Previous  Next

2-4-401. Definitions.

Statute text

The following definitions apply to every statute, unless the context otherwise requires:

(1) "Behavioral health" refers to an individual's mental and emotional well-being and actions that affect an individual's overall wellness. Behavioral health problems and disorders include substance use disorders, serious psychological distress, suicide, and other mental health disorders. Problems ranging from unhealthy stress or subclinical conditions to diagnosable and treatable diseases are included in the term "behavioral health". The term "behavioral health" is also used to describe service systems that encompass prevention and promotion of emotional health, prevention and treatment services for mental health and substance use disorders, and recovery support.

(1.1) "Child" includes child by adoption.

(1.3) "Civil union" means a relationship established by two eligible persons pursuant to the requirements of article 15 of title 14, C.R.S., that entitles them to receive the benefits and protections and be subject to the responsibilities of spouses.

(1.4) "Civil union certificate" means a document that certifies that the persons named in the certificate have established a civil union in this state in compliance with the provisions of article 15 of title 14, C.R.S.

(1.5) "Contraceptive" or "contraception" means a medically acceptable drug, device, or procedure used to prevent pregnancy.

(2) "Court" means a court of record.

(2.5) Repealed.

(3) "Executor" includes administrator and "administrator" includes executor.

(3.2) "Felony" includes a drug felony described in article 18 of title 18.

(3.4) "Gender expression" means an individual's way of reflecting and expressing the individual's gender to the outside world, typically demonstrated through appearance, dress, and behavior.

(3.5) "Gender identity" means an individual's innate sense of the individual's own gender, which may or may not correspond with the individual's sex assigned at birth.

(3.6) "Final disposition" means the disposition of human remains by entombment, burial, cremation, natural reduction, or removal from the state.

(3.7) "Immediate family member" means a person who is related by blood, marriage, civil union, or adoption.

(4) "Issue", as applied to the descent of estate, includes all the lawful, lineal descendants of the ancestor.

(5) "Land", "lands", or "real estate" includes lands, tenements, and hereditaments, and all rights thereto and all interests therein.

(6) "Minor" means any person who has not attained the age of twenty-one years. No construction of this subsection (6) shall supersede the express language of any statute.

(6.3) "Misdemeanor" includes a drug misdemeanor described in article 18 of title 18, C.R.S.

(6.5) (a) "Must" means that a person or thing is required to meet a condition for a consequence to apply. "Must" does not mean that a person has a duty.

(b) This subsection (6.5):

(I) Is not intended to alter the interpretation of a statute enacted before August 7, 2013; and

(II) Applies to statutes enacted on or after August 7, 2013, but only with regard to language that appears in small capital font in the session laws published pursuant to section 24-70-223, C.R.S.

(6.9) "Natural reduction" or "naturally reduce" means the contained, accelerated conversion of human remains to soil.

(7) "Oath" includes affirmation, and "swear" includes affirm.

(7.5) "Partner in a civil union" or "party to a civil union" means a person who has entered into a civil union in accordance with the requirements of article 15 of title 14, C.R.S.

(8) "Person" means any individual, corporation, government or governmental subdivision or agency, business trust, estate, trust, limited liability company, partnership, association, or other legal entity.

(8.5) Repealed.

(9) "Personal representative" includes executor, administrator, conservator, or guardian.

(9.5) "Petty offense" includes a drug petty offense described in article 18 of title 18, C.R.S.

(10) "Population" means that shown by the most recent regular or special federal census.

(11) "Property" means both real and personal property.

(12) "Registered mail" includes certified mail.

(13) "Rule" includes regulation.

(13.5) "Sexual orientation" means an individual's identity, or another individual's perception thereof, in relation to the gender or genders to which the individual is sexually or emotionally attracted and the behavior or social affiliation that may result from the attraction.

(13.7) (a) "Shall" means that a person has a duty.

(b) This subsection (13.7):

(I) Is not intended to alter the interpretation of a statute enacted before August 7, 2013; and

(II) Applies to statutes enacted on or after August 7, 2013, but only with regard to language that appears in small capital font in the session laws published pursuant to section 24-70-223, C.R.S.

(14) "State", when applied to a part of the United States, includes any state, district, commonwealth, territory, insular possession thereof, and any area subject to the legislative authority of the United States of America.

(15) "United States" includes all states, the District of Columbia, and the territories, commonwealths, and possessions of the United States.

(16) "Will" includes a codicil.

(17) "Written" or "in writing" includes any representation of words, letters, symbols, or figures; but this provision does not affect any law relating to signatures.


Source: L. 73: R&RE, p. 1426, 1. C.R.S. 1963: 135-1-401. L. 80: (2.5) added, p. 751, 1. L. 90: (8) amended, p. 444, 2, effective April 18. L. 2008: (13.5) added, p. 1598, 9, effective May 29. L. 2009: (1.5) added, (SB 09-225), ch. 126, p. 546, 1, effective August 5. L. 2013: (1.3), (1.4), (3.7), and (7.5) added, (SB 13-011), ch. 49, p. 157, 5, effective May 1; (6.5) and (13.7) added, (HB 13-1029), ch. 8, p. 21, 2, effective August 7; (3.5) added, (SB 13-250), ch. 333, p. 1942, 65, effective October 1. L. 2014: (6.7) and (8.5) added, (SB 14-163), ch. 391, p. 1968, 1, effective June 6. L. 2015: (8.5) repealed and (9.5) added, (SB 15-264), ch. 259, p. 940, 3, effective August 5. L. 2017: (1) amended and (1.1) added, (SB 17-242), ch. 263, p. 1250, 2, effective May 25. L. 2021: (3.6) and (6.9) added, (SB 21-006), ch. 123, p. 488, 1, effective September 7; (3.2) and (3.4) added and (3.5) and (13.5) amended, (HB 21-1108), ch. 156, p. 889, 9, effective September 7.


Editor's note: (1) Subsection (2.5) provided for the repeal of subsection (2.5), effective July 1, 1987. (See L. 80, p. 751.)

(2) Subsection (6.3) was added as subsection (6.7) in SB 14-163 but was renumbered on revision in 2020 to place defined terms in alphabetical order.


Cross references: (1) For other statutes having age qualifications that differ from that set out in the definition of "minor", see selection for jury service, 13-71-105; liability for damages, 13-21-107; contracts and agreements, article 22 of title 13; the "Colorado Probate Code", 15-10-201 (32).

(2) For the legislative declaration contained in the 2008 act enacting subsection (13.5), see section 1 of chapter 341, Session Laws of Colorado 2008.

(3) For the legislative declaration in the 2013 act adding subsections (6.5) and (13.7), see section 1 of chapter 8, Session Laws of Colorado 2013.

(4) For the legislative declaration in SB 17-242, see section 1 of chapter 263, Session Laws of Colorado 2017.

(5) For the legislative declaration in HB 21-1108, see section 1 of chapter 156, Session Laws of Colorado 2021.





Law reviews. For article, "What Really Happens in Child Support Cases: An Empirical Study of Establishment and Enforcement of Child Support Orders in the Denver District Court", see 57 Den. L.J. 21 (1979).

"Minor" applies to Wrongful Death Act. The definition of "minor" in subsection (6) applies to the Wrongful Death Act, 13-21-201 through 13-21-204. Hesseltine v. United States, 538 F. Supp. 1003 (D. Colo. 1982).

Emancipation ordinarily occurs upon the attainment of majority. Koltay v. Koltay, 667 P.2d 1374 (Colo. 1983).

Workers' compensation statute does not supersede definition of "minor". The statute setting forth compensation payable to minors contains no language superseding the definition of minor in this section, and award of maximum benefits to claimant who was 20 years and 6 weeks and a minor at the time of injury was proper. Casa Bonita Restaurant v. Indus. Comm'n, 677 P.2d 344 (Colo. App. 1983).

Applied in Tobias v. State, 41 Colo. App. 444, 586 P.2d 669 (1978); In re Hellman, 474 F. Supp. 348 (D. Colo. 1979); People v. Lessar, 629 P.2d 577 (Colo. 1981); People v. Cantwell, 636 P.2d 1313 (Colo. App. 1981).