Supreme Court Orders Oral Argument

April 8, 2014

The Colorado Supreme Court has ordered oral argument in the case of Gary R. Justus v. State of Colorado and PERA. It is scheduled for June 4 at 9 a.m. Save the date.     See the order at http://www.saveperacola.com/resources


Plaintiffs’ Second Filing now posted

February 26, 2014

Due  to an oversight, Plaintiffs’ Second filing was not posted in January when it was filed with the court. We apologize for this error which caused some confusion about where it was and what the Defendants’ Second filing was referencing. You may view it now at www.SavePERACOLA.com/resources . It is currently number 3 on the list and is dated 2014-01-10. Please notice the differences in substance when you compare the January filing with the February 21 filing by the Defendants. Commenter Algernon Moncrief has astutely pointed out many failings in the State and PERA’s arguments.


Colorado and PERA file final brief; request oral arguments

February 25, 2014

PERA and the State of Colorado have filed the final of four briefs that the Colorado Supreme Court requested of the plaintiffs and defendants in Justus et al v. Colorado et al. You may view it at www.SavePERACOLA.com/resources . Defendants also submitted a motion for oral arguments before the court. That motion is also available on the website. Take some time to read through the Colorado/PERA document. We’ll notify you when we know more.


PERA and State File Opening Answer Briefs

December 21, 2013

Both PERA and the Attorney General filed their opening answer briefs Thursday with the Colorado Supreme Court. Additionally, PERA filed an appendix that includes the Attorney General Ken Salazar’s 2004 opinion on this subject. The appendix also includes a full transcript of the Senate and House Finance Committees’ hearings that were held in the opening days of the 2010 legislaive session. They provide fascinating reading for those with time to do so. The reader should note that there are many inaccuracies in the wording of the transcripts and therefore when words or ideas don’t make sense to you that is likely the reason.  You may view these and all filed documents by clicking http://saveperacola.com/resources/ and then the document you wish to view. They are listed by date with the newest first. We welcome your sensible comments, regardless of your position.

From here, plaintiffs will file a reply brief and the defendants will also file a reply brief. Each should take less than two months. From there, the Colorado Supreme Court will direct further activity in the case.

Fundraising has gone well and we expect to meet our commitment to the attorneys within the next few months. You are again asked to donate to this cause so you can proudly say you were part of this historic lawsuit to ensure your rights as a Colorado public pensioner. Click on http://saveperacola.com/support to contribute! Use Paypal or send a check (preferred).


Plaintiffs File First Colorado Supreme Court Brief

October 26, 2013

Plaintiffs’ attorneys Stephen M. Pincus, William T. Payne and Richard Rosenblatt filed their first brief with the Colorado Supreme Court Thursday. You may read it at http://saveperacola.files.wordpress.com/2013/10/2013-10-24-plaintiff-petitioners_-amended-opening-brief1.pdf .

This brief addresses the three issues that the SC agreed to address when it granted a writ of certiorari. They are:

Summary of Issues:

Whether the contracts clause framework articulated in In re Estate of DeWitt, 54 P.3d 849 (Colo. 2002), applies to all contract clause claims under the Colorado Constitution.

Whether Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association members have contractual rights to the cost-of-living adjustment formulas in place at their respective retirements for life without change.

Whether SB10-1, which adjusted cost-of-living adjustments to their current level of two percent compounded annually, was constitutional because it (a) did not substantially impair contractual expectations and was reasonable and necessary to ensure the pension funds’ long-term viability, and (b) was not a regulatory taking.

Based on the time it will take for the next three briefs to be filed (defendants’, plaintiffs’, defendants’) and then time for oral arguments and a written decision, we should potentially have a definitive answer from the supreme court by the end of 2014. The unknowns are whether the case will be remanded to district court for further action, or whether any of the parties will appeal to the federal courts. At any rate, this is a five year case, more or less, as we expected.

For those of you who are wondering how much Senate Bill 1 has cost you so far, know this:

1. For every $1000 of monthly benefit you receive, you are not receiving $1036 each year that you should have.

2. Your monthly benefit is 8.63% less than it currently should be.

3. Each year in July the differential increases by more than 1.5% (due in part to compounding).

4. These numbers assume you were already retired in February of 2010. If you retired later, they will be less but still quite substantial. Denver School Division numbers are slightly less.

We are approaching our commitment goal to pay the attorneys our small portion of their huge costs to litigate this case. If you believe your retirement income was earned by you or your spouse, and that the State of Colorado cannot take it away to pay for its other discretionary fancies, then you should contribute to this effort.

Support the lawsuit with a donation. Please mail a check to:

Save PERA COLA                                   

ATTN. Judy Ganschaw, Treasurer

3241 S. Josephine St.

Denver, CO 80210

Or make a donation using Paypal: Note that if you use Paypal, we will be charged a 2.9% fee, plus $.30 per transaction. For any donations, sending us a check will avoid this fee.

Thank you for your support!

Rich and Gary


First brief due October 24

October 7, 2013

The first plaintiffs’ brief to the Colorado Supreme Court is due on October 24. It will be followed by three additional briefs about 40 days apart in order of defendants’, plaintiffs’, and defendants’ briefs. The supreme court has not ordered any procedures beyond this, so the next steps after the briefs are not known. Our attorneys are carefully preparing the first brief to address the three questions that the supreme court has accepted to address. Those questions are listed in the post below this one.

We continue to receive donations to cover our commitment to our law firm Feinstein Doyle Payne & Kravec, LLC www.fdpklaw.com . We are especially appreciative of the several retirees who each month make substantial donations. Rest assured that these donations are forwarded in full to the law firm in batches. We also thank those who send their kind words of encouragement to us. This is indeed a group effort. If you wish to donate, click on www.saveperacola.com/support.

Rich and Gary


We’re going!

August 5, 2013

We’re going to the Colorado Supreme Court! Today the Court granted the writ of certiorari for the most important issues raised in the lawsuit against Colorado and PERA. At this time, we do not have any more details than what is presented below on the Court’s website. Only 3 of 43 petitions were granted by the court today. Below is the announcement. Find the original set of announcements at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Supreme_Court/Case_Announcements/Files/2013/8C16A3AUG.5.13.pdf  We are on page 9.

 

MONDAY, AUGUST 5, 2013 ——————————————————————————————————————-

No. 12SC906

Court of Appeals Case No. 11CA1507

Petitioners/Cross-Respondents:

Gary R. Justus; Kathleen Hopkins; Eugene Halaas, Jr.; and Robert P. Laird, Jr., on behalf of themselves and those similarly situated,

v.

Respondents/Cross-Petitioners:

The State of Colorado; Governor John Hickenlooper, in his official capacity;

Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association; Carole Wright, in her official capacity; and Maryann Motza, in her official capacity.

Petition and Cross-Petition for Writ of Certiorari GRANTED. EN BANC.

JUSTICE EID and JUSTICE MÁRQUEZ do not participate.

Summary of Issues:

Whether the contracts clause framework articulated in In re Estate of DeWitt, 54 P.3d 849 (Colo. 2002), applies to all contract clause claims under the Colorado Constitution.

Whether Colorado Public Employees’ Retirement Association members have contractual rights to the cost-of-living adjustment formulas in place at their respective retirements for life without change.

Whether SB10-1, which adjusted cost-of-living adjustments to their current level of two percent compounded annually, was constitutional because it (a) did not substantially impair contractual expectations and was reasonable and necessary to ensure the pension funds’ long-term viability, and (b) was not a regulatory taking.

DENIED AS TO ALL OTHER ISSUES.


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