[JURIST] Leading Monday's states brief, the Connecticut Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] today that an illegal immigrant, suffering from severe pain and diagnosed with acute leukemia, was entitled to Medicaid because he suffered from an emergency medical condition. The court overturned a lower court decision upholding the denial of Medicaid benefits to the illegal immigrant by finding that "the hearing officer's determination that the Plaintiff did not suffer from an emergency medical condition is the result of an improperly narrow application of the law." The Connecticut Department of Social Services [official website] determined that the immigrant did not suffer from an emergency medical condition that would make him eligible for benefits because he would not have died immediately without treatment. The Supreme Court disagreed, saying an emergency medical condition must require immediate medical treatment without which the patient would be in jeopardy of serious physical harm. The attorney for the illegal immigrant said the decision will set precedent as federal law requires hospitals to treat illegal immigrants, but states will not always provide reimbursement. A spokesman for the Department of Social Services said the ruling "may only affect Medicaid cases that fall under similar fact patterns." AP has more.
In other state legal news ...
- The Colorado Supreme Court has dismissed the applications of two private companies to resell water they had brought up from the Arkansas River in Southeastern Colorado by finding the applications were too ambiguous. The decisions in High Plains A&M, LLC v. Southeastern Colorado Water Conservancy District [PDF text] and ISG, LLC v. Arkansas Valley Ditch Association [PDF text] upheld a 2004 decision which found the applications of High Plains A&M and The Independent Shareholders Group to sell the water for any of 50 purposes violated state anti-speculation law because they were so "expansive and nebulous" that other users could not determine if they would be injured. The court said state law requires that any change of water rights must be for beneficial use. The companies can file more specific applications in the future. AP has more.
- The Colorado Supreme Court ruled [PDF text] today that hundreds of romantic or sexually explicit e-mails written on county computers between a former Arapahoe County clerk and an employee are not public records and therefore do not have to be released to the public. The court found the e-mails exempt from state open records law because they dealt with the two's private lives and said, "The only discernible purpose of disclosing the content of these messages is to shed light on the extent of [Tracy] Baker and [Leesa] Sales' fluency with sexually explicit terminology and to satisfy the prurient interest of the press and public." The Rocky Mountain News [website] and Arapahoe County commissioners [Board of County Commissioners] sought the release of the e-mails. In 2004 voters recalled Baker and Sales resigned. AP has more.