Commission v. Continental

In Commission v. Continental, 143 Colo. 590, 355 P.2d 83 (1960), a plaintiff filed a complaint before a commission, alleging unlawful discrimination. In due time, the commission entered its findings of fact, its conclusions of law, and an order finding the defendant, an airline, guilty of discrimination and unfair employment practices, and it ordered the airline to cease and desist. The order was signed only by the coordinator of the commission. The airline filed a petition in the district court, seeking judicial review. The district court remanded the cause to the commission and ordered it to make certain findings and then return the record to the appellate court. Without further notice to the parties or a hearing, the commission entered new findings and new orders, and the enlarged record was sent back to the district court. The district court held that the proceedings for which the review had been instituted had been withdrawn by the commission and that the questions raised in the proceedings were moot. The Colorado Supreme Court considered dismissing the writ of error because there was no final order, but it concluded that the cause should be remanded for further consideration by the trial court. In making this decision, the Colorado Supreme Court considered whether the commission had jurisdiction on its own motion to vacate, alter, amend, or in any manner enlarge upon an order for which proceedings are directed. It relied in part upon a specific statute and stated: Even in the absence of the language of the statute this court has repeatedly held that an administrative agency is without authority to change, alter or vacate an order while review proceedings are pending in the district court, even as an inferior court is without authority to vacate or modify a judgment after writ of error has issued out of this court directed to such judgment. Id. at 594, 355 P.2d at 86.