September 26, 2018

Barbara Zollars Appointed to Rio Grande County Court

On Thursday, August 13, 2015, the governor’s office announced the appointment of Barbara Zollars to the Rio Grande County Court in the Twelfth Judicial District, effective immediately. Zollars will fill a vacancy created by the appointment of Hon. Patrick H. Hayes, Jr. to the Twelfth Judicial District Court.

Zollars is currently a partner at the San Luis Valley Law Firm, where she practices criminal defense, handling everything from traffic offenses to first-degree murder cases. Prior to opening her firm, Zollars was a Deputy State Public Defender in various offices from 1988 to 2002. She also founded and managed a legal aid program in Seattle, Washington. Zollars earned both her undergraduate and law degrees from Seattle University.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Finalists Selected for Rio Grande County Court Vacancy

On Wednesday, July 29, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of two finalists to fill a vacancy on the Rio Grande County Court. The vacancy was created by the appointment of Hon. Patrick H. Hayes, Jr., to the Twelfth Judicial District Court, effective July 1, 2015.

The two nominees are Mérida I. Zerbi and Barbara A. Zollars, both of Monte Vista. Mérida I. Zerbi is a solo practitioner in Monte Vista, where she practices in the areas of criminal law, domestic relations, immigration, probate, and water law. Barbara A. Zollars of the San Luis Valley Law Firm is a former public defender who currently practices criminal defense.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has fifteen days in which to appoint one of the nominees to the bench. Comments regarding the nominees may be emailed to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Application Period Open for Rio Grande County Court Vacancy

On Thursday, June 18, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced a vacancy on the Rio Grande County Court, occasioned by the appointment of Hon. Patrick H. Hayes, Jr. to the Twelfth Judicial District Court. The vacancy will occur on July 1, 2015.

Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of Rio Grande County and must have graduated from high school or achieved the equivalent of a high school diploma. Application forms are available from the ex officio chair of the Twelfth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Nathan Coats, and also from the State Judicial website. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on July 20, 2015. Anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than 4 p.m. on July 13, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Patrick H. Hayes Appointed to 12th Judicial District Court

On Wednesday, June 17, 2015, the governor’s office announced Governor Hickenlooper’s appointment of Patrick H. Hayes to the district court bench in the Twelfth Judicial District. Hayes will fill a vacancy created by HB 15-1034, effective July 1, 2015.

Currently, Hayes is a county court judge in Rio Grande County, where he was appointed in 2011. He is also a Division 3 Water Referee. Prior to his appointment to the Rio Grande County Court, Hayes was in private practice at Hayes Law, P.C., where he practiced criminal defense. Hayes also served as Chief Deputy District Attorney in the San Luis Valley and was the juvenile court magistrate in Rio Grande County. He received his law degree, summa cum laude, from Oklahoma City University School of Law and his undergraduate degree from Cameron University.

Nominees Announced for 12th Judicial District Court Judgeship

On Monday, June 1, 2015, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the selection of three nominees for appointment to the bench of the Twelfth Judicial District. The selected nominee will fill a vacancy created by House Bill 15-1034, effective July 1, 2015. The three nominees are Patrick H. Hayes Jr of South Fork, Jason T. Kelly of Alamosa and Amanda K. Pearson of Crestone.

Patrick H. Hayes, Jr. is currently a county court judge in Rio Grande County, presiding over a mixed docket. Jason T. Kelly is a county attorney in Alamosa. Amanda K. Pearson is a county court judge in Saguache County.

Under the Colorado Constitution, Governor Hickenlooper has 15 days from June 1 in which to select one of the nominees for appointment. Comments regarding any of the nominees may be submitted to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us. For more information about the nominees, click here.

Application Period Open for New Judgeship on Twelfth Judicial District Court Bench

The governor signed HB 15-1034 on Friday, March 20, 2015, which increased the number of district court judges in the Twelfth Judicial District from three to four, effective July 1, 2015. The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced on Friday, March 27, 2015, that applications are now being accepted for the forthcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the Twelfth Judicial District (Alamosa, Conejos, Costilla, Mineral, Rio Grande, and Saguache counties) and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from the State Judicial website, and from the ex officio chair of the Twelfth Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice Hood. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on May 4, 2015, and anyone wishing to nominate another person must do so no later than 4 p.m. on April 27, 2015.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

HB 15-1034: Adding a District Court Judge in the Twelfth Judicial District

On January 7, 2015, Rep. Edward Vigil and Sen. Larry Crowder introduced HB 15-1034 — Concerning an Increase in the Number of District Court Judges in the Twelfth Judicial District. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Effective July 1, 2015, the bill increases the number of district court judges in the twelfth judicial district from 3 to 4.

The bill was assigned to the House Judiciary and Appropriations Committees. The bill has passed out of the Judiciary Committee unamended and was referred to Appropriations.