November 14, 2018

Judicial Performance Evaluations Now Available Online for 2012 Election

The State Commission on Judicial Performance and local judicial district performance commissions have completed their evaluations of 90 judges who are scheduled to stand for retention in the November 6, 2012, election.  The non-partisan commissions are charged with providing voters with fair, responsible, and constructive evaluations of individual judges seeking retention, and providing judges with useful information concerning their performance.  The evaluations were made public online on August 7 and will be printed in the Blue Book, which is mailed to every active registered voter household in the state.

The judicial performance commissions evaluate judges on a wide range of criteria, including integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, and administrative performance.  To do this, commissions review information from several sources:  written opinions and decisions, caseload statistics, interviews, courtroom observations, judges’ self-evaluations, and independent surveys.   Earlier this year, surveys were sent to more than 50,000 people who have had recent involvement with the judges, including prosecutors, public defenders, and private attorneys, litigants, jurors, crime victims, law enforcement officers, court employees, court interpreters, and probation officers. The results of interim survey results from past years are also reviewed.

The commissions then produce a narrative for each judge with a recommendation of “retain,” “do not retain,” or “no opinion,” which are included in the “Blue Books” published by the Legislative Council.  The Blue Book is an informational booklet which provides voters with an analysis and arguments for and against every statewide ballot measure and also includes the evaluations of the judges standing for retention. The narrative, recommendation, and complete statistical survey results are now available on the Office of Judicial Performance Evaluation website and can be viewed here.

The volunteer members are appointed by the Colorado Chief Justice, Governor, President of the Senate, and Speaker of the House.  Each commission consists of 10 members:  six non-attorneys and four attorneys.

Judge John A. DeVita II Retiring from Jefferson County Court Court Bench

The First Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet at the Jefferson County Courthouse on Wednesday, June 27, 2012, to interview and select nominees for appointment by Governor Hickenlooper to the office of County Judge for Jefferson County. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable John A. DeVita II on August 31.

Eligible applicants for appointment to fill the vacancy must be qualified electors of Jefferson County and must be admitted to the practice of law in Colorado. Applications must be received by Monday, June 11. The appointed county court judge will serve an initial provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. If retained in the general election, judges serve four-year terms.

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

Vacancy on Second Judicial District Court Bench Following Resignation of Judge Christina Habas

The Second Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet June 15, 2012 to interview and select nominees for appointment by Governor Hickenlooper to the office of District Judge for the Second Judicial District, which serves Denver County. The vacancy will be created by the resignation of the Honorable Christina M. Habas on July 13.

Eligible applicants for appointment to fill the vacancy must be qualified electors of the Second Judicial District and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. Applications must be received by Friday, June 1. The appointed district court judge will serve an initial provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. If retained in the general election, judges serve six-year terms.

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

Kiowa County Combined Courts Change Hours of Operation

The hours of operation at the Kiowa County Combined Courts in Eads, Colorado, have changed, effective immediately.

The court offices will be open Monday through Thursday, 8 am to noon and 12:30 to 4:30 pm. Offices will be closed on Fridays.

Questions about the change may be directed to Clerk of Court Robyn Dunham at (719) 438-5558 or District Administrator Caren Stanley at (719) 336-7424.

Denver County Court Closed Two Days this Week

The Denver County Court will be closed Monday, March 28, in observance of the Cesar Chavez holiday, and Friday, April 1,  for a previously-announced, budget-required furlough day for City employees. Friday is the second of five planned furlough days this year.

The state-operated Denver District Court, Juvenile Court, and Probate Court will be open both days.

For a full list of City and County of Denver office closures, click here.

Judge Carol Glowinsky to Retire from Twentieth Judicial District Bench

The Twentieth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet Tuesday, March 15, 2011, at the Boulder County Combined Court to interview and select nominees for appointment by the governor to the office of district court judge for the Twentieth Judicial District, which serves Boulder County. The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable Carol Glowinsky on April 29, 2011.

Eligible applicants for appointment to fill the vacancy must be a qualified elector of the Twentieth Judicial District and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. The application deadline is February 22, 2011. The appointed judge will serve an initial provisional term of two years before facing a retention election. Retained judges serve six-year terms.

Further information about the retirement of Judge Glowinsky and applying for the vacancy is available from the Colorado Judicial Branch.

Court Temporarily Stays Colorado’s Online Sales Tax Law

Law Week Colorado reports that U.S. District Court Judge Robert Blackburn issued a preliminary injunction on Wednesday that prevents the state from enforcing a 2010 law that would impose an online sales tax.

Judge Blackburn’s ruling was disclosed in a press release issued by State House Majority Leader Amy Stephens. The Direct Marketing Association, a trade association, is challenging provisions of the Colorado law that it says are unenforceable under the Commerce Clause.

Law Week Colorado has published the court’s ruling and Stephens’ press release.

Senate Bill Would Eliminate Jefferson County Judgeship, Add One to Western Slope

Law Week Colorado reports that a bill introduced in the Colorado Senate last week would add a district judgeship in the western slope’s Seventh Judicial District while eliminating a vacant district judgeship in the First Judicial District, which serves Jefferson and Gilpin counties. The bill received its first hearing on Wednesday in the Senate Judiciary Committee.

The First Judicial District received funding for three new district judgeships in 2007, but two of those remained unfilled due to space constraints. If SB11-028 were to pass, one of these unfilled judgeships would move to the Seventh Judicial District, which serves Delta, Gunnison, Hinsdale, Montrose, Ouray, and San Miguel counties.

The change would be budget-neutral and the bill is sponsored by Democratic Sen. Gail Schwartz and Republican Rep. Don Coram, who represent legislative districts that lie within the Seventh Judicial District.

The judge-shift was requested by the Colorado Judicial Department and would likely be the first time a Colorado state judgeship has been transferred from one district to another. The First Judicial District court management has given its blessing to relinquishing the judgeship.

Efficiency Highlighted by Justice Bender in State of the Judiciary Address

Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Michael Bender delivered his first State of the Judiciary address before a joint session of the Colorado General Assembly on Friday. During the speech, Bender lauded the accomplishments of the judiciary over the last year and acknowledging the challenges it continues to face in the new year.

Law Week Colorado reports that, while affirming the diminishing resources available to the courts due to the economic downturn, Bender stressed Colorado courts’ ability to strengthen their operations by increasing efficiency.

Access to justice is another major concern for Bender, who took over as Chief Justice just six weeks ago; both individuals and businesses are finding increased difficulty in utilizing the civil justice system.  Additionally, while discovery costs are often prohibitive and too few cases actually make it to trial as a result, the proposed Civil Access Pilot Project would help alleviate many of these problems.

Bender plans to visit all twenty-two judicial districts in the state to get feedback and solicit advice in an ongoing effort to keep up employee morale at the judicial branch.

Text of Justice Benders full remarks can be found here.

Finalists Selected to Fill New Judgeship in Eighth Judicial District

The Eighth Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a district court judgeship created pursuant to HB 07-1054, effective January 1, 2011. The post will serve Jackson and Larimer counties.

Nominees for the bench are Julie Kunce Fields, Thomas Ray French, and John A. Jostad. All three reside in Fort Collins and were selected by the commission on November 12, 2010.

Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Ritter has until November 30, 2010 to appoint one of the nominees as district court judge for the Eighth Judicial District.

State Judicial Issues New and Revised Forms, Including Probate, Domestic, Juvenile and Criminal

The Colorado State Judicial Branch has issued new or revised forms and instructions across a variety of practice areas, including: county/district civil, criminal, domestic/family, juvenile, and probate. The new forms went into effect between September and November (as noted below), and practitioners should begin using them immediately.

All forms are available in Adobe Acrobat (PDF) and Microsoft Word formats. Many are also available as Word templates; download templates from State Judicial’s individual forms pages, or below.

County Civil / District Civil

  • JDF 122 – “Instructions for Issuance of Contempt Citation” (revised 11/10)
  • JDF 123 – “Motion and Affidavit for Citation for Contempt of Court” (revised 11/10)
  • JDF 137 – “Instructions for Filing a Foreign Judgment” (9/10)
  • JDF 138 – “Judgment Creditor Affidavit in Support of Foreign Judgment” (9/10)
  • JDF 139 – “Notice of Filing of Foreign Judgment” (9/10)

Criminal

  • JDF 460I – “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration – Colorado and Non-Colorado Convictions” (revised 10/10)

Domestic/Family

  • JDF 205 – “Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 206 – “Finding and Order Concerning Payment of Fees” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1411 – Instructions to File a Motion or Stipulation to Modify Custody or Decision-Making Responsibility” (10/10)
  • JDF 1418I – “Instructions to File a Motion Concerning Parenting Time Disputes” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1418 – “Verified Motion Concerning Parenting Time Disputes” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1419 – “Order re: Parenting Time” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1603 – “Decree of Declaration of Invalidity of Marriage” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1800 – “Instructions for Filing Motions to Enforce Orders” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 1817 – “Order to Issue Citation & Citation to Show Cause” (revised 10/10)

Filing Fees

  • JDF 203 – “Certification of Determination of Indigency” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 205 – “Motion to File Without Payment and Supporting Financial Affidavit” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 206 – “Finding and Order Concerning Payment of Fees” (revised 9/10)

Juvenile

  • JDF 476 – “Instructions to Discontinue Sex Offender Registration Juvenile – Colorado and Non-Colorado Convictions” (revised 10/10)
  • JDF 488 – “Final Order of Relinquishment” (revised 10/10)
  • JDF 556 – “Motion to Transfer Venue – Juvenile Dependency and Neglect” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 557 – “Order to Change Venue – Juvenile Dependency and Neglect” (revised 9/10)

Miscellaneous

  • JDF 5 – “Authorization to Pay Law Firm for Attorney Appointments” (revised 9/10)

Probate

  • JDF 731 – “Receipt and Release” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 823 – “Instructions for Appointment of Guardian – Minor” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 840 – “Instructions for Appointment of a Guardian – Adult” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 860 – “Instructions for Appointment of Conservator – Minor” (revised 9/10)
  • JDF 875 – “Instructions for Appointment of Conservator – Adult” (revised 10/10)
  • JDF 912 – “Renunciation and/or Nomination of Personal Representative” (revised 9/10)

New Colorado State Court Filing Fees Going Into Effect July 1

The schedule of filing fees, costs, and surcharges in Colorado state courts has been issued by State Judicial, with an effective date of July 1, 2010.

The schedule shows fees for the following Colorado courts:

  • County court (civil, criminal, and small claims);
  • District court (civil, criminal, domestic relations, juvenile, and probate);
  • Water court;
  • Colorado Court of Appeals; and
  • Colorado Supreme Court.

The schedule also details proceedings in which no fees are assessed, such as mental health proceedings; workers’ compensation filings; and proceedings regarding a dependent or neglected child or a child’s relinquishment or delinquency; among others.

Surcharges for miscellaneous county and district court services, such as photocopying, faxing, and transcription duplication, have also been revised.

As we previously reported, county clerk and recorder fees also increase tomorrow.