C.R.S. Section 37-90-115
Judicial review of actions of the ground water commission or the state engineer


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Any party, including a ground water management district, adversely affected or aggrieved by any decision or act of the ground water commission, except for the adoption of rules, under the provisions of this article or by a decision or act of the state engineer under section 37-90-110 may take an appeal to the district court in the county wherein the water rights or wells involved are situated.


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The notice of such appeal shall be served by the appellant upon the state engineer or the commission and all interested parties within thirty-five days after the notice of such decision or act and, unless such appeal is taken within said time, the action of the state engineer or the commission shall be final and conclusive. For purposes of service only, “all interested parties” shall be limited to those parties which appeared at, and were granted party status in, any administrative hearing held by the commission or state engineer concerning the decision or act from which the appeal is taken. If no administrative hearing has been held, notice of such appeal shall be given by publication pursuant to section 37-90-112.


Notice of such appeal, proof of service, and docketing of the appeal in the district court shall be accomplished in the same manner as any other civil suit originally commenced in the district courts of this state. Costs shall be charged to the appellant as in any other civil suit.


A district court shall review the commission’s or state engineer’s decision or action de novo, considering only evidence that was taken in the administrative proceeding appealed from and included in the record. The district court shall consider evidence in its determination of the matter if the evidence:


Was wrongly excluded at the administrative proceeding; or


Existed at the time of the administrative proceeding but was discovered after the administrative proceeding and, in the exercise of good faith and reasonable diligence, could not have been made available and offered at the administrative proceeding.


It is the duty of the commission or the state engineer, upon being served with a notice of appeal pursuant to this section, to transmit to the district court to which the appeal is taken the papers, maps, plats, field notes, orders, decisions, and other available data affecting the matter in controversy or certified copies thereof, which certified copies shall be admitted in evidence as of equal validity with the originals.


For the purpose of maximizing continuity in the disposition of designated groundwater cases, on or before January 10 of each year, the supreme court shall designate or redesignate a designated groundwater judge for each designated groundwater basin, who shall be selected from a judicial district within which some part of that designated groundwater basin lies, and any vacancy that occurs during such year shall be filled by designation of the supreme court. The services of each designated groundwater judge shall be in addition to such judge’s regular duties as a district judge but shall take priority over such regular duties, and the schedules of the district judges in each such judicial district shall be arranged and adjusted so that the designated groundwater judge shall be free to hear designated groundwater cases. All cases relating to designated groundwater which are filed in each judicial district shall be assigned to the designated groundwater judge, and all proceedings regarding said cases shall be heard by the designated groundwater judge. If it becomes necessary during any year for the proper handling of designated groundwater cases in any judicial district, the supreme court shall designate one or more additional designated groundwater judges from that judicial district or may make temporary assignments of other judges to hear such cases.


Any party adversely affected or aggrieved by a rule adopted by the ground water commission may take an appeal pursuant to section 24-4-106, C.R.S.

Source: Section 37-90-115 — Judicial review of actions of the ground water commission or the state engineer, https://leg.­colorado.­gov/sites/default/files/images/olls/crs2023-title-37.­pdf (accessed Oct. 20, 2023).

Short title
Legislative declaration
Definitions - repeal
Commission - organization - expenses
Small capacity wells
Determination of designated groundwater basins - exception - legislative declaration - repeal
Application for use of groundwater - publication of notice - conditional permit - hearing on objections - well permits
Replacement plans
Aquifer storage-and-recovery plans - publication - objection - hearing - rules
Final permit - evidence of well construction and beneficial use - limitations
Priority - discontinuance orders - grounds
Powers of the state engineer
Powers of the ground water commission - limitations
Well enforcement - injunction - fines
Notice - publication
Other administrative hearings
Judicial review of actions of the ground water commission or the state engineer
Water conservation board - duties
Ground water management districts - formation
Creation of districts - proposal - submission - changes - proposed boundaries
Management districts - petition - signatures required - filing
Management districts - petition - contents - minor defects - amendment
Management district - petition - certification of signatures - hearing - notice - publication
Management districts - hearing - objections - change of boundaries
Election on organization
Filing decree
Management district - directors - qualifications - oath or affirmation - bond - vacancies
Management district - directors - election - term of office
Management district - directors - no compensation - expenses
Management district - officers - election
Management districts - board of directors - enforcement
Management district - board of directors - control measures - hearing - notice - publication - order
Management district - board of directors - taxes - levy - limitation
Management district - claims - warrants - payment
Management district - issuance of bonds - indebtedness - submission to electors
Management district - dissolution - procedure - funds - disposition
Permits to construct wells outside designated basins - fees - permit no groundwater right - evidence - time limitation - well permits - rules
Waste - violations - permits
Existing beneficial uses not recorded - fee
Inclusion of lands
Exclusion of lands
State engineer - action upon permit
Owners of well permits - update for name and contact information
Green check means up to date. Up to date

Current through Fall 2024

§ 37-90-115’s source at colorado​.gov