Burger Investments Family Limited Partnership; A & S Burger Investments, LLC; 1241 LLC; 1221 LLC; and 1201 LLC, Plaintiffs-Appellants,
City of Littleton; Littleton City Council; and Stone Creek Real Estate Partners, LLC, Defendants-Appellees.
Arapahoe County District Court No. 17CV31948 Honorable
Elizabeth Beebe Volz, Judge.
Foster, Graham, Milstein & Calisher, LLP, Chip G.
Schoneberger, Denver, Colorado, for Plaintiffs-Appellants
Law Office of Steven J. Dawes, LLC, Steven J. Dawes, Denver,
Colorado, for Defendants-Appellees City of Littleton and
Littleton City Council
Fairfield and Woods, P.C., Karen V. Reutzel, Jessica
Alizadeh, Denver, Colorado, for Defendant-Appellee Stone
Creek Real Estate Partners, LLC
1 This case presents the question whether the district court
properly dismissed the complaint of plaintiffs - Burger
Investments Family Limited Partnership and other
entities - for lack of subject matter jurisdiction
where the City of Littleton's charter vests exclusive
original jurisdiction in its municipal court over all
violations of the charter and ordinances of the city. Because
we conclude the charter provision at issue does not apply to
civil cases, we reverse the district court's judgment and
remand the case for the court to reinstate Burger's
2 Defendant, Stone Creek Real Estate Partners, LLC, applied
to the City of Littleton for approval of an amendment to a
planned development plan that would allow for assisted
living, memory care, and accessory uses commonly associated
with assisted living and memory care facilities
("Application"). After a public hearing, the
Littleton City Council found that the proposed amendment to
the planned development plan conformed to the development
standards of the Planned Development Amendment criteria
specified in the city code; thus, it passed an ordinance
approving the Application.
3 Burger owns property adjacent to the subject parcel and
filed a complaint in the district court under C.R.C.P.
106(a)(4) to review the city council's decision. In its
complaint, Burger alleged that the city council's
decision violated specific provisions of the city's code
and that its actions in approving the Application were
"contrary to law [and] contrary to the Code."
4 Littleton moved to dismiss Burger's complaint for lack
of subject matter jurisdiction. It argued that pursuant to
section 58 of Littleton's charter and Town of Frisco
v. Baum, 90 P.3d 845 (Colo. 2004), the Littleton
municipal courts have exclusive original jurisdiction to
address the city council's decision.
5 In pertinent part, section 58 of the City of
Littleton's Charter states, "There shall be a
municipal court vested with exclusive original jurisdiction
of all violations of the Charter and the ordinances of the
6 The district court concluded that Burger's complaint
alleged violations of specific ordinances; thus, exclusive
original jurisdiction lay with the municipal court.
Accordingly, the district court dismissed Burger's Rule
106(a)(4) action for lack of subject matter jurisdiction, and
this appeal followed.
City of Littleton's Charter and Burger's Complaint
7 Burger argues that the district court erred in its
interpretation of the city's charter as vesting the
municipal court with exclusive original jurisdiction over
Burger's Rule 106(a)(4) appeal of the city council's
decision to approve the Application. In support of this
argument, Burger contends that, for the City of Littleton to
divest the district court of jurisdiction over appeals
pursuant to Rule 106(a)(4) and grant exclusive jurisdiction