December 18, 2018

Ryan L. Kamada Appointed to 19th Judicial District Court

On Tuesday, September 11, 2018, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Ryan L. Kamada to the 19th Judicial District Court. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Elizabeth Strobel, effective January 8, 2019.

Kamada is currently a district court magistrate in the 19th Judicial District, where he oversees a docket consisting of domestic relations, dependency and neglect, paternity, and contempt matters. Prior to his work as a magistrate, he was a contract attorney with the Office of the Child’s Representative from 2011 to 2015. He has also been a partner at Grant, Hoffman & Kamada, PC and an associate at Grant-Dickson, LLC. He received his undergraduate degree from Colorado School of Mines and his law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

Hon. Elizabeth Strobel to Retire from 19th Judicial District Court

On Thursday, June 14, 2018, the Colorado State Judicial Branch announced the retirement of Hon. Elizabeth Strobel from the 19th Judicial District, effective January 8, 2019.

Judge Strobel was appointed to the bench in 2009, and she is the Presiding Family Court Judge and the Lead D&N Judge in the 19th Judicial District, handling a domestic relations and dependency and neglect docket in Greeley. Prior to her appointment, she was a district court magistrate in the 19th Judicial District. She was in private practice in Greeley prior to her appointments to the bench. She received her undergraduate degree from Montana State University and her law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law. She has presented at several CBA-CLE family law seminars, and she was a prior author of the grandparent rights chapter in the Colorado Senior Law Handbook.

Applications are now being accepted for the upcoming vacancy. Eligible applicants must be qualified electors of the 19th Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available on the State Judicial website or from the ex officio chair of the 19th Judicial District Nominating Commission, Justice William Hood, III. Applications must be received no later than 4 p.m. on July 16, 2018; anyone wishing to nominate another must do so no later than July 9, 2018.

For more information about the vacancy, click here.

Matthew Allan Crowther Appointed to Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission

On Monday, July 13, 2015, Governor Hickenlooper appointed Matthew Allan Crowther to the Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission. Crowther will serve a six-year term expiring December 31, 2020, as an unaffiliated attorney from Erie, Colorado. The Nineteenth Judicial District Nominating Commission reviews applicants and selects nominees for vacancies in the Nineteenth Judicial District, comprising Weld County. Crowther will fill a vacancy occasioned by the resignation of Lynn Karowsky of Greeley.

Michael James Rourke Appointed District Attorney of 19th Judicial District

On Thursday, December 18, 2014, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced his appointment of Michael James Rourke as the District Attorney for the Nineteenth Judicial District. Rourke will fill a vacancy created by the resignation of Kenneth R. Buck, effective January 2, 2015. Buck was elected to the 4th Congressional District and will be sworn in to Congress in January.

Rourke has been at the Nineteenth Judicial District Attorney’s office since November 2007. In 2010, he received the Robert R. Gallagher, Jr. Prosecutor of the Year Award. Currently, he is the assistant district attorney in the Nineteenth Judicial District, where he manages operations and the budget of the office. Previously, he served as Chief Deputy District Attorney, and has also been an interim district attorney. Prior to his work at the Weld County District Attorney’s office, Rourke was a deputy district attorney in the Eighteenth Judicial District.

For more information about the appointment, click here.

District Court Judges Appointed in Eighth and Nineteenth Judicial Districts

On Monday, November 25, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper’s office announced the governor’s appointment of judges to fill vacancies in the Eighth and Nineteenth judicial districts.

Michelle Brinegar was appointed to the Eighth Judicial District bench. She will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Dave Williams, effective December 19, 2013. W. Troy Hause was appointed to the bench in the Nineteenth Judicial District. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. Dinsmore Tuttle, effective November 30, 2013.

Ms. Brinegar is currently a Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Eighth Judicial District, where she supervises the juvenile division and the crimes against children/sex assault units. She received her J.D. from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law and her undergraduate degree from Colorado State University.

Mr. Hause currently is a solo practitioner in private practice. He has owned his own practice since graduating from Lewis & Clark Law School, and he specializes in family law, Chapter 7 bankruptcy cases, and mediation. He also has expertise in mental health certifications, juvenile law, and probate.

Finalists Selected for Judgeship on Nineteenth Judicial District Bench

On Thursday, November 7, 2013, State Judicial announced the selection of finalists for the Nineteenth Judicial District Court bench. The vacancy on the district court bench was created by the retirement of Hon. Dinsmore Tuttle, and will be effective November 30, 2013.

The appointees for the vacancy are Katharina Booth of Erie, Patrick Groom of Greeley, and W. Troy Hause of Windsor. Contact information for the nominees is available on the State Judicial website.

Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has fifteen days after the selection of finalists to appoint a nominee to the judgeship. If the governor does not appoint any nominee, the Chief Justice will appoint one.

New District Court Judges Appointed in Weld and Boulder Counties

On Monday, September 16, 2013, Governor Hickenlooper announced his appointments to the district court benches in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Judicial Districts, encompassing Boulder and Weld counties.

Shannon Douglas Lyons was appointed to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court bench in Weld County, effective October 11, 2013. Mr. Lyons is currently senior litigation counsel for Otis, Coan & Peters, LLC. He has focused on trial work throughout his career, specializing in complex constitutional, statutory, and commercial issues. Mr. Lyons is a regular presenter for the Weld County Bar Association, and was presented with that organization’s Professionalism in the Law Award in 2007.

Bruce Langer was appointed to the Twentieth Judicial District Court bench in Boulder County, effective immediately. He will fill a vacancy created by the retirement of Hon. M. Gwyneth Whalen. Mr. Langer currently works at the Boulder County District Attorney’s office, where he oversees general felony prosecutions and the felony intake unit. Previously, Mr. Langer was an associate at Franco Domenico and Associates.

For more information about the appointments and other judicial vacancies, click here.

Hon. Daniel Maus to Retire from Nineteenth Judicial District Bench

The Colorado State Judicial Branch announced on July 1, 2013, that Judge Daniel Maus of the Nineteenth Judicial District Court will retire, effective October 11, 2013. The Nineteenth Judicial District nominating commission will meet on August 26, 2013, to interview and select nominees for the vacancy.

Judge Maus was admitted to the Colorado bar in 1969. He was a trial attorney for his entire career prior to being appointed to the bench. He worked as a senior litigation attorney for U.S. West and as an Assistant United States Attorney. He was appointed to the Nineteenth Judicial District Court Bench in 2002, in the criminal division.

Eligible applicants for the vacancy must be qualified electors of the Nineteenth Judicial District and must have been admitted to practice law in Colorado for five years. Application forms are available from Justice Nathan Coats, ex officio chair of the nominating commission, or on the State Judicial website. Applications must be filed with the ex officio chair no later than 4 p.m. on Friday, July 26, 2013.

For more information on the vacancy, click here.

Governor Hickenlooper Appoints New Members to Two Judicial Nominating Commissions

On Thursday, June 21, 2012, Governor John Hickenlooper announced several Board and Commission appointments, including appointments to the Fourteenth and Nineteenth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commissions.

Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts have judicial district nominating commissions that select nominees for district and county judicial vacancies. Each district nominating commission is chaired by a justice of the Supreme Court, who is a non-voting member of the commission.

Commission members serve six-year terms. Non-lawyers, who are the majority of every nominating commission, are appointed by the governor. Lawyer members are appointed by joint action of the governor, attorney general, and chief justice.

The member appointed to the Fourteenth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for a term expiring December 31, 2017, is:

  • David M. Jones of Kremmling, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Democrat from Grand County.

The members appointed to the Nineteenth Judicial District Judicial Nominating Commission for terms expiring December 31, 2017, are:

  • Douglas P. Erler of Greeley, to serve as a non-attorney and as an Unaffiliated from Weld County.
  • Joseph J. Tennessen of Greeley, to serve as a non-attorney and as a Republican from Weld County.

HB 12-1329: Public Trustee in Certain Counties to Cease Being Appointed by Governor and Instead County Treasurer to Be Public Trustee for Those Counties

On March 21, 2012, Rep. Ray Scott introduced HB 12-1329 – Concerning the County Treasurer Becoming the Public Trustee in Certain Counties Where the Public Trustee is Currently Appointed by the Governor. This summary is published here courtesy of the Colorado Bar Association’s e-Legislative Report.

Currently, the 11 counties designated as counties of the first or second class for purposes of the public trustee law have a public trustee who is appointed by the governor. In counties of the third class, the county treasurer serves as the public trustee. On January 1, 2013, certain counties of the second class change to counties of the third class. In such counties, the term of the public trustee appointed by the governor expires on December 31, 2012, and the county treasurer of the county becomes the public trustee on January 1, 2013. Under the bill, certain counties shall no longer have a separate office of the public trustee with the trustee appointed by the governor. The bill is assigned to the Local Government Committee; the bill is scheduled for committee review on Monday, April 16 at 1:30 p.m.

Since this summary, the House Committee on Local Government laid over the bill unamended–their amendments failed.

Summaries of other featured bills can be found here.

Weld County DUI Court to Celebrate its First Graduation

The Weld County DUI Court in Greeley will celebrate its first graduation in a ceremony on Thursday, July 7, when two participants are slated to complete their obligations with the court.

Judge Michele Meyer will preside over the graduation ceremony, which is set for 11:30 am in Division 17. A reception will follow.

The problem-solving court opened over a year ago, in early 2010, with the mission to promote public safety by providing intensive court supervision and prompt treatment for qualifying DUI offenders. The court’s participants receive help in maintaining their sobriety through education, incentives, encouragement for individual responsibility, and sanctions for violations. Support comes from a network of agencies, including the Nineteenth Judicial District, District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Sheriff’s Office, counseling and treatment providers, and private legal counsel. The program’s five phases of treatment take a minimum of eighteen months to complete.

The court currently has nineteen participants. Slated for graduation on Thursday are Alberto Herrera-Antuna, who was the first person accepted into the program on February 4, 2010, and William Bourassa.

More than sixty problem-solving courts are in operation in seventeen of Colorado’s twenty-two judicial districts. Problem-solving courts in the state include adult and juvenile drug courts, family/dependency and neglect courts, DUI courts, adult and juvenile mental health courts, a veteran trauma court, and truancy courts.

The full press release from State Judicial regarding the DUI Court graduation can be found here.

Weld County Conducting Court Service-Improvement Program This Week

This week, judges, magistrates, clerks, and other court employees will collect data to help improve the way the courts of Colorado’s Nineteenth Judicial District conduct their business. The 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. Weld County was one of the first districts to participate in the initial survey.

On Wednesday, 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 buildings at the Weld County Court Complex 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 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. Two areas initially identified as needing attention were the website and setting performance goals. The website has been completely redesigned to improve access and usability. The district also now regularly monitors case processing, data integrity, and case closure rates to further help ensure the second area is being addressed.

In Fiscal Year 2010, more than 43,100 cases were filed in the Weld County Combined Courts, including 12,615 cases filed in District Court, 509 in the Water Court, and 30,039 in Weld County Court.