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West v. Roberts

Colorado Supreme Court
143 P.3d 1037 (2006)


Facts

Kenneth West (plaintiff) sold his Corvette to Robert Wilson. Wilson paid West using a cashier’s check. Ten days later, when West found the check was fake, he could not locate Wilson or the Corvette. Two years later, West learned that the Corvette was in the possession of a subsequent purchaser, Tammy Roberts (defendant). West sued Roberts under Colorado’s stolen property statute, Colorado Revised Statue (CRS) § 18-4-405. Section 18-4-405 provides that the rightful owner of stolen property may recover the property from a subsequent purchaser. However, the trial court found that CRS § 18-4-405 did not apply. Instead, the trial court applied Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) § 2-403. UCC § 2-403 protects good faith purchasers against title claims from owners who were defrauded into selling their property. The trial court found that, under UCC § 2-403, Roberts was a good faith purchaser and could keep the Corvette. West appealed, and the court of appeals affirmed. West appealed to the Colorado Supreme Court. West did not dispute that Roberts was a good faith purchaser. Instead, West argued that the lower courts should have applied CRS § 18-4-405 instead of UCC § 2-403.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Bender, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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