by Patti Dahlberg and Thomas Morris
The Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws (CCUSL) is Colorado’s delegation to the national Uniform Law Commission (ULC), which is comprised of more than 300 commissioners appointed by all 50 states, the District of Columbia, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico. The CCUSL meets each year during the ULC’s July annual conference to identify a preliminary legislative agenda of approved uniform acts for potential introduction in Colorado. The CCUSL then typically hosts two to three public meetings at the state capitol to discuss its proposed legislation and to finalize its legislative agenda. The CCUSL sends advance notice of the meetings held in the capitol to interested parties, posts meeting information on the General Assembly and the CCUSL websites, encourages public testimony at the meetings, and broadcasts the meetings over the internet.
The CCUSL held meetings to discuss its legislative agenda on August 13, 2018, October 15, 2018, and January 11, 2019, and approved six uniform acts for introduction as commission bills during the 2019 regular session. Three of the uniform acts approved for introduction were ULC acts newly approved at the July annual meeting, and the other three uniform acts were ULC-approved acts that the Colorado commission has been considering for a couple of years. The six uniform acts approved for introduction in 2019 in Colorado are:
- Revised Uniform Unclaimed Property Act. Approved by the ULC in 2016, this update to the 1954, 1981, and 1995 versions of the act addresses recent technological developments and updates provisions on numerous issues, including gift cards and other stored-value cards, life insurance benefits, securities, dormancy periods, and use of contract auditors. Colorado first adopted the Uniform Unclaimed Property Act in 1987, and this new version of the act repeals and reenacts our current law governing how unclaimed property is determined, accounted for, and distributed.
- Revised Uniform Athlete Agents Act. This is an update of the uniform act approved in 2000 and enacted in 42 states, including Colorado. The 2000 act governs relations among student athletes, athlete agents, and educational institutions, protecting the interests of student athletes and academic institutions by regulating the activities of athlete agents. The revised act makes numerous changes to the original act, including expanding the definition of “athlete agent” and “student athlete”; providing for reciprocal registration between states; adding new requirements to the signing of an agency contract; and expanding notification requirements.
- Revised Uniform Law on Notarial Acts (2018). Colorado enacted the Uniform Revised Notarial Act in 2017. The new bill will enact 2018 ULC-approved amendments to the uniform act authorizing notaries public to also perform notarial acts in the state in which they are commissioned for individuals not in the notary’s physical presence. These remote notarizations will need to use state-approved audio-visual communication and identity-proofing technology and conform to other state standards and rules.
- Uniform Civil Remedies for Unauthorized Disclosure of Intimate Images Act. This act addresses an increasingly common form of abuse that causes immediate, and in many cases, irreversible harm. The act creates a cause of action for unauthorized disclosure of private, intimate images. The act also outlines procedures enabling victims to protect their identity in court proceedings. In addition, the act provides various remedies for victims, including actual damages, statutory damages, punitive damages, and attorney fees.
- Uniform Directed Trust Act. In a directed trust, a person other than a trustee has a power over some of the trust’s administration. This division of authority between two “trustees” raises difficult questions about how to divide fiduciary power and duty. This act addresses the division of a trustee’s traditional responsibilities regarding estate planning and asset management among several specialists. This act clarifies the duties and responsibilities of both directed trustees and those who have the power to direct them. The Colorado Bar Association was instrumental in the drafting of this act for Colorado.
- Uniform Criminal Records Accuracy Act. This act is designed to improve the accuracy of criminal history records, commonly called a RAP sheet, that are frequently used in determining the eligibility of a person for employment, housing, credit, and licensing, in addition to law enforcement purposes. It imposes duties on governmental law enforcement agencies and courts that collect, store, and use criminal history records to ensure the accuracy of the information contained in the RAP sheet. The act provides individuals the right to see and correct errors in their RAP sheet. Through use of a mistaken identity prevention registry, the act also provides a mechanism by which an individual whose name is similar to and confused with a person who is the subject of criminal-history-record information, a means to minimize the possibility of a mistaken arrest or denial of housing, employment, credit, or other opportunities.
(For links to Colorado bill drafts for most of the acts listed above go to the CCUSL Meeting Documents Archive page and open the agenda for January 11, 2019.)
The CCUSL has left the following uniform acts on its legislative agenda for additional discussion and future consideration:
- Uniform Fiduciary Income and Principal Act. This is an updated version of the Uniform Principal and Income Act, which has been adopted in 47 jurisdictions. The act provides rules for allocating receipts and disbursements between income and principal accounts of a trust in accordance with the fiduciary duty to treat all beneficiaries loyally and impartially, unless the terms of the trust specify otherwise. This revision includes provisions allowing conversion of a traditional trust with income and principal beneficiaries into a total-return unitrust when all beneficiaries consent.
- Uniform Nonparent Custody and Visitation Act (UNCVA) and the Uniform Parentage Act (2017) (UPA/2017). The UNCVA addresses the rights of third parties other than parents to custody of or visitation with a child. Those rights are also affected by the decision of the United States Supreme Court in Troxel v. Granville, 530 U.S. 57 (2000), which holds that courts must give deference to decisions of fit parents concerning the raising of children, including concerning grandparents’ visitation rights. The act recognizes a right to seek custody or visitation for nonparents who have served as consistent caretakers of a child without expectation of compensation and other nonparents who have a substantial relationship with a child and who demonstrate that denial of custody or visitation would result in harm to the child. The UPA/2017 is an updated version of the 2002 uniform act and provides a uniform legal framework for establishing parent-child relationships.
- Uniform Voidable Transactions Act (UVTA). Formerly named the Uniform Fraudulent Transfer Act and enacted in Colorado in 1991, the UVTA strengthens creditor protections by providing remedies for certain transactions by a debtor that are unfair to the debtor’s creditors. The 2014 amendments to the UVTA address a small number of narrowly defined issues and are not a comprehensive revision of the act.
- Uniform Regulation of Virtual Currency Businesses Act. The act creates a statutory framework for regulating virtual currency business activity, such as exchanging, transferring, or storing virtual currency, holding electronic precious metals or certificates of electronic precious metals, or exchanging digital representations of value with online games for virtual currency or legal tender. It also contains numerous consumer protections.
- Uniform Guardianship, Conservatorship, and Other Protective Arrangements Act. This is an updated version of the Uniform Guardianship and Protective Proceedings Act, originally promulgated in 1969 and enacted by Colorado in 2000. The act promotes person-centered planning to incorporate an individual’s preferences and values into a guardianship order and requires courts to order the least-restrictive means necessary for protection of persons who are unable to fully care for themselves.
Click here for additional information on the Colorado Commission on Uniform State Laws. The Uniform Law Commission has worked for the uniformity of state laws since 1892; click here for additional information.
Other articles regarding the ULC and CCUSL:
- The Uniform Law Commission Works to Promote Uniformity of Law Among the States – August 6, 2015
- The Uniform Law Process Takes its Time – September 17, 2015
- The “C” in Uniform Law Commission – November 5, 2015