Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Levy's Judge Assignment Bill a Reaction to Boulder Land Seizure Controversy?

Rep. Claire Levy, D-Boulder, has introduced a bill that would forbid district judges from hearing any case in which a current or former judge of the same court is a party.

HB 1193 may well be a reaction to the controversy involving an adverse possession claim by former Boulder County district judge Richard McLean and his wife Edith Stevens, which was decided favorably to the ex-jurist by a former colleague on the bench.

Levy took some mild criticism in the autumn because Stevens had been associated with her election campaign. It appears, though, that her sponsorship of another bill aimed at updating and tightening the state's adverse possession statute and this proposed legislation indicates that she may be uncomfortable with, or even opposed to, the outcome in the Kirlin case.

HB 1193 does not yet have a Senate sponsor. It has been assigned to the House Judiciary Committee.