June 24, 2019

Judicial Nominating Commission Appointments Announced

On Friday, December 27, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced appointments to 14 of Colorado’s judicial nominating commissions, including the Supreme Court Nominating Commission.

The judicial nominating commissions are responsible for interviewing applicants for judicial vacancies and selecting three of the applicants for appointment to the judiciary. The governor then has 15 days in which to appoint one of the three nominees to the bench. If the governor fails to appoint a nominee within this time, the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court may select a nominee.

Each judicial district has a nominating commission comprised of seven citizen members who must reside in the judicial district. No more than four members may have the same political party affiliation, and at least four members must not be admitted to practice law in Colorado. Additionally, there is a Supreme Court Nominating Commission, responsible for nominating appointees for the Colorado Court of Appeals and Colorado Supreme Court. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission comprises one attorney and one non-attorney member from each of Colorado’s seven judicial congressional districts, with one additional non-attorney member.

The appointments are as follows:

  • First Judicial District Nominating Commission – Thomas Overton of Golden to serve as a attorney and a Democrat from Jefferson County.
  • Second Judicial District Nominating Commission – Christina Habas of Denver to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from Denver County.
  • Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Larry Gaddis of Colorado Springs to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from El Paso County.
  • Ninth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Andrea Bryan of Carbondale to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Garfield County.
  • Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – James Whitmire of Pueblo to serve as an attorney and a Republican from Pueblo County.
  • Twelfth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Paul Motz of Alamosa to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from Alamosa County.
  • Thirteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Edward Zorn of Ft. Morgan to serve as an attorney and a Republican from Morgan County.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Daniel Carr of Westminster to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Adams County; Patricia Jarzobski of Westminster to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from Adams County.
  • Eighteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – Candace Figa of Aurora to serve as an attorney and a Republican from Arapahoe County.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission – William Crossier of Greeley to serve as an attorney and a Republican from Weld County.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District Nominating Commission – Scott Burrill of Grand Junction to serve as an unaffiliated attorney from Mesa County; Amy Hand of Grand Junction to serve as an attorney and a Republican from Mesa County.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District Nominating Commission – Sean Murray of Mancos to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from Montezuma County.
  • Supreme Court Nominating Commission – Kathleen Lord of Denver to serve as an attorney from the First Congressional District; Michael Burg of Greenwood Village to serve as an attorney and a Democrat from the Sixth Congressional District.

Application Period Open for Vacancies on Supreme Court Nominating Commission and Various Judicial District Nominating Commissions

On Wednesday, September 11, 2013, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced vacancies on the Supreme Court Nominating Commission and the nominating commissions for 16 of Colorado’s 22 judicial districts. Twenty-nine vacancies were announced, and applications for these vacancies are due by 5 p.m. on October 11, 2013. Application forms for attorneys are available on the State Judicial website; applications for non-attorneys are available on the Governor’s Office website. All members of nominating commissions serve as volunteers.

Each judicial district nominating commission is comprised of three attorneys and four non-attorneys, no more than half of which plus one can share political party affiliation. Additionally, at least one member of each commission must reside in each county in the judicial district. Applicants must reside in the judicial district for whose nominating commission they seek appointment.

The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is comprised of seven attorneys and seven non-attorneys, plus one non-attorney at-large member. Each of Colorado’s seven congressional districts is represented by one attorney and one non-attorney.

The nominating commissions with vacancies are listed here. Specifications as to residency, party affiliation, or whether the vacancy is for an attorney or non-attorney are listed as applicable.

  • First Judicial District – one attorney and one non-attorney
  • Second Judicial District – one attorney
  • Fourth Judicial District – one attorney; must not be a registered Republican
  • Sixth Judicial District – one non-attorney
  • Ninth Judicial District – one attorney and one non-attorney
  • Tenth Judicial District – one attorney and one non-attorney
  • Twelfth Judicial District – one attorney; must reside in Alamosa County
  • Thirteenth Judicial District – one attorney and one non-attorney; one must reside in Washington County and one must reside in Morgan County
  • Fifteenth Judicial District – one non-attorney
  • Sixteenth Judicial District – two non-attorneys; one must reside in Crowley County
  • Seventeenth Judicial District – two attorneys
  • Eighteenth Judicial District – one attorney
  • Nineteenth Judicial District – one attorney
  • Twentieth Judicial District  – one non-attorney
  • Twenty-First Judicial District – two attorneys and one non-attorney
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District – one attorney; must not be a registered Republican
  • Supreme Court Nominating Commission – two attorneys and three non-attorneys; one attorney must be from the First Congressional District and the other must be from the Sixth Congressional District; one non-attorney must be from the Third Congressional District, one must be from the Sixth Congressional District, and the third is the at-large position.

For more information on the vacancies, click here. For information about nominating commissions, click here.

William Alexander Appointed to Tenth Judicial District Court Bench

On Friday, May 11, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper announced his appointment of William Alexander to serve as a district court judge in the Tenth Judicial District, effective June 1. Alexander will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable C. Dennis Maes.

Alexander, of Pueblo, currently serves as the Presiding Municipal Court Judge for the City of Pueblo. Alexander has served as a Magistrate in the Tenth Judicial District Court since 1994. Prior to becoming a Magistrate Judge, he was a Deputy Public Defender. Alexander served as a security supervisor for the University of Denver before becoming an attorney.

Alexander earned his bachelor’s degree at Columbia College of Aurora and a his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

Judge Eyler Named Chief Judge in Tenth Judicial District; Judge Schwartz Named as New Water Court Judge

On Wednesday, April 4, 2012, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael L. Bender appointed the Honorable Deborah Eyler as the new chief judge and the Honorable Larry Schwartz as the new water court judge in the Tenth Judicial District (Pueblo County). Chief Justice Bender made the appointments to fill positions currently held by Chief Judge C. Dennis Maes, who will retire from the bench on May 31.

The appointment of Judge Eyler to chief judge is effective June 1, upon Chief Judge Maes’ retirement.  The appointment of Judge Schwartz to water judge is effective immediately. Chief Judge Maes will continue to serve as a water judge until his retirement.

Judge Eyler was appointed by Governor Ritter to the district court bench in August of 2008 and took the bench on December 1, 2008.  Before being appointed to the bench she was in private practice.  As a district court judge, Judge Eyler presides over a domestic relations, dependency and neglect and truancy docket.

Judge Schwartz was appointed to the bench by Governor Ritter in March of 2008, and began serving July 1, 2008. He began his law career as an Assistant District Attorney with the Pueblo County District Attorney’s Office in November of 1982. From 1985 until his appointment to the bench, Judge Schwartz was in private practice.

Colorado is divided into twenty-two judicial districts, each with a chief judge who serves as the administrative head. Chief judges’ responsibilities include appointing the district administrator, chief probation officer, and clerks of the court, assisting in the personnel, financial and case-management duties of the district, seeing that the business of the courts is conducted efficiently and effectively, and making judicial assignments within the district.

Water judges are district judges appointed by the Supreme Court and have jurisdiction in the determination of water rights, the use and administration of water, and all other water matters within the jurisdiction of the water divisions.

Finalists Selected to Fill Judgeship on Tenth Judicial District Court

The Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated two candidates for a district court judgeship created by the retirement of Chief Judge C. Dennis Maes, effective June 1, 2012.

The nominees for the bench are William D. Alexander and Kimberly Jo Karn. Both candidates are from Pueblo and were selected by the commission on April 3.

Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Hickenlooper has until April 19 to appoint one of the nominees to the position of District Court Judge for the Tenth Judicial District (Pueblo County).

Chief Judge C. Dennis Maes to Retire from Tenth Judicial District Bench

The Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet April 3, 2012 to interview and select nominees for appointment by Governor Hickenlooper to the office of District Judge for the Tenth Judicial District, which covers Pueblo County.  The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable C. Dennis Maes on June 1, 2012.

Judge Maes has been a Pueblo District Court Judge since 1988 and became Chief Judge in 1995. Before being appointed to he bench, Judge Maes spent time in private practice and was also a public defender in the Pueblo Public Defender’s Office and a past director of Pueblo County Legal Services.

Eligible applicants for appointment to fill the vacancy must be qualified electors of the Tenth Judicial District and must be admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. Applications must be received by Tuesday, March 13. The appointed district court judge will serve an initial provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. Retained judges serve six-year terms.

Further information about applying for the vacancy is available here from the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints David Lobato to Pueblo County Court Bench

On Tuesday, February 7, 2012,  Governor John Hickenlooper announced the appointment of David Lobato to serve as a county court judge in the Tenth Judicial District. His appointment is effective immediately.

Lobato will fill the vacancy created by the retirement of the Honorable Ernest Ruybalid.

Lobato, of Pueblo, currently serves as the Deputy State Public Defender in the Pueblo Regional Office. He works exclusively in the area of criminal defense, handling misdemeanor, traffic, and felony cases.

Before attending law school, Lobato was an associate pastor at Cathedral of the Sacred Heart in Pueblo. He was ordained a Roman Catholic Priest after completing course studies in Rome. He earned his bachelor’s degree from the College of Santa Fe and his law degree from the University of Colorado Law School.

 

Finalists Selected to Fill Judgeship on Pueblo County Court

The Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a Pueblo County Court judgeship created by the retirement of the Honorable Ernest J. Ruybalid, effective January 31, 2012.

The nominees for the bench are Shad Brown of Pueblo West, and David Lobato and Margaret Vellar, both of Pueblo. All finalists were selected by the Commission on January 20.

Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Hickenlooper has until February 7, 2012 to appoint one of the nominees as County Court Judge for Pueblo County.

Comments regarding any of the nominees can be emailed to the Governor’s Office.

Judge Ernest J. Ruybalid to Retire from Pueblo County Court Bench

The Tenth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet on January 20, 2012 to interview and select nominees for appointment by Governor Hickenlooper to the office of County Judge for Pueblo County. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable Ernest J. Ruybalid on January 31, 2012.

Judge Ruybalid was admitted to law practice in 1979. He was in private practice and public practice as an Assistant City Attorney and Assistant County Attorney until appointment to the County Court bench in Pueblo in 1997.

Eligible applicants for appointment to fill the vacancy must be qualified electors of Pueblo County and must be admitted to the practice of law in Colorado. Applications must be received by Wednesday, January 4. The appointed county court judge will serve an initial provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. Retained judges serve four-year terms.

Further information about applying for the vacancy is available here from the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Colorado Courts Celebrate National Adoption Day

National Adoption Day will be celebrated in many of Colorado’s Judicial Districts between Thursday, November 17 and Monday, November 21, 2011, with judges and magistrates throughout Colorado finalizing the adoption of more than 100 foster children into permanent families. Colorado is currently home to 365 children waiting for permanent families.

“Adoption Day is always a special day in Colorado’s courts,” said Chief Justice Michael L. Bender. “I am pleased to see many of our courts taking the opportunity to recognize National Adoption Day on a local level. However, this is but one day out of the year and we must remain focused on the fact that there are still many children in need of good homes.”

Adoption Day events in Colorado are being coordinated through the courts, state and local human services departments, as well as other local and state child agencies and advocacy groups.

Here’s a rundown of Adoption Day activities going on around Colorado:

  • First Judicial District (Jefferson and Gilpin counties)
  • Saturday, November 19, 2011, from 9:00 to 11:00 am at the Jefferson County Combined Court (100 Jefferson Parkway, Golden, CO 80401).
  • District Court Judges Margie Enquist, Tamara Russell and Ann Meinster will finalize 18 adoptions for 12 families.  Colorado Supreme Court Justice-designate Brian Boatright (currently a First Judicial District Court Judge) will be in attendance. For more information contact Kris Kinzli at (303) 271-4601 or Mallory Hyatt at (303) 271-4389 with Jefferson County Human Services.
  • Second Judicial District (Denver County)
  • Friday, November 18, 2011, from 8:45 am to noon at the Lindsey-Flanigan Courthouse (520 W. Colfax, Denver, CO 80204).
  • Denver Juvenile Court Judges Donna Schmalberger and D. Brett Woods will join Juvenile Magistrates Howard Bartlett and Melanie Gilbert, along with Denver District Court Judges Morris Hoffman and Herbert Stern to unite 51 children with 33 families. For more information contact Barbara Bosley, Family Court Facilitator, Denver Juvenile Court, (720) 337-0584.  This is the seventh annual celebration of National Adoption Day in Denver.
  • Speakers at the event will include Denver Mayor Michael Hancock, Chief Judge Karen Ashby (Denver Juvenile Court), Penny May (Denver Department of Human Services), and Marne Gulley (adoptive parent).
  • Speakers will make their remarks in the Cisneros Jury Assembly Room.  Adoption proceedings will take place from 10:00 am to noon in courtrooms 2A, 2B, 2C, 2E, 2F and 2H. Judge Ashby has entered an order allowing Expanded Media Coverage; cameras are welcome.
  • Third Judicial District (Huerfano and Las Animas counties)
  • While no adoption proceedings are scheduled, District Court Judge Leslie Gerbracht reports that the Court will host a reception on Monday, November 21, 2011, at 2:30 pm for families who have adopted in the past. The reception will be held in the District Court Courtroom at the Las Animas County Courthouse (200 E. 1st St., Trinidad, CO 81082). For more information contact Arlene Lopez, DHS Child Protection Unit Supervisor, at (719) 846-2276.
  • Fifth Judicial District (Clear Creek, Eagle, Lake and Summit counties)
  • On Friday, November 18, 2011, from 1:30 to 4:30 pm, District Court Judge Russell Granger will preside over the adoption of five children into four families. The proceedings will take place at the Clear Creek County Courthouse (405 Argentine, Georgetown, CO 80444). For more information contact Kimberlee Hill, Clerk of Court, at (303) 679-4220.
  • Tenth Judicial District (Pueblo County)
  • On Friday, November 18, 2011, beginning at 9:30 am in Division B, District Court Judge Larry Schwartz will preside over the adoption docket. Nine children are slated to be adopted into seven families. For more information contact Karen Hiraki, Pueblo Department of Human Services, at (719) 583-4716.
  • Eleventh Judicial District (Chaffee, Custer, Fremont and Park counties)
  • On Thursday, November 17, 2011, Chief District Court Judge Charles Barton will finalize the adoptions of five children into four families. The adoption proceedings will begin at 1:30 pm at the Fremont County Justice Center (136 Justice Center Road, Canon City, CO 81212). For more information contact Nancy Myers, Fremont County DHS, at (719) 269-2092.
  • Seventeenth Judicial District (Adams and Broomfield counties)
  • On Saturday, November 19, 2011, from 9 am to noon, 23 children will be united with permanent families. The proceedings will take place at the Adams County Justice Center (1100 Judicial Center Drive, Brighton, CO 80601). District Court Judges Mark Warner and Francis Wasserman will join Magistrates Greg Beacom and Peter Stapp in presiding over the docket. For more information contact Jennifer Mendoza, Juvenile Court Programs Coordinator, at (303) 654-3230.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District (Weld County)
  • On Friday, November 18, 2011, from 1 to 5 pm, District Court Judge Marcelo Kopcow will preside over 11 adoptions and Magistrate Randall Lococo will preside over one adoption. Adoption proceedings will take place at the Weld County Courthouse (901 9th Ave. Greeley, CO 80631). For more information call Judge Kopcow’s chambers at (970) 351-7300 ext. 5490.
  • Twenty-first Judicial District (Mesa County)
  • On Friday, November 18, 2011, from 8 am to 1:30 pm, District Court Judge Valerie Robison will preside over an adoption docket bringing together eight children with seven families.  The adoptions will take place at the Mesa County Justice Center (125 N. Spruce Street, Grand Junction, CO 81501). For more information contact Karen Martsolf, Mesa County DHS, at (970) 256-2453.

National Adoption Day is a collective national effort to raise awareness of the 107,000 children in foster care across the country waiting to find permanent, loving families. Since its inception, National Adoption Day has made the dreams of thousands of children come true through the cooperative work of courts, judges, attorneys, adoption professionals, child welfare agencies, and advocates to finalize adoptions and find permanent, loving homes for children in foster care.

National Adoption Day is celebrated every year in November. In 2006, for the first time, National Adoption Day was celebrated in all 50 states, the District of Columbia and Puerto Rico. That year, more than 250 events were held throughout the country to finalize the adoptions of more than 3,300 children in foster care, and to celebrate all families who adopt. Since 2000, more than 35,000 children have had their adoptions finalized on National Adoption Day.

Application Period Open for Forty-Five Vacancies on Judicial Nominating Commissions

On behalf of Governor John Hickenlooper, Attorney General John Suthers, and Chief Justice Michael L. Bender, the Colorado Judicial Branch announced on Thursday, September 15, 2011, the opening of the application period for forty-five vacancies on judicial nominating commissions across the state.

Some positions are open now, but the majority of vacancies will occur when current commissioners’ six-year terms end December 31, 2011. All commissioners serve as volunteers. Applications are due on or before October 14.

Thirty-two vacancies must be filled by non-attorneys selected by the Governor. Thirteen vacancies must be filled by attorneys selected by joint action of the Governor, Attorney General, and Chief Justice. Vacancies will occur in twenty judicial district nominating commissions.

Each judicial district in Colorado has a nominating commission comprised of three attorneys and four non-attorneys who are tasked with selecting nominees for appointment to county and district judgeships. The Supreme Court Nominating Commission is made up of seven attorneys, seven non-attorneys, and one non-attorney at-large member. Each of Colorado’s seven Congressional Districts is represented by one attorney and one non-attorney on the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, which selects nominees for positions on the Supreme Court and Court of Appeals.

Application forms for vacancies on the various commissions can be found here. Completed application forms should be mailed to Romaine Pacheco, Governor’s Office of Boards and Commissions, 136 State Capitol Bldg., Denver, Colorado 80203.  They also can be faxed to (303) 866-6368 or sent by e-mail to boards@state.co.us.

Article VI, Section 24 of the Colorado Constitution requires that for any nominating commission, “no more than one-half of the commission members plus one, exclusive of the Supreme Court justice serving as ex officio chair, shall be members of the same political party.” The Constitution also requires that at least one commissioner reside in each of the counties of the district. Applicants must reside in the judicial district – or, for the Supreme Court Nominating Commission, the congressional district – to which they are applying for appointment.

Here is a list of upcoming nominating commission attorney vacancies along with any applicable residency and political-affiliation requirements:

  • First Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Second Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Fourth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. Only one position may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Fifth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have two non-attorney vacancies. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of Eagle County, one other by a resident of Lake County.
  • Sixth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of San Juan County.
  • Seventh Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must reside in Ouray County.
  • Ninth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one non-attorney vacancy. One appointee must be a resident of Rio Blanco County and one a resident of Pitkin County.
  • Thirteenth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have three non-attorney vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of Yuma County, one a resident of Phillips County, one a resident of Sedgwick County, and one a resident of Logan County.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Sixteenth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Supreme Court: One vacancy. Appointee must be a resident of the Fifth Congressional District.

Here is a list of non-attorney vacancies, along with any applicable residency and political-affiliation requirements:

  • Second Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Third Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Fourth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. Only one position may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Fifth Judicial District: Two vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of Eagle County, one other by a resident of Lake County.
  • Sixth Judicial District: One vacancy. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One of the positions must be filled by a resident of San Juan County.
  • Eighth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must not be a registered Democrat.
  • Ninth Judicial District: Three vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. At least one appointee must be a resident of Rio Blanco County and one a resident of Pitkin County.
  • Tenth Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither may be filled by a registered Democrat.
  • Eleventh Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Twelfth Judicial District: Two vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of Mineral County and one a resident of Costilla County.
  • Thirteenth Judicial District: Three vacancies. This commission also will have one attorney vacancy. One appointee must be a resident of Yuma County, one a resident of Phillips County, one a resident of Sedgwick County, and one a resident of Logan County.
  • Fourteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Fifteenth Judicial District: Two vacancies.
  • Nineteenth Judicial District: One vacancy.
  • Twentieth Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee cannot be a registered Democrat.
  • Twenty-First Judicial District: Two vacancies. Neither appointee may be a registered Democrat.
  • Twenty-Second Judicial District: One vacancy. Appointee must be a resident of Dolores County.
  • Supreme Court: Two vacancies. One appointee must be a resident of the Second Congressional District and the other a resident of the Seventh Congressional District.

Click here to read the full release about the commission vacancies from State Judicial.

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints Judge to Pueblo County Court Bench

On Wednesday, June 29, 2011, Governor John Hickenlooper announced his appointment of Valerie V. Haynes to serve as the County Court Judge in the Tenth Judicial District, which serves Pueblo County. Haynes will begin her tenure on the bench July 1.

Haynes is currently the Assistant County Attorney for Pueblo County, where she has served since 2004. As Assistant County Attorney, Haynes focused on representing governmental entities in the areas of statutory and regulatory compliance. Previously, she was a Deputy District Attorney for the Thirteenth Judicial District, the Fourth Judicial District, and the Tenth Judicial District. She also worked in private practice.

Haynes received her B.A. from the University of Northern Colorado in 1985, and her law degree from the University of Denver in 1995.