Analysis and commentary on the practice of appellate law and on news, events and decisions from the Colorado Supreme Court, Colorado Court of Appeals, Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals and United States Supreme Court
The Colorado Supreme Court has just issued an order in the Lobato case indicating that it will hear oral argument in March of next year. The Court's order states that it will be issuing an order "in the near future" setting a specific date and time. Briefing was completed earlier this month.
A common practice in criminal cases is for a defendant to plead guilty to a crime, conditioned upon his right to appeal an unsuccessful pretrial motion to suppress evidence. In most jurisdictions, this practice is allowed by statute or rule. In federal court, for example, Fed. R. Crim. P. 11(a)(2) provides that "with the consent of the court and the government, a defendant may enter a conditional plea of guilty . . . reserving the right to have an appellate court review an adverse determination of a specified pretrial motion."
Colorado does not have such a statute or rule, and in Neuhaus v. People, issued today, the Colorado Supreme Court declined to create a judicial exception authorizing conditional guilty pleas, holding that the reservation of the right to appeal an unsuccessful pretrial motion "is better created by statute or court rule, if at all."