The El Paso County Bar Association

Proudly Serving the Pikes Peak Region Since 1902


NEW! Civil Judge Bench Trial Program

11 Aug 2020 8:05 AM | Anonymous
  1. This is a temporary program designed to provide the parties with an alternative to a jury trial setting during the pandemic.  The program does not apply to situations in which the parties are not entitled to a jury trial, nor to situations in which neither party has requested a jury trial.
  2. All parties and the originally assigned judge must agree to use the program.  The court or any party may request to utilize the program, provided all parties agree to waive their right to a jury trial.
  3. Once the court and the parties agree to use the program, each litigant will fill out the attached form by placing a check next to the name of each judicial officer the litigant is willing to have hear the case in a court trial.  Once completed, the litigants will deliver the form to the originally assigned judge. 
  4. If there are common name(s) on both lists, the originally assigned judge will designate the mutually agreed upon judicial officer who will hear the case. If there is more than one common judicial officer, the originally assigned judge will designate which judge will hear the case. 
  5. The mutually agreed upon judicial officer will be promptly notified of the selection and will have the opportunity to accept or decline to hear the case based upon conflicts or workload.  If the judicial officer agrees to hear the case, the parties will promptly report to that judicial officer for setting of the court trial.  If the judicial officer declines to hear the case, and there was another mutually agreeable judicial officer on the completed form, the originally assigned judge will restart the process with the next mutually agreed upon judicial officer.
  6. If there is no common judicial officer designated by the parties, the case will return to the jury trial calendar of the originally assigned judge.
  7. Even if a judicial officer is not participating as a judge willing to accept cases for the program, that judicial officer may nevertheless elect to utilize the program in his/her division.
  8. Presently, the program is only available in district court civil cases.
  9. Any judicial officer may agree to hear bench trials.  If selected, a magistrate or county court judge will need specific authorization from the Chief Judge to hear the case.


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