Colorado Legislative Council Staff



General Fund Expenditure Impact

Drafting Number:

Prime Sponsor(s):

LLS 98-329

Sen. Phillips


Bill Status:

Fiscal Analyst:

January 26, 1998

Senate Business Affairs

Steve Tammeus (866-2756)



Summary of Legislation


FY 1998/99

FY 1999/2000

State Revenues

General Fund

Other Fund



State Expenditures

General Fund

Other Fund



FTE Position Change

(0.62 FTE)

(0.62 FTE)

Local Government ImpactNone

            This bill allows any controversy regarding the Colorado Common Interest Ownership Act between a homeowners association and a unit owner in a common interest community to be submitted to mediation by either party prior to the commencement of any legal proceedings. The bill requires the mediation agreement to be presented to the court as a stipulation. The bill allows either party to terminate the mediation process without prejudice. If either party violates the stipulation, the bill allows the other party to apply immediately to the court for relief. The bill will become effective July 1, 1998.

            This bill will reduce state General Fund expenditures for county and district court hearings. Therefore, the bill is assessed as having a state fiscal impact.

State Expenditures

            This bill allows for mediation of controversies between unit owners’ associations and unit owners prior to commencement of any legal proceeding. As a result, the bill will reduce the number of cases that would got to trial under current law, and will reduce Judicial Branch annual expenditures. The amount of the Judicial Branch expenditure reduction is based upon the following assumptions:


               that 67, 721 civil court cases are heard in the eight largest Colorado counties;

               that of these civil cases, approximately 3,386 cases involve unit owner associations and unit owners;

               that if parties go to mediation prior to any legal action and if the mediated agreement is to be submitted to the court as a stipulation, then cases would still have to be filed;

               that of these cases, 2,539 end in default, 779 settle, and 68 go to trial;

               that mediation prior to legal proceedings would eliminate at least one 15 minute hearing per each of the 779 cases that normally would settle prior to trial;

               that 52 of the 68 cases that normally go to trial would reach full or partial agreement;

               that the annual civil weighted caseload standard for urban county judges is 2,659, and for processing staff is 1,032; and

               that the standard annual workload hours for a county court judge is 1,454 hours, and for processing staff is 1,572 hours.

            The 779 cases that eliminate one hearing per case will be equivalent to an annual reduction of 0.13 FTE magistrate, 0.13 FTE Division Clerk, and 0.13 FTE Assistant Division Clerk for a total reduction of 0.39 FTE (779 x 15 minutes/60/1,454). The 52 cases that will not go to trial will be equivalent to an annual reduction of 0.02 FTE magistrate, 0.02 FTE Division Clerk, and 0.02 FTE Assistant Division Clerk (52/2,659) for a total reduction of 0.06 FTE. The total magistrate and support staff reduction would be 0.45 FTE.

            The 779 cases that eliminate one hearing per case will be equivalent to an annual reduction of 0.12 FTE Court Clerk (779 x 15 minutes/60/1,572). The 52 cases that will not go to trial will be equivalent to an annual reduction of 0.05 FTE Court Clerk (52/1,032). The total case processing staff reduction would be 0.17 FTE.

            In summary, the total Judicial Branch cost reduction for FY 1998-99 and FY 1999-2000 is estimated to be 0.62 FTE and $21,655 including personal services costs, PERA and Medicare, and operating expenses.

Expenditures Not Included

            Pursuant to the Joint Budget Committee’s budget policies, the following expenditures have not been included in this fiscal note:


               health and life insurance costs of $1,371;

               short-term disability costs of $40;

               inflationary cost factors;

               leased space; and

               indirect costs.

Spending Authority

            This fiscal note would imply that the Judicial Department would require a General Fund appropriation reduction of 0.62 FTE and $21,655 for FY 1998-99.

Departments Contacted

            Judicial           Law                Local Affairs