Fourteenth Judicial District — Grand, Moffat, and Routt Counties

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Grand County Judicial Center

307 Moffat Street

Hot Sulphur Springs, CO 80451

Telephone: (970) 725-3357

Moffat County Courthouse

221 West Victory Way, Suite 300

Craig, CO 81625

Telephone: (970) 824-8254

Routt County Courthouse

P.O. Box 773117

1955 Shield Drive

Steamboat Springs, CO 80477

Telephone: (970) 879-5020

In 2012 the Equal Justice Foundation began a rating system of justices standing for retention based on the votes of attorneys who submit responses to surveys sent to them by the Judicial Performance Review Commission. The idea was first put forward by the Rocky Mountain News in an October 13, 2002, editorial. Whether a “Retain” or “Do Not Retain” is recommended is based on the criteria:

Retain: More than 85% of attorneys voted to retain;

Marginal: in 2012 the standard was that only 80-85% of attorneys voted to retain. In 2014 review this was broadened to 75-85% and in 2018 the standard was expanded again to 71-85% of attorneys voted to retain;

Do Not Retain: In 2012 the standard was less than 80% of attorneys voted to retain. In 2014 review this was changed to <75% of attorneys voted to retain and in 2018 this was lowered even further to less than or equal <=70% suggesting judicial standards continue to decline.


 
    Table 29: Fourteenth Judicial District Judges

Name of Judge

Telephone

Case Links

Comments

 

District Judge

Shelley A. Hill

Routt Combined Court

(970) 879-5020

 

Appointed district court judge in 2006.

Replaced Paul R. McLimans

Stood for retention in 2008. 95% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2014.

EJF recommendation: Retain

89% of attorneys voted to Retain and only 4% voted Do Not Retain.

Mary C. Hoak

Grand County

(970) 725-3357

 

Promoted to district court judge July 2007.

Appointed county court judge in 2002.

Stood for retention in 2006. 100% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2010. 79% Retain

EJF recommendation: Do Not Retain

Stood for retention again in 2016.

EJF recommendation: Marginal

Very slight improvement with 81% of attorneys voting to Retain, but 14%voted Do Not Retain. She did better as a county judge.

Paul R. McLimans

Moffat County

 

No longer on bench as of December 2007.

Michael A. O'Hara III

Chief Judge

Routt County

(970) 879-5020

 

Appointed August 2003 by Gov. Owens.

Stood for retention in 2006. 81+% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2012.

EJF recommendation: Marginal

85% Retain, 15% Do Not Retain

Poor showing for a chief judge.

Stood for retention again in 2018.

EJF recommendation: Do Not Retain

This time only 67% of attorneys voted to Retain while 19% voted Do Not Retain; an abysmally poor rating for a chief judge.

 

Upheld a man's constitutional rights in a restraining order hearing in March 2004.

Joel S Thompson

Routt County

 

No longer on bench as of December 2007.

 

Appointed district judge in 1994.

Stood for retention in 2002. Not recommended for retention.

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County Judges

Nicholas Catanzarite

Grand County

(970) 725-3357

 

Appointed county court judge by Gov. Hickenlooper in January 2015. Replaced McClelland after he was voted off the bench.

Stood for retention in 2018.

EJF recommendation: Do Not Retain

Only 70% of attorneys voted to Retain while a full 30% voted Do Not Retain.

Sandra Gardner

Moffat County

(970) 824-8254

 

Appointed by Bill Owens in September 2006. Also president of NW Colorado Bar Association and was formerly in private practice. Replaced Mary Lynne James

Stood for retention in 2010. 96% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2014.

EJF recommendation: 93% Retain

Stood for retention again in 2018.

EJF recommendation: Marginal

Only 79% of attorneys voted to Retain while 11% voted Do Not Retain. This is a marked decrease in her rating in 2014.

James H. Garrecht

Routt County

(970) 879-5020

 

Appointed county court judge in 1987.

Stood for retention in 1998. 100% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2002. 100% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2006. 96% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2010. 92% Retain.

Stood for retention in 2014.

EJF recommendation: 92% Retain

Stood for retention again in 2018.

EJF recommendation: Marginal

Slipped to just 85% of attorneys voting to Retain, but only 5% Do Not Retain.

Mary C. Hoak

 

Promoted to district judge in July 2007.

 

Appointed county court judge in 2002.

Stood for retention in 2006. 100% Retain.

Mary Lynne James (Atty)

Moffat County

 

No longer on bench as of February 2007

Ben McClelland

Grand County

 

Received only 47% of vote in 2014 election and was voted off the bench.

(970) 725-3357

No longer on the bench as of January 2015. Voted off!

 

Stood for retention in 2010. Only 69% of attorneys recommended he be retained and the commission split 7-2 on the issue.

Stood for retention in 2014.

EJF recommendation: Do Not Retain

Only 56% of attorneys voted to Retain and 32% voted Do Not Retain. The commission voted 6 to 4 that he not be retained. He was described “as arrogant, defensive, impatient, and lacking appropriate judicial demeanor.”

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Last modified 10/15/18.