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In re People

Supreme Court of Colorado, En Banc

April 6, 2015

In Re the People of the State of Colorado, Plaintiff
v.
Zachariah M. Jones, a/k/a Zackariah M. Jones, Defendant

Page 45

Original Proceeding Pursuant to C.A.R. 21. District Court, City and County of Denver, Case No. 13CR5353. Honorable Elizabeth A. Starrs, Judge.

Rule Made Absolute.

SYLLABUS

Jones petitioned for relief pursuant to C.A.R. 21 from an order of the district court granting the prosecution's motion to revoke his bail bond in its entirety and order that he be held without bond pending resolution of charges in a different district. The district court reasoned that it was granted the power to do so by section 16-4-105(3), C.R.S. (2014), upon concluding that another court had found probable cause to believe Jones committed a felony while released on bond. Jones appealed to the court of appeals according to the expedited procedure of section 16-4-204, C.R.S. (2014), but that court found itself to be without jurisdiction to entertain an expedited appeal from an order entered pursuant to section 105(3).

The supreme court holds that the court of appeals erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain Jones's appeal because Colorado's statutory scheme governing release on bail entitled Jones to an expedited review of the district court's order revoking his existing bond and declining to set another pending trial. The supreme court further holds that the district court erred in revoking Jones's existing bond and denying him a right to pretrial release altogether because section 105(3) merely empowered the district court to have Jones brought before it for purposes of modifying the conditions of his pretrial release.

For Plaintiff: Mitchell R. Morrissey, District Attorney, Second Judicial District, Robert J. Whitley, Chief Appellate Deputy District Attorney, Denver, Colorado.

For Defendant: Douglas K. Wilson, Public Defender, Jud Lohnes, Deputy Public Defender, Denver, Colorado.

OPINION

Page 46

COATS, JUSTICE.

Jones petitioned for relief pursuant to C.A.R. 21 from an order of the district court granting the prosecution's motion to revoke his bail bond in its entirety and order that he be held without bond pending resolution of charges in a different district. The district court reasoned that it was granted the power to do so by section 16-4-105(3), C.R.S. (2014), upon concluding that another court had found probable cause to believe Jones committed a felony while released on bond. Jones appealed to the court of appeals according to the expedited procedure of section 16-4-204, C.R.S. (2014), but that court found itself to be without jurisdiction to entertain an expedited appeal from an order entered pursuant to section 105(3).

Because Colorado's statutory scheme governing release on bail entitled Jones to an expedited review of the district court's order revoking his existing bond and declining to set another pending trial, the court of appeals erred in concluding that it lacked jurisdiction to entertain his appeal. Because section 105(3) merely empowered the district court to have Jones brought before it for purposes of modifying the conditions of his pretrial release, the district court erred in revoking his existing bond and denying him a right to pretrial release altogether. The rule is therefore made absolute, and the matter is remanded to the district court with directions to reinstate Jones's bail bond or change any condition thereof, as authorized by statute.

I.

In October 2013, Zachariah M. Jones was arrested, charged, and released on bond, in connection with several felony drug offenses in Denver County. Some four months later, the Denver District Attorney moved to revoke his bond, alleging that while Jones was released on bond in the present case, a court in Adams County issued a warrant for his arrest, based on conduct resulting in a charge of second degree assault. Relying on a provision of section 16-4-105(3), C.R.S. (2014), the motion asserted that the district court was empowered to revoke the defendant's bond because, during the time he was released on that bond, a competent court had found probable cause to believe he committed a felony. After hearing the motion, the Denver District Court granted it; revoked the defendant's bond in this case; and declined to reassess bond until the Adams County case had been resolved.

The defendant appealed the district court's order to the court of appeals pursuant to the expedited procedures set forth in section 16-4-204, C.R.S. (2014). In a published opinion, the court of appeals concluded that it lacked jurisdiction under section 204 and dismissed the defendant's appeal. The appellate court reasoned that its power of review pursuant to this statutory provision included only review of those orders entered pursuant to three specifically enumerated statutory sections, none of which was section 16-4-105.

The defendant petitioned this court pursuant to C.A.R. 21 for relief from the district court's " no-bond hold." In issuing our rule to show cause, we expressly ordered the district attorney to also address the defendant's entitlement to review ...


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