SUPREME COURT, STATE OF COLORADO Case No. 05SC358
Two East 14th Avenue
Denver, Colorado 80203
Certiorari to the District Court
Jefferson County District Court Case No. 04CV3404 Honorable Leland P. Anderson, Judge
: KENNETH JAMES WEST, v.
TAMMY ROBERTS, a/k/a TAMMIE ROBERTS.
JUDGMENT AFFIRMED EN BANC October 10, 2006
Law Offices of Joaquin G. Padilla, PLLC Joaquin G. Padilla Lucia Padilla Gallery
Denver, Colorado Attorneys for Respondent
JUSTICE BENDER delivered the Opinion of the Court. JUSTICE EID dissents; JUSTICE COATS joins in the
We review on certiorari an appellate decision from the district court, which construed Colorado Revised
Statute section 18-4-405. We hold that this statute, which permits the rightful owner of stolen property to
recover that property from the possession of another person, does not apply when the rightful owner intends
to part with the property. Kenneth James West relinquished his car in exchange for a cashier’s check that
appeared valid, but which thereafter proved to be a worthless counterfeit. When he later located the car in
the possession of a subsequent purchaser, Tammy Roberts West sued to recover the car under section 18-
4-405. However, the trial court found that section 18-4-405 does not apply to situations, like this case, in
which an owner voluntarily relinquishes the property, even if he is defrauded into doing so. Instead, the trial
court applied Uniform Commercial Code (UCC) section 2-403, as enacted in Colorado as section 4-2-403,
C.R.S. (2006) . The trial court found that the UCC provision entitled Roberts, as a good faith purchaser for
value, to retain ownership of the car. On appeal, the district court, acting as an appellate court, upheld the
trial court’s decision.
We agree with the district court’s conclusion and hold that, although "theft" in our criminal code includes theft
by deception, UCC section 2-403 abrogates section 18-4-405 so that "theft" in that provision does not
include theft in which an owner voluntarily relinquishes property to a thief under a transaction of purchase.
Thus we affirm the district court and hold that Tammy Roberts, as a good faith purchaser for value, obtained
good title to the car under C.R.S. section 4-2-403.
II. Facts and Proceedings Below