• Colorado Governmental Immunity Act Does Not Bar Claims for Injunctive Relief from Future Injury
  • August 10, 2016 | Authors: Malcolm S. Mead; Adam B. Wiens
  • Law Firm: Hall & Evans, LLC - Denver Office
  • Jessie Lipschuetz challenged the validity of a rooming and boarding permit that the City of Denver issued to Open Door Ministries. Lipschuetz, who owns property adjacent to Open Door's propert, filed claims against the City and Open Door seeking to revoke the permit. Open Door filed crossclaims against the City, seeking declaratory and injunctive relief to prevent the revocation of its permit. The trial court concluded that the City should not have issued the permit, but stayed the enforcement of its order to revoke the permit until Open Door's crossclaims were resolved. Several months later, the trial court granted summary judgment in favor of Open Door on its crossclaims.
    Lipschuetz appealed from the trial court's ruling, arguing that Open Door's crossclaims against the City were barred by the Colorado Governmental Immunity Act ("CGIA"), C.R.S. §24-10-106. Lipschuetz argued that because Open Door did not notify the City prior to filing its crossclaims, as required by the CGIA, the trial court lacked subject matter jurisdiction over the crossclaims. The Court of Appeals agreed and reversed the trial court. Open Door Ministries then petitioned the Colorado Supreme Court for discretionary review, which the Supreme Court granted.
    The Supreme Court then reversed the Court of Appeals, finding that the Court of Appeals failed to consider whether, at the time of filing its crossclaims, Open Door had suffered an injury that would subject its crossclaims to the CGIA. The Supreme Court concluded that the CGIA did not apply to Open Door's request for prospective injunctive relief to prevent future injury. Because Open Door had not suffered any injury before it filed its crossclaims, the CGIA did not bar its crossclaims seeking prospective relief from future injury, and the trial court had jurisdiction over the crossclaims. Full text of opinion . . . Open Door Ministries v. Lipschuetz, 2016 CO 37 (May 23, 2016).