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  • 11/07/2023 4:10 PM | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    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


    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 | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    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 | Britt Kwan (Administrator)
    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 | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    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 | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    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 | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    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: 

  • 09/06/2023 2:04 PM | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    The Supreme Court Nominating Commission invites qualified attorneys to apply for two Colorado Court of Appeals vacancies created by the retirements of the Hon. John Daniel Dailey and the Hon. David Furman. Both vacancies will occur on Jan. 1, 2024. The Commission will meet on Oct. 24-25, 2023, to select applicants to interview, to conduct interviews, and to select nominees for appointment by the governor.

    To be eligible for appointment to fill a vacancy, the applicant must be a qualified elector of the State of Colorado and must have been admitted to the practice of law in Colorado for five years. The annual salary for a court of appeals judge is currently $201,312. The initial term of office of a Court of Appeals judge is a provisional term of two years. Thereafter, the incumbent judge, if retained by the voters, has a term of eight years.

    Application forms are available from the office of the ex-officio chair of the Nominating Commission, Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright, 2 E. 14th Ave., Denver, CO 80203; and the office of the court executive of any of the 22 judicial districts. Applications are also available 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 Supreme Court Nominating Commission are: Katina Banks and Ageno Otii of Denver; Peter Gould of Boulder; Lisa Kaufmann of Lyons; Linda Garcia of Pueblo; J. Martelle Daniels of Grand Junction; Deborah Suniga of Greeley; Stanton Dodge of Castle Rock; Paul Wiggins of Peyton; John Suthers of Colorado Springs; Marco Chayet of Centennial; C. Omar Montgomery of Aurora; Heather Lipp and Danielle Radovich Piper, both of Golden; Edwin Perlmutter of Arvada; Kevin Mullin of Greeley; and Jerome DeHerrera of Westminster.

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

  • 08/31/2023 9:25 AM | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    Colorado’s 4th Judicial District (El Paso and Teller counties) will soon launch an eviction diversion program in the El Paso County Court with a grant from the National Center for State Courts (NCSC). 

    The program is designed to provide landlords and tenants with a dispute-resolution process other than court-filed eviction and to help tenants find housing post-eviction when court action is warranted. The program will refer evicted tenants to appropriate community resources to help them avoid future evictions, and will include an effort to keep evicted children in their home schools. 

    The $309,357 grant will fund two positions to execute the program and help the 4thJudicial District form partnerships with legal, financial, and social-service providers to offer alternative solutions to housing problems and promote housing and financial stability.

    “Courts have evolved in recent years from being arbiters of one-time disputes to instead being a forum for long-term problem solving and change-of-life solutions. We have had excellent results with problem-solving courts such as Veterans Trauma Court and Domestic Violence Court. Evictions should be no different. The Court is in a position to connect people with meaningful help,” said Magistrate Andrea Paprzycki, who conceived and will manage the program. “It presents a bottom-up solution to the housing crisis by creating a wide net of helping hands that can help prevent evictions in the first place and restore evicted people to a position of stability.”

    Magistrate Paprzycki, whose division is responsible for all eviction cases in El Paso County – which represents 15 percent of all Colorado eviction cases – said 22 community partners representing a wide variety of services have committed to working with the court on the program, and the court intends to pursue additional partners. 

    The NCSC Eviction Diversion Initiative obtained a grant in 2021 to strengthen eviction diversion efforts in state courts and improve housing stability. During the past year, the initiative enabled courts in Alaska, Indiana, Kansas, Michigan, Nevada, New York, Tennessee, Wisconsin, and the District of Columbia to hire dedicated staff and create eviction diversion programs to connect landlords and tenants with resources that can prevent or mitigate the harm of eviction. 

    The 4th Judicial District is one of 10 jurisdictions nationwide awarded a total of more than $2 million in 2023 to create eviction-diversion programs. For more information on the NCSC grant program, visit https://www.ncsc.org/evictiondiversion.

  • 06/21/2023 1:07 PM | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    Following the May enactment of Chief Justice Directive (CJD) 23-02, which provides Colorado’s trial courts with uniform guidance for livestreaming criminal proceedings, Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Brian D. Boatright today signed CJD 23-03, Virtual Proceedings Policy, to increase access to Colorado’s trial courts through the continued use of virtual proceedings and remote participation.

    The CJD provides Colorado trial court judges with a framework for understanding which proceedings shall be conducted in-person and which ones may allow for virtual appearances. The CJD also preserves the authority of the judicial officer to determine on a case-by-case basis when good cause exists to depart from the directive’s guidance and allow for more flexibility. 

    “The adoption of this policy solidifies a dramatic shift in the manner in which courts have conducted business for hundreds of years by authorizing the use of virtual proceedings which benefit the majority of those involved in court proceedings,” Chief Justice Boatright said. “I am confident this CJD provides the necessary and timely guidance to judicial officers to allow for the continuation of virtual proceedings. I believe it increases statewide consistency in operations, while allowing the judicial districts and trial court judicial officers to maintain discretion over decorum in their courtrooms.”  

    The pandemic caused Colorado’s courts to pivot quickly operationally, leading to the adoption of virtual appearances and live-streamed proceedings. The Judicial Department’s ability to respond quickly to the pandemic rested in the fact that each of the 22 Judicial Districts’ Chief Judges have the authority to adopt local operational policies. With their inherent authority, Chief Judges may also adopt local polices to address the continued use of virtual proceedings in their jurisdictions as resources, needs and demands dictate.  

    The Chief Justice lauded the members of the Virtual Proceedings Committee for their careful consideration of the matter in light of every case type and the perspectives offered by interested third-parties and members of the public.

    “I would like to thank the Virtual Proceedings Committee for navigating these uncharted waters in an incredibly short amount of time in such a comprehensive and thoughtful manner,” Chief Justice Boatright added. “We heard from more than one hundred people when we published the initial draft of the CJD, and most favored the continued use of virtual appearances. Technology such as live streaming allowing for virtual appearances will continue to evolve, and we must evolve with it. I believe this directive strikes the right balance at this time.”

    Chief Justice Directive 23-03, Virtual Proceedings Policy, is effective Aug. 1, 2023, and may be viewed here.

    Chief Justice Directive 23-02, Live Streaming Coverage of Criminal Court Proceedings in the Trial Courts, is already effective, and may be viewed here.

  • 05/25/2023 10:09 AM | Britt Kwan (Administrator)

    Former Colorado Supreme Court Chief Justice Joseph “Joe” R. Quinn died on Thursday, May 18, 2023, at the age of 90. His family shared with the Court that Justice Quinn died peacefully, surrounded by his loved ones. 

    Justice Quinn was appointed to the Court in 1980 and was named chief justice by his colleagues on the Court in 1985. He served as chief justice until his retirement in 1993, although he continued to serve the judiciary as a senior judge into his 80s. Prior to his appointment to the Colorado Supreme Court, Justice Quinn served as a district court judge in Denver beginning in 1973.

    Justice Quinn will be remembered fondly by those he touched in Colorado’s legal community. Justice Carlos A. Samour, Jr., recalled meeting Justice Quinn when he was a senior trial court judge and Justice Samour was a young deputy district attorney trying one of his first cases. 

    “He expected nothing less from the attorneys appearing in front of him than he did of himself. He prepared extensively for every case, whether it was a county court DUI case or a district court felony murder trial,” Justice Samour said. “Those of us who appeared in front of him learned tremendously from his thoughtful preparation, deliberation, and dedication to the rule of law. In my opinion, those of us who had the opportunity to learn from him and strive to achieve his standard of professionalism are better attorneys and judicial officers for it. For that we should all truly be thankful. He was a great jurist and a wonderful human being. May he rest in peace.”

    Justice Samour added that he and Justice Quinn kept in touch over the years and would often get together when Justice Samour was the Chief Judge of the 18th Judicial District and Justice Quinn was on assignment as a senior judge in Arapahoe County.  

    At the age of 18, Justice Quinn enlisted in the United States Marine Corps and fought bravely in the Korean war. After achieving the rank of sergeant and earning an honorable discharge from the Corps, he earned his B.A. at St. Peter’s College and graduated with honors in 1957. He then entered Rutgers Law School and received an LL.B. degree in 1961. 

    Moving west, Justice Quinn began his professional career in Denver in 1961 as legal aide to Chief Justice Leonard V.B. Sutton. He spent four years in private practice before being named one of the first appointees to the Office of the Denver Public Defender in 1966, and then to the Office of the Colorado Public Defender in 1969.  In 1971, he resigned his position to return to private practice, concentrating on criminal defense work.  He was an instructor at the University of Denver College of Law from 1976 to 1982 and was a member of the American and Colorado bar associations.

    A funeral mass will be held for Justice Quinn on June 9, 2023, at 1 p.m. at the Gardens at St. Elizabeth, 2835 W. 32nd Ave., Denver, CO 80211.

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