This week, judges, magistrates, clerks, and other court employees will collect data to help improve the way the courts of Colorado’s First Judicial District conduct their business. The court service-improvement program was first instituted in 2008, using public surveys to gather information and assess the functioning and accessibility of the courts in the district. In the last three years, the surveys have been used at least once in each of Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts.
On Tuesday, June 21, court employees will spend time talking to people about their experiences as jurors, parties to a case or as recipients of other Judicial Branch services. Attorneys, law enforcement officers and anyone who does business with the courts will be encouraged to participate. People exiting the Jefferson County Courthouse will be asked whether they had business with the courts and are willing to fill out a brief anonymous survey. Survey forms will be available in English and Spanish.
The survey is designed to measure public opinion about access to and fairness of the courts. Questions include whether people felt safe in the building, whether they could easily understand the forms they needed, and whether they felt their case was handled in in a fair manner. Participants also are asked whether they felt the judge or magistrate listened to them, whether they had all the necessary information before making a decision, and whether they felt they were treated with courtesy and given clear information about the next step in their case.
The new information will be used not only to check the progress of changes initiated since the first round of surveys, but also to support the possibility of further improvements.
In Fiscal Year 2010, about 86,400 cases were filed in the courts in Jefferson County. That number includes 23,780 cases filed in District Court and 62,593 in Jefferson County Court.