August 25, 2019

Update: Rio Grande County Court Judge Michael Trujillo Declares Intent to Retire; Nominating Commission Welcomes Applications to Fill Vacancy

Rio Grande County Court Judge Michael H. Trujillo on Friday announced his retirement, effective January 2011, becoming the twelfth Colorado judge since June 1 to announce plans to step down from the bench.

The Twelfth District Judicial Nominating Commission plans to convene at 9:00 a.m. on Monday, August 23, to review applications and recommend nominees to fill the vacancy. The meeting will be held at the Rio Grande County Courthouse, 925 Sixth St., in El Norte. Following the interviews, the Commission will recommend finalists for Gov. Bill Ritter to consider for appointment, and the governor will announce his appointee within 15 days.

County court judges receive a provisional, two-year appointment by the governor, after which they are retained by voter approval every four years. Judges in Rio Grande County Court hear a mixed docket of traffic, misdemeanor, infraction, civil (up to $15,000), felony complaints, and small claims (up to $15,000) cases.

The Rio Grande County Court judgeship is a part-time (55 percent) position, for which the annual salary is $67,686.85. Judge Trujillo’s successor will begin his or her term in January 2011.

Registered electors in Rio Grande County who are high school graduates or have attained its equivalence (via a GED) are eligible to apply for the judgeship. Detailed information about the Twelfth Judicial District and the application are available online. Application packages (consisting of one original application plus seven copies) must be received by the office of Commission ex officio chair, Justice Michael L. Bender, 101 W. Colfax Ave., Eighth Floor, no later than Monday, August 9, at 5:00 p.m.

Judge Trujillo first took an oath of office in 1975, when he was appointed Saguache County Court judge. He later was appointed to the Rio Grande bench in August 1991. Judge Trujillo is in private practice in Monte Vista.

(image source: State Judicial)

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