Woolsey v. Colorado Dept. of Corrections, No. 01CA2013.

Docket NºNo. 01CA2013.
Citation66 P.3d 151
Case DateSeptember 26, 2002
CourtCourt of Appeals of Colorado

66 P.3d 151

O.D. WOOLSEY, Plaintiff-Appellee,
v.
COLORADO DEPARTMENT OF CORRECTIONS, Joe Ortiz, Larry Embry, Randy Fussi (Foshee), Guy Doubleday, and Ed Guffy, Defendants-Appellants

No. 01CA2013.

Colorado Court of Appeals, Div. I.

September 26, 2002.

As Modified on Denial of Rehearing November 21, 2002.

Certiorari Denied April 7, 2003.


66 P.3d 153
O.D. Woolsey, Pro Se

Ken Salazar, Attorney General, Joseph P. Sanchez, Assistant Attorney General, Denver, Colorado, for Defendants-Appellants.

Opinion by Judge MARQUEZ.

In this C.R.C.P. 106(a)(4) action, defendants, the Colorado Department of Corrections (DOC), Joe Ortiz, Larry Embry, Randy Fussi (Foshee), Guy Doubleday, and Ed Guffy, appeal the district court judgment reversing the prison disciplinary action taken against plaintiff, O.D. Woolsey. We reverse and remand.

Plaintiff, a DOC inmate, was found guilty of sexual misconduct and disobeying a lawful order, both class II violations of the DOC Code of Penal Discipline (COPD).

After his administrative appeal was denied, plaintiff commenced this action in the district court. Plaintiff asserted that defendants failed to conduct an independent investigation of the charges within two working days of the date of discovery of the violations, failed to provide him with timely service of the Notice of Charges, failed to conduct the hearing within the time required by the COPD, and deprived him of his right to call witnesses and present evidence at the hearing.

The district court reversed plaintiff's disciplinary convictions after concluding that defendants had failed to conduct a timely independent review of the charges. Defendants moved to amend the judgment pursuant to C.R.C.P. 59, which the district court denied.

I.

Defendants contend that the DOC correctly interpreted its own regulation and that the district court erred in concluding that they failed to conduct a timely independent review. We agree.

In construing an administrative rule or regulation, we apply the same rules of construction as we would in interpreting a statute. Lucero v. Dep't of Insts., 942 P.2d 1246 (Colo.App.1996). Consequently, when a term is defined in a rule, that definition governs. See Farmers Ins. Exch. v. Bill Boom Inc., 961 P.2d 465 (Colo.1998); see also In re Adoption of T.K.J., 931 P.2d 488 (Colo.App.1996)(statutory words and phrases that have acquired particular meaning, whether by legislative definition or otherwise, must be construed accordingly).

Here, the relevant COPD section provides as follows:

(1) If a Class I or Class II charge(s) is brought against an offender, an appropriate supervisor(s) must conduct an independent review ... as soon as possible but no later than two working days after the date of discovery of the alleged violation.

(2) The supervisory review may be delegated to a staff member at or above the level of Correctional Officer III or the equivalent. The reviewing supervisor may consult with anyone including the offender during his review. If the reviewing supervisor finds cause to believe that any violation was committed by the offender charged, he shall approve the Notice of Charge(s).

DOC Reg. 150-01 IV(E)(3)(a) (2001)(emphasis added).

Another COPD section specifically defines "date of discovery" as "The date at which the initiating officer determined an offense has occurred and the identity of the offender to be charged. This is determined by the date that the initiating officer signs the Notice of Charge." DOC Reg. 150-01 III(F) (2001)(emphasis added).

In determining that the independent review was untimely, the district court relied

66 P.3d 154
on the fact that the incident leading to the charges occurred on December 23, 1999. However, based upon a plain reading of the above COPD provisions, the two-day period was triggered on the date the initiating officer signed the Notice of Charges, January 13, 2000. We note that the regulation uses the term "initiating officer" while the Notice of...

To continue reading

Request your trial
16 practice notes
  • Boles v. BARTRUFF, No. 08CA0069.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 3, 2009
    ...or regulation, we apply the same rules of construction as we do when interpreting a statute. See Woolsey v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 66 P.3d 151, 153 (Colo.App.2002). When the statute or regulatory scheme does not define a word, it is appropriate to look to the dictionary definition of t......
  • People of The State of Colo. v. MUNOZ, No. 07CA0697.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • October 15, 2009
    ...in interpreting the Code of Penal Discipline, have held that the word “should” was not mandatory. Woolsey v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 66 P.3d 151, 154 (Colo.App.2002); Washington v. Crowder, 12 P.3d 857, 859 (Colo.App.2000). These cases are distinguishable because they concern very short......
  • In re R.A., Jr., No. 04CA0503.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • October 3, 2005
    ...to the parents' wishes, as required under In re Custody of C.M., 74 P.3d 342 (Colo.App.2002). See In re Petition of R.A., supra, 66 P.3d at 151. Unable to determine from the record whether the magistrate had given "special significance" to parents' wishes, the district court vacated the vis......
  • In re Adoption of C.A., No. 05SC526.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2006
    ...gave "special significance" to the Parents' wishes, as required by In re Custody of C.M., 74 P.3d 342 (Colo. App.2002). R.A. I, 66 P.3d at 151. On remand, the district court concluded that the record did not reflect whether the magistrate had given special significance to the Parents' wishe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results
16 cases
  • Boles v. BARTRUFF, No. 08CA0069.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • September 3, 2009
    ...or regulation, we apply the same rules of construction as we do when interpreting a statute. See Woolsey v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 66 P.3d 151, 153 (Colo.App.2002). When the statute or regulatory scheme does not define a word, it is appropriate to look to the dictionary definition of t......
  • People of The State of Colo. v. MUNOZ, No. 07CA0697.
    • United States
    • Colorado Court of Appeals of Colorado
    • October 15, 2009
    ...in interpreting the Code of Penal Discipline, have held that the word “should” was not mandatory. Woolsey v. Colo. Dep't of Corrections, 66 P.3d 151, 154 (Colo.App.2002); Washington v. Crowder, 12 P.3d 857, 859 (Colo.App.2000). These cases are distinguishable because they concern very short......
  • In re R.A., Jr., No. 04CA0503.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • October 3, 2005
    ...to the parents' wishes, as required under In re Custody of C.M., 74 P.3d 342 (Colo.App.2002). See In re Petition of R.A., supra, 66 P.3d at 151. Unable to determine from the record whether the magistrate had given "special significance" to parents' wishes, the district court vacated the vis......
  • In re Adoption of C.A., No. 05SC526.
    • United States
    • Colorado Supreme Court of Colorado
    • June 26, 2006
    ...gave "special significance" to the Parents' wishes, as required by In re Custody of C.M., 74 P.3d 342 (Colo. App.2002). R.A. I, 66 P.3d at 151. On remand, the district court concluded that the record did not reflect whether the magistrate had given special significance to the Parents' wishe......
  • Request a trial to view additional results

VLEX uses login cookies to provide you with a better browsing experience. If you click on 'Accept' or continue browsing this site we consider that you accept our cookie policy. ACCEPT