Joseph T. Pandy, a/k/a Joseph Pandy Jr., Elizabeth Pandy, a/k/a Elizabeth A. Pandy; The Joseph Pandy Jr. and Elizabeth Pandy Living Trust, a/k/a Joseph Pandy Jr. and Elizabeth A. Pandy Living Trust dated November 10, 2003; Joseph T. Pandy as Trustee, Elizabeth A. Pandy as Trustee, Petitioners
Independent Bank, a Michigan bank, Respondent.
Attorneys for Petitioners: The Whitmer Law Firm, LLC Kent H.
Whitmer William G. Berry
Attorneys for Respondent: The Law Firm of John A. Lobus, P.C.
John A. Lobus
¶1 This case principally concerns whether property
titled in the name of a judgment debtor's co-settled
revocable trust is subject to a judgment lien against the
debtor. The petitioners, Joseph T. Pandy and Elizabeth Pandy,
are co-settlors and co-trustees of a revocable trust that
holds title to certain real property in Colorado. The
respondent, Independent Bank (the "Bank"), obtained
two judgments against Mr. Pandy in Michigan. After
domesticating those judgments in the district court for Grand
County, Colorado and recording transcripts of the Colorado
judgments with the Grand County Clerk and Recorder, the Bank
filed the present action to quiet title and for a decree of
The Pandys subsequently moved for judgment on the pleadings,
arguing that the Bank's complaint was barred by what they
argued was the applicable statute of limitations, namely, the
three-year statute set forth in section 13-80-101(1)(k),
C.R.S. (2015). The district court denied the Pandys'
motion, and the Pandys brought an interlocutory appeal in the
court of appeals. A division of that court affirmed the
district court's denial of the motion for judgment on the
pleadings, Indep. Bank v. Pandy, 2015 COA 3,
¶¶ 1, 31–32, P.3d, and we granted certiorari.
We now affirm. We conclude that as a settlor of a revocable
trust, Mr. Pandy held an ownership interest in the
trust's assets. Accordingly, the Bank could properly seek
to enforce its judgment against Mr. Pandy in this case, and
its action was not barred by the statute of limitations set
forth in section 13-80-101(1)(k).
Facts and Procedural History
Although this case is before us on an abbreviated record, the
pertinent facts appear to be undisputed.
The Pandys are co-settlors and co-trustees of a revocable
trust known as the Joseph Pandy Jr. & Elizabeth Pandy
Living Trust, aka The Joseph Pandy Jr. & Elizabeth A.
Pandy Living Trust Dated November 10, 2003 (the
"Trust"). In 2005, the Trust took title to certain
real property in Grand County (the "Property").
In August 2010, the Bank obtained judgments against Mr. Pandy
in the amounts of $923, 356.16 and $34, 953.93 in a Michigan
state court. In April 2012, the Bank domesticated these
judgments in the Grand County district court and recorded
transcripts of the domesticated judgments in that county.
In March 2014, the Bank filed a Complaint for Quiet Title and
Decree of Foreclosure against the Pandys. The complaint
sought, among other things, (1) an order decreeing that the
Bank's recorded transcripts of judgment were valid liens
on the Property to the extent of Mr. Pandy's ownership
interest therein and (2) a decree of foreclosure directing
the Grand County sheriff to sell the Property in a
foreclosure sale and to apply the proceeds to satisfy the
costs and fees associated with the foreclosure and the
Bank's judgment against Mr. Pandy.
The Pandys subsequently filed a C.R.C.P. 12(c) motion for
judgment on the pleadings, asserting that the Bank's
complaint was barred by the three-year statute of limitations
set forth in section 13-80-101(1)(k). In that motion, the
Pandys contended that the Bank's cause of action accrued
in Michigan when the judgment entered there. They further
argued that under Michigan law, the statute of limitations on
noncontractual money obligations is ten years. Section
13-80-101(1)(k), however, provides that all civil actions
accruing outside of Colorado must be commenced within three
years if the limitations period of the place in which the
action accrued was greater than that in Colorado.
Accordingly, the Pandys asserted that the present action was
governed by section 13-80-101(1)(k)'s three-year statute.
In a written order, the district court denied the Pandys'
motion. After expressing its uncertainty as to the meaning of
section 13-80-101(1)(k), the court concluded that once the
Bank domesticated its judgment, section 13-52-102(1), C.R.S.
(2015), applied and allowed the Bank to collect on its
In reaching this conclusion, the court noted that in enacting
section 13-52-102(1), the Colorado legislature sought to make
it easy for judgment creditors to collect against Colorado
judgment debtors. Specifically, section 13-52-102(1) allowed
a judgment creditor to collect by domesticating a foreign
judgment instead of filing a second lawsuit, which, the court
observed, was the proper procedure prior to the enactment of
section 13-52-102. The court also based its finding on the
fact that the Bank was no longer attempting to obtain a
judgment. Rather, it was attempting to collect on a judgment,
and section 13-80-101(1)(k) did not address the time period
in which a party may do so.
After receiving the district court's order, the Pandys
petitioned the court of appeals for leave to file an
interlocutory appeal pursuant to C.A.R. 4.2. The court
granted the petition, and a division ultimately affirmed the
district court's ruling. See Indep. Bank,
¶¶ 1, 32. Like the district court, the division
concluded that section 13-80-101(1)(k)'s three-year
statute of limitations did not bar the Bank's action to
collect on its previously obtained judgment. Id. at
¶¶ 27, 31. The division further noted the
Bank's contentions (and the record support therefor) that
(1) the Trust was revocable; (2)as a result, the Trust's
assets were also assets of its settlors, the Pandys; and
(3)therefore, Mr. Pandy's assets were subject to the
claims of his creditors, including the Bank. Id. at
¶¶ 28–29. The division stated that if the
Trust was ...