases can be complicated and that it is important to have clarity in this area. Ms. Radeff agreed that the act provides clarity and the section's concerns are with the potential overlap in remedies (i.e. form shopping) and with judicial economy. Commissioner McGihon added that the commission would like to work closely with the CBA where needed to provide clarity with this act.

02:21:05 PM  

Commissioner Scott moved to keep the Uniform Cohabitants' Economic Remedies Act on the commission's 2022 legislative agenda. Commissioner Tipper seconded and the motion passed without objection. Commissioner Tipper volunteered to try to find a sponsor.

02:29:28 PM
Motion Move to keep the Uniform Cohabitants' Economic Remedies Act on the commission's 2022 legislative agenda.
Moved Sara Scott
Alicia Duran
Thomas Grimshaw Excused
Yelana Love
Anne McGihon
Donald Mielke
Charley Pike
Sara Scott
Claire Levy
YES: 0   NO: 0   EXC: 1   ABS:  0   FINAL ACTION:  Pass Without Objection