Colo. R. App. P. 21.1

As amended through Rule Change 2024(9), effective May 2, 2024
Rule 21.1 - Certification of Questions of Law
(a)Power to Answer. The supreme court may answer questions of law certified to it by the Supreme Court of the United States, a Court of Appeals of the United States, a United States District Court, or other federal court, when requested by the certifying court, if there is involved in any proceeding before it questions of law of this state which may be determinative of the cause then pending in the certifying court and as to which it appears to the certifying court that there is no controlling precedent in the decisions of the supreme court.
(b)Method of Invoking. This rule may be invoked by an order of any of the courts referred to in section (a) upon said court's own motion or upon the motion of any party in which the certified question arose.
(c)Contents of Certification Order. A certification order must set forth:
(1) The questions of law to be answered; and
(2) A statement of all facts relevant to the questions certified and showing fully the nature of the controversy in which the questions arose.
(d)Preparation of Certification Order. The certifying court must prepare the certification order, which must be signed by the judge presiding at the hearing, and the clerk of the certifying court must forward the certification order under its official seal to the supreme court. The supreme court may require the original or copies of all or of any portion of the record before the certifying court to be filed under the certification order, if, in the opinion of the supreme court, the record or a portion thereof may be necessary in answering the certified questions.
(e)Fees and Costs of Certification. Fees and costs of certification are the same as in civil appeals docketed before the supreme court and will be equally divided between the parties unless otherwise ordered by the certifying court in its order of certification.
(f)Briefs and Argument. If the supreme court agrees to answer the questions certified to it, the court will notify all parties. The parties may not file any briefs unless ordered to do so by the court. If ordered to file briefs, the plaintiff in the trial court, or the appealing party in the appellate court must file its opening brief within 42 days from the date of receipt of the notice, and the opposing party or parties must file an answer brief within 35 days from service of the opening brief. A reply brief may be filed within 21 days of the service of the answer brief. Briefs must comply with the form and service requirements of C.A.R. 28, 31, and 32. Oral arguments may be allowed as provided in C.A.R. 34.
(g)Opinion. The written opinion of the supreme court stating the law governing the questions certified will be sent by the clerk under the seal of the supreme court to the certifying court and to the parties.

C.A.R. 21.1

Source: f amended and adopted December 14, 2011, effective 1/1/2012, for all cases pending on or filed on or after January 1, 2012, pursuant to C.R.C.P. 1 b; amended and adopted June 7, 2018, effective 7/1/2018.

Annotation Utilization of rule to obtain binding opinion from Colorado supreme court. See Imel v. United States, 375 F. Supp. 1102 (D. Colo. 1973), aff'd, 523 F.2d In re A-B Cattle Co. v. United States, 196 Colo. 539, 589 P.2d 57 (1978); Moore v. McFarlane, 642 P.2d 496 (Colo. 1982). Applied in Imel v. United States, 523 F.2d 853 (10th Cir. 1975); United States v. United Banks, 542 F.2d 819 (10th Cir. 1976); People v. District Court, 196 Colo. 401, 586 P.2d 31 (1978); In re Question Concerning State Judicial Review, 199 Colo. 463, 610 P.2d 1340 (1980); City & County of Denver v. Bergland, 517 F. Supp. 155 (D. Colo. 1981); Keller v. A.O. Smith Harvestore Prods., 819 P.2d 69 (Colo. 1991); Leonard v. McMorris, 63 P.3d 323 (Colo. 2003); Hoery v. United States, 64 P.3d 214 (Colo. 2003).