Colorado Revised Statutes Title 13. Courts and Court Procedure § 13-65-103. Compensation for certain exonerated persons--monetary compensation--financial literacy training--penalty for lack of a qualified health plan--expungement of records--damages awarded in civil actions

(1) Except as otherwise provided in this article, a district court shall direct the state court administrator to compensate an exonerated person, or an immediate family member of an exonerated person, who is determined by a district court pursuant to section 13-65-102 to be actually innocent and eligible to receive compensation pursuant to this article.

(2) A district court that directs the state court administrator to compensate an exonerated person or an immediate family member of an exonerated person pursuant to this section shall reduce the directions to writing and include within the directions:

(a) The exonerated person's name;

(b) The date upon which the order is issued;

(c) The felony or felonies, if any, of which the exonerated person has been exonerated and each conviction or adjudication of the exonerated person, if any, that has been vacated or reversed;

(d) The date upon which the exonerated person was convicted or adjudicated and the dates during which the exonerated person was incarcerated as a result of such conviction or adjudication;

(e) A statement that the exonerated person, or the immediate family member of the exonerated person, is entitled to compensation from the state, which compensation shall include:

(I) An award of monetary compensation, as described in subsection (3) of this section;

(II) Tuition waivers at state institutions of higher education for the exonerated person and for any children and custodial children of his or hers who were conceived or legally adopted before the exonerated person was incarcerated or placed in state custody for the offense of which he or she has been exonerated, as described in section 23-1-132, C.R.S .;  except that:

(A) No other immediate family members of the exonerated person shall be eligible for such tuition waivers;  and

(B) Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, neither an exonerated person nor a child or custodial child of an exonerated person shall be eligible for a tuition waiver pursuant to this subparagraph (II) unless the exonerated person was wrongfully incarcerated for at least three years.

(III) Compensation for child support payments owed by the exonerated person that became due during his or her incarceration or placement in state custody, and interest on child support arrearages that accrued during his or her incarceration or placement in state custody but which have not been paid;

(IV) Reasonable attorney fees for bringing a claim under this section;  and

(V) The amount of any fine, penalty, court costs, or restitution imposed upon and paid by the exonerated person as a result of his or her wrongful conviction or adjudication.  This subparagraph (V) shall not be interpreted to require the reimbursement of restitution payments by any party to whom the exonerated person made restitution payments as a result of his or her wrongful conviction or adjudication.

(f) A statement notifying the person and the state court administrator that, pursuant to section 13-3-114(4) , the exonerated person is required to complete a personal financial management instruction course before the state court administrator may issue to the exonerated person more than one annual payment of monetary compensation or a lump-sum payment, as described by section 13-3-114(8) ;

(g) A statement notifying the exonerated person and the state court administrator that, pursuant to section 13-3-114 , in each year in which an exonerated person receives any annual payment from the state court administrator, the exonerated person's annual payment shall be reduced by ten thousand dollars if the exonerated person fails to present to the state court administrator a policy or certificate showing that the exonerated person has purchased or otherwise acquired a qualified health plan for himself or herself and his or her dependents that is valid for at least six months.

(3)(a) Except as limited by the provisions of this article, an exonerated person shall receive monetary compensation in an amount of seventy thousand dollars for each year that he or she was incarcerated for the felony of which he or she has been exonerated.  In addition to this amount, an exonerated person shall receive compensation in an amount of:

(I) Fifty thousand dollars for each year that he or she was incarcerated and sentenced to execution pursuant to part 12 of article 1.3 of title 18, C.R.S.;  and

(II) Twenty-five thousand dollars for each year that he or she served on parole, on probation, or as a registered sex offender after a period of incarceration as a result of the felony of which he or she has been exonerated and not for any other criminal offense.

(b) Except as limited by the provisions of this article, in addition to the amount described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (3), an exonerated person shall receive compensation in a prorated amount that is proportionate to the length of:

(I) Each partial year that he or she was incarcerated or placed in state custody;

(II) Each partial year that he or she was incarcerated and sentenced to execution pursuant to part 12 of article 1.3 of title 18, C.R.S.;  and

(III) Each partial year that he or she served on parole, on probation, or as a registered sex offender after a period of incarceration as a result of the felony of which he or she has been exonerated and not for any other criminal offense.

(4) A court that directs the state court administrator to compensate an exonerated person or an immediate family member of an exonerated person shall submit copies of the directions to:

(a) The exonerated person or immediate family member of the exonerated person;

(b) The state court administrator;

(c) The attorney general;

(d) The district attorney of the judicial district in which the case originated;

(e) The state department of corrections;

(f) The state department of labor and employment;

(g) The state department of revenue;  and

(h) The Colorado commission on higher education.

(5) Notwithstanding any provision of this article to the contrary, a court shall not direct the state court administrator to compensate any exonerated person or immediate family member of an exonerated person for any period of incarceration during which the person was concurrently serving a sentence for an offense of which he or she has not been exonerated.

(6) The amount of monetary compensation awarded to an exonerated person pursuant to this section shall not be subject to:

(a) Any cap applicable to private parties in civil lawsuits;  or

(b) Any state income tax, except as to those portions of the judgment awarded as attorneys' fees for bringing a claim under this section as described in section 39-22-104(4)(q), C.R.S .

(7)(a) A court that directs the state court administrator to compensate an exonerated person or an immediate family member of an exonerated person shall order all records relating to the exonerated person's wrongful conviction or adjudication to be expunged as if such events had never taken place and such records had never existed.  The court shall direct such an expungement order to every person or agency that may have custody of any part of any records relating to the exonerated person's wrongful conviction or adjudication.

(b) If a court issues an expungement order pursuant to paragraph (a) of this subsection (7), a court, law enforcement agency, or other state agency that maintains records relating to the exonerated person's wrongful conviction or adjudication shall physically seal such records and thereafter treat the records as confidential.  Records that have been sealed pursuant to this subsection (7) shall be made available to a court or a law enforcement agency, including but not limited to a district attorney's office or the attorney general, upon a showing of good cause.

(8)(a) A court that directs the state court administrator to compensate an exonerated person or an immediate family member of an exonerated person shall reduce the exonerated person's award of monetary compensation, as described in paragraph (b) of this subsection (8), if, prior to the issuance of the award:

(I) The exonerated person prevails in or settles a civil action against the state or against any other government body in a civil action concerning the same acts that are the bases for the petition for compensation;  and

(II) The judgment rendered in the civil action or the settlement of the civil action includes an award of monetary damages to the exonerated person.

(b) Under the circumstances described in paragraph (a) of this subsection (8), the court shall reduce an exonerated person's award of monetary compensation by an amount that is equal to the amount of monetary damages that the exonerated person is awarded and collects in the civil action;  except that a court shall not offset any amount exceeding the total amount of monetary compensation awarded to the exonerated person pursuant to this section.

(9)(a) Except when procured by fraud, a court's finding that a person is actually innocent and eligible for compensation pursuant to this article shall be deemed a final and conclusive disposition of the matter of the exonerated person's wrongful incarceration or placement in state custody.

(b) A court's finding that a person is actually innocent and eligible for compensation pursuant to this article shall not be interpreted to limit the person's ability to pursue an action for damages against an entity that is not an employee, agent, or agency of the state government.


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