AGO 84-8.

Case Date:April 30, 1984
Colorado Attorney General Opinions 1984. AGO 84-8. April 30, 1984Department of Law Attorney General Opinion FORMAL OPINION of DUANE WOODARD Attorney General Opinion No. 84-8 AG Alpha No. LA LA AGAMR Mr. Gary Pon Deputy Director Division of Labor 1313 Sherman Street, Room 314 Denver, CO 80203 RE: Whether town marshalls and other officers as referred to in section 31-4-304, C.R.S. (1977) are within the terms "mechanic," "workingman," or "laborer" as used in section 8-13-104, C.R.S. (1973).Dear Mr. Pon: This opinion letter is in response to your request for a formal attorney general opinion received by this office on March 5, 1984, in which you inquired about the interpretation and application of section 8-13-104, C.R.S. (1973). QUESTION PRESENTED AND CONCLUSION Your request for an attorney general's opinion presents the following questions: Do the terms "mechanic," "workingman," or "laborer" as used in section 8-13-104, C.R.S. (1973) include town marshalls and other "town officers" as referenced in section 31-4-304, C.R.S. (1977)? My conclusion is that town marshalls are not within the meaning of "mechanic," "workingman," or "laborer" under section 8-13-104, C.R.S. (1973). However, town officers as referenced in 31-4-304, C.R.S. (1977) may or may not be within the meaning of "mechanic," "workingman," or "laborer" depending upon the particular office and duties of that office. ANALYSIS In applying any statute we are governed by the legislative intent. Stephen v. City and County of Denver, 659 P.2d 666 (Colo. 1983). An unambiguous statute must be given effect according to its plain and obvious meaning and is not subject to the rules of statutory construction. Mattox v. District Court of the Eighteenth Judicial District in and for Arapaphoe County, 198 Colo. 208, 597 P.2d 573 (1979). If section 18-13-104 was subject to construction, as a penal statute, it would have to be narrowly construed. However, the terms "mechanic," "workingman," and "laborer" are clear and unambiguous and are words of common usage. Unless there is a clear indication otherwise, words are normally given their common usage in interpreting statutes. Section 2-4-101, C.R.S. (1980). Webster's Third New International Dictionary defines "laborer" as "one that labors; specif.: a person who does unskilled, physical work for wages sometimes as assistant to a...

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