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  • 02/06/2024 3:46 PM | Crystal Rayos (Administrator)

    COLORADO SPRINGS – The 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties) Recovery Court for controlled substances and alcohol will celebrate the graduation of eight participants who recently successfully completed the Court’s rigorous treatment program.

    The graduation will take place Thursday, Feb. 8, 2024, at 3:30 p.m. in the Jury Assembly Room (W113) at the Terry R. Harris Judicial Complex, 270 S. Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903.

    See full announcement here.

  • 01/12/2024 8:22 AM | Crystal Rayos (Administrator)

    The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado located in Denver, Colorado to fill the vacancy created by Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews’ recent confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. The term of office is eight (8) years. The current annual salary of the position is $223,836.

    Applications are due by close of business (5:00 p.m. MDT) on Monday, February 12, 2024.

    See full announcement here.

  • 01/04/2024 9:34 AM | Crystal Rayos (Administrator)

    COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. – Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright has appointed the Hon. Erin Sokol to serve as chief judge in the 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties).

    As of Feb. 5, 2024, Judge Sokol will replace the Hon. William Bain, who was appointed to the bench in 2010 and has served as chief judge since August 2017. Chief Judge Bain chose to make the change so he could return to presiding over a full-time docket.

    “Chief Judge Bain has proved to be an exemplary administrative leader for a very busy system of courts and probation in the 4th Judicial District,” Chief Justice Boatright said. “We are happy that the people of Colorado will continue to benefit from his skills as a judicial officer. At the same time, I am confident that Judge Sokol will continue the tradition of very able leadership in the district.”

    After graduating from the University of Michigan, Judge Sokol earned her law degree from Georgetown University Law Center in 1999. She worked in private practice in Washington, D.C., and in Colorado Springs before she was appointed to the bench in August 2017. She will be the first female chief judge of the 4th Judicial District.

    As chief judge, she will serve as the administrative head of the district, responsible for appointing the court executive, chief probation officer and clerk of court, assisting in personnel, financial, and case-management duties, and seeing that the business of the courts and probation is conducted efficiently and effectively.

  • 12/08/2023 12:31 PM | Deleted user

    The term of office of United States Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak of the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado, Denver, Colorado, expires on September 30, 2024. 

    The United States District Court is required by law to establish a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of a magistrate judge to a new eight-year term.  

    The duties of a magistrate judge in this court include the following: (1) conduct preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trial and disposition of misdemeanor cases; (3) conduct various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings on delegation from a district judge; and (4) trial and disposition of civil cases upon consent of the litigants. Pursuant to D.C.COLO.LCivR 40.1(c), all full-time magistrate judges are included in the assignment of civil cases by random draw. Parties in cases assigned directly to a magistrate judge are required to indicate, through the filing of a consent form by a date certain, whether they accept or decline consent to magistrate judge jurisdiction. The basic authority of a United States magistrate judge is specified in 28 U.S.C. § 636. 

    Written comments from members of the bar and the public are invited as to whether the incumbent magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court. 

    All comments should be submitted electronically by email, or as a PDF attachment to an email, to the Office of the Clerk of Court: cod_magistratejudge_comments@cod.uscourts.gov

    Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on January 5, 2024. 

    The members of the Merit Selection Panel will be: 

    • Katayoun A. Donnelly, Esq. (Panel Chair) 
    • Juanita Chacon Hetal Doshi, Esq. 
    • Anna Holland Edwards, Esq. 
    • Ian D. Kalmanowitz, Esq. 
    • Laura A. Menninger, Esq 
    • The Honorable Jon J. Olafson 
    • E. Lee Reichert, Esq. 
    • Dr. Dwinita Mosby Tyle

     

    If you have any questions at all, please feel free to contact our office.

    Human Resources Division

    US District Court, District of Colorado

    (303) 335-2494


  • 11/07/2023 4:10 PM | Deleted user

    The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission has nominated three candidates for a district court judgeship created by the retirement of the Honorable Thomas Kane, effective Jan. 1, 2024. Nominees Hilary A.P. Gurney, Theodore “Ted” P. McClintock and Amanda J. Philipps, all of Colorado Springs, were selected by the commission on Nov. 6, 2023.

    Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from Nov. 7, 2023, within which to appoint one of the nominees as district court judge for the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties).

    Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at

    gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us

    Editor’s Note: Contact information for the three nominees 

    • Hilary A.P. Gurney, 270 South Tejon Street, Division DST, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, 719-452-5035 
    • Theodore “Ted” P. McClintock, 407 South Tejon Street, Suite K, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, 719-520-3968
    • Amanda J. Philipps, 270 South Tejon Street, Colorado Springs, CO 80903, 719-452-5533


  • 11/02/2023 3:38 PM | Deleted user

    The Honorable Gilbert “Gil” Martinez, a sitting senior judge and retired District Court Chief Judge of the 4th Judicial District, has died at the age of 72. 

    Judge Martinez was on a hunting trip with family near Gunnison when he died on Oct. 31, 2023. After returning to camp following a hunt in deep snow from the weekend storm, Judge Martinez collapsed and was not able to be resuscitated.

    “I am saddened by the sudden and tragic loss of Judge Martinez. He was always committed to making sure that our judges were serving the public to the best of their ability,” Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian Boatright said. “Everyone who met him instantly liked and respected him. He was a judge’s judge, and an integral part of the community he so proudly served.”

    Chief Justice Boatright added that Judge Martinez was so well respected by his peers that he served as the Dean of the New Judge Orientation School for approximately 20 years, and gratefully used the platform to share his immense wisdom with the state’s newest judges. Following his retirement from the District Court in 2017, he was asked to mentor many judges and chief judges throughout the state.

    “His contributions to the judiciary are too numerous to count or recall, but his legacy will live on as a tremendous jurist, educator, friend and family man,” Chief Justice Boatright said. “This is a major loss for the judiciary and legal community, but right now, and most importantly, our hearts are with Gil’s beloved family.”

    Judge Martinez leaves behind his wife of more than 50 years, Joanie Martinez, two children, seven grandchildren, and a great-grandson.

    Judge Martinez was born in Trinidad, graduated from Northglenn High School in 1969, received a civil engineering degree from the University of Colorado at Denver in 1974, and received his law degree from the University of Colorado School of Law in 1977. After graduating from law school, Judge Martinez moved to Colorado Springs for a one-year fellowship with Pikes Peak Legal Services. After completing the fellowship, Judge Martinez joined the Office of the Public Defender in Colorado Springs where he served a total of 11 years, five of which were as head of that office. 

    In 1989, Governor Roy Romer appointed Judge Martinez to the District Court where he served for 28 years, 18 of which were as Chief Judge over two different terms. Judge Martinez stepped down from the District Court and as Chief Judge of the 4th Judicial District in 2017, at which time Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Nancy Rice appointed him as a senior judge.   

    Details regarding services for Judge Martinez are pending.


  • 11/02/2023 3:32 PM | Deleted user
    A division of the Colorado Court of Appeals will hear oral arguments in Carbondale on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023, and in Breckenridge on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023, before audiences of high school students. Limited seating for the public will be available.

    In addition to the events with high school students, the three-judge panel also will meet with students from Crystal River and Frisco elementary schools and meet with members of local Access to Justice committees, local bar associations and other groups during that week.

    The events with high school students are part of the Colorado Judicial Department’s Courts in the Community, the outreach program the Colorado Supreme Court and Court of Appeals initiated on Law Day (May 1), 1986. The Courts in the Community program was developed to give high school students firsthand experience in how the Colorado judicial system works and illustrate how disputes are resolved in a democratic society. These are not mock proceedings; the judges will hear arguments in real cases and, later, issue opinions in those cases. The court generally issues opinions within a few weeks of arguments.

    In Carbondale, the event will be held at Roaring Fork High School. In Breckenridge, the event will be held at Summit High School.

    The 22 judges of the Colorado Court of Appeals sit in divisions of three to hear cases. The division that will hear cases in Carbondale and Breckenridge comprises Chief Judge Gilbert M. Román, Judge David Furman and Judge Terry Fox. 

    The two cases to be heard in Carbondale are:

    • 22CA1934, The Sentinel Colorado v. Kadee Rodriguez: Sentinel Colorado, a newspaper in Aurora, asked the Colorado Court of Appeals to review a trial court’s decision not to release the recording and meeting minutes of a closed executive session meeting held by the Aurora City Council regarding a motion to censure one of its members. Kadee Rodriguez, Aurora’s records custodian, denied the Sentinel’s request for the recording and any meeting minutes from the March 14, 2022, executive session, and the Sentinel then filed a complaint in trial court, citing alleged violations of the Colorado Open Records Act and Open Meetings Law. The trial court initially ruled that the recording of the executive session should be released, but then granted Rodriguez’s motion to reconsider. The trial court found that a public meeting held two weeks after the executive session clearly identified what took place during the executive session and cured any violation of the Open Meetings Law, prompting the Sentinel to appeal. The appeal argues that the trial court made several errors, including finding that the later, public meeting cured any violation of the Open Meetings Law; by failing to determine whether the City Council took formal action during the executive session; and that the trial court should have found that the Council either waived or destroyed any attorney-client privilege protecting the recording and any minutes of the executive session.
      • 22CA33, The People of the State of Colorado v. Bradley Todd Clark: Bradley Clark was convicted of arson and criminal mischief and sentenced to four years in prison for setting a fire inside a Durango grocery store. He asked the Court of Appeals to review the trial court’s 2021 decision to allow prosecutors to tell the jury trial that Clark had been arrested in 2007 for allegedly setting fire to the contents of a dumpster. Charges from the 2007 incident were later dismissed, but prosecutors asked the jury to consider the incident in determining whether Clark was responsible for the fire in the grocery store. Clark’s appeal argues that the evidence of the 2007 fire should not have been presented to the jury because it violated a court rule governing when evidence of prior bad acts may be admitted as evidence. The appeal also argues that the two incidents were so different that the trial court should not have allowed prosecutors to admit evidence regarding the dumpster fire. Prosecutors argue that the evidence from the 2007 fire helped show why Clark would have set the 2019 fire, showing he had a “specific tendency” toward such acts, and that the probative value of the evidence outweighed any potential prejudice against Clark.

      The two cases to be heard in Breckenridge are: 

      • 22CA2034, John H. Bruce Jr. v. Jonathan Webb, Falcon Fire Protection District and William Yoder: The Falcon Fire District and its chief, Jonathan Webb, asked the Court of Appeals to review a trial court’s decision that a lawsuit alleging that Webb was negligent in his role in a traffic accident could proceed because his actions resulted in a waiver of governmental immunity. Driving to a fire in April 2020, Webb had his SUV’s emergency lights and sirens on when he approached an intersection near Falcon. He slowed as he entered the intersection, and his vehicle was struck near the rear on the passenger side by a vehicle driven by William Yoder. Webb’s SUV spun and hit motorcycle rider John Bruce, who had stopped. Bruce was severely injured and sued the fire district, Webb and Yoder. After a hearing on the district’s and Webb’s motion to dismiss, the trial court concluded they were not entitled to governmental immunity because Webb failed to slow down enough as he approached the stop sign at the intersection. Attorneys for the district and Webb argue in briefs that Webb was not negligent in the way he drove to respond to the fire and that the trial court erred in finding that Webb did not “give due regard to the safety of the community at the time he ran the stop sign” because such regard is not required by law under such circumstances. Attorneys for Bruce argue that the trial court resolved that question in its finding that Webb “failed to slow down as may be necessary for safe operation.”
      • 20CA1717, The People of the State of Colorado v. Maria Laida Day: Maria Laida Day asked the Court of Appeals to review her convictions on charges including second-degree murder in the death of her boyfriend, for which she was sentenced to a total of 35 years in prison. Day’s trial was not held for nearly five years after the incident because she had to be evaluated repeatedly to determine whether she was mentally competent. During the trial, her defense team sought to present expert testimony about her mental condition at the time of the incident in which her boyfriend was fatally injured, but the trial court refused. On appeal, her attorney argues in briefs that the trial court erroneously found that she did not cooperate with a court-ordered mental examination, and that the expert-witness testimony the defense wanted to present could have been admitted only if she had pleaded not guilty by reason of insanity. Prosecutors argue the trial court was correct. Day also asked the Court of Appeals to reverse the trial court’s order that she pay about $13,000 in restitution to the victim’s family, arguing the restitution order was issued after the deadline. Prosecutors argue the defendant waived the restitution deadline.

      Proceedings at Roaring Fork High School, 2270 Highway 133 in Carbondale, will begin at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 7, 2023; proceedings at Summit High School, 16201 Highway 9 in Breckenridge, will begin at 10 a.m. on Thursday, Nov. 9, 2023.

    Question-and-answer sessions, during which the students may ask questions of the attorneys, will follow the arguments in each case. After the second argument at both locations, students also will have the opportunity to participate in a question-and-answer session with the Court of Appeals judges.

    There will be a limited number of seats for the public. Audio recordings from the two arguments will be available online within one to two days of the arguments at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Courts/Court_Of_Appeals/Oral_Arguments/Index.cfm.

  • 10/27/2023 9:31 AM | Deleted user

    The Supreme Court Nominating Commission has nominated six candidates for two vacancies on the Colorado Court of Appeals. The vacancies were created by the retirements of the Honorable John Daniel Dailey and Honorable David Furman. Both vacancies are effective Jan. 1, 2024. The nominees were selected during a meeting in Denver on Oct. 24 and 25, 2023, at the Colorado Supreme Court. They are Pricilla J. Loew of Aurora, Melissa C. Meirink of Castle Pines, Pax Leia Moultrie of Denver, Grant T. Sullivan of Denver, Don Jesse Toussaint of Aurora, and Christopher C. Zenisek of Golden.

    Under the Colorado Constitution, the governor has 15 days from Oct. 25, 2023, within which to appoint two of the nominees as judges on the Colorado Court of Appeals.

    Comments regarding any of the nominees may be sent via e-mail to the governor at gov_judicialappointments@state.co.us


    Editor’s Note: Contact information for the nominees:

    • Priscilla J. Loew, 17 Descombes Dr., Broomfield, CO 80020, 303-654-3269
    • Melissa C. Meirink, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203, 720-625-5406 
    • Pax Leia Moultrie, 520 W. Colfax Ave., Denver, CO 80204, 303-606-2307
    • Grant T. Sullivan, 1300 Broadway, 6th Floor, Denver, CO 80203, 720-508-6349
    • Don Jesse Toussaint, 7325 S. Potomac St., Centennial, CO 80112, 720-935-7663
    • Christopher C. Zenisek. 100 Jefferson County Pkwy, Golden, CO 80401, 720-772-2676


  • 09/22/2023 9:55 AM | Deleted user

    This message is being sent to representatives of local and specialty bar associations around Colorado and to those who have asked to receive information from the Judicial Department regarding judicial vacancies. 

    Please see the attached flyer about a Sept. 28 videoconference panel discussion on the judicial appointment process for the Colorado Court of Appeals, which recently announced two upcoming vacancies. Information on the vacancies may be found here.

    Panelists are Rebecca Freyre, Deputy Chief Judge of the Court of Appeals; Stanton Dodge, member of the Supreme Court Nominating Commission; and Kara Veitch, Chief Legal Counsel for Gov. Jared Polis.

    The panel discussion will run from 4 to 5 p.m. on Sept. 28. Please register here.


  • 09/06/2023 4:50 PM | Deleted user

    The Fourth Judicial District Nominating Commission will meet Nov. 6, 2023, at the El Paso County Courthouse (270 S. Tejon. Street, Colorado Spring, CO, 80903) to interview and select nominees for appointment by the governor to the office of district judge for the Fourth Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties). The vacancy will be created by the retirement of the Honorable Thomas Kane. The vacancy will occur on Jan. 1, 2024.

    To be eligible, the applicant must be a qualified elector of the Fourth Judicial District at the time of investiture and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. The current annual salary for this position is $193,008. The initial term of office of a district judge is a provisional term of two years; thereafter, the incumbent district judge, if approved by the voters, has a term of six years.

    Application forms are available from the office of the ex officio chair of the nominating commission, Justice Monica M. Márquez, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203; and the office of the deputy court executive, Bridget Collins, 719-452-5000. Applications also are available on the court’s home page at http://www.courts.state.co.us/Careers/Judge.cfm

    The completed application must be e-mailed to the address listed in the instructions below no later than 4 p.m. on Sept. 29, 2023. Late applications will not be considered. Any person wishing to suggest a candidate to fill the vacancy may do so by letter to be submitted to any member of the nominating commission, with a copy to the ex officio chair, no later than 4 p.m. on Sept 22, 2023.

    The members of the nominating commission for the 4th Judicial District are: Kathleen Cefus of Divide; Michael Allen of Monument; Stella Hodgkins, Lisa Dailey, C. Onye Ikwaukor, Roland Rainey, and Misty Plowright of Colorado Springs.

    Editor’s Note:  Contact information for the nominating commission members: 


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