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Enichen, Carolyn 1998 Evaluation


Twentieth Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Carolyn Hoye Enichen 

Retention Year: 1998
Recommendation: Retain


The Twentieth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends Judge Carolyn Hoye Enichen BE RETAINED. The Commission was divided in its decision.

Judge Enichen was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1985. After serving 7 years as a Deputy District Attorney in the Boulder County District Attorney's Office, and one year as a Magistrate, Judge Enichen was appointed to the Boulder County Court in 1995.

As a judge in county court, Judge Enichen experiences a high volume of misdemeanor and traffic cases (including DUI offenses) as well as felony preliminary hearings. She also handles civil cases where the dollar amount contested is less than $10,000.

In arriving at this recommendation that Judge Enichen be retained, the Judicial Performance Commission reviewed results and comments from surveys submitted to attorneys, court personnel, law enforcement officials and jurors familiar with Judge Enichen. Additional information was obtained from comments at a public hearing, from observation of Judge Enichen in her courtroom, a personal interview and from unsolicited letters.

Judge Enichen was found to be efficient in managing her docket and fair in her treatment of parties regardless of their gender, appearance, lifestyle, personal views or socio-economic status. She is routinely prepared for all court matters and issues written decisions in a timely fashion. She is conscientious, dedicated to the improvement of the judicial system and knowledgeable of the law and its application.

Areas of concern to Commission members include comments and survey results indicating an appearance of judicial arrogance and lack of courtesy toward some attorneys participating in her courtroom. Judge Enichen was surprised by these comments, unsure of their basis and noted it has not been her intention to be arrogant or discourteous to anyone.

The Judicial Performance Commission recognizes the professional growth of judges and realizes that Judge Enichen is completing her first term as a Boulder County Judge.

Based on a random sampling of 37 attorneys, 19 responded to questionnaires. A total of 11 attorneys or 57.9% favored retention; 5 attorney respondents or 26.3% favored not retaining Judge Enichen; and 3 attorneys or 15. 8% gave no opinion as to her retention. Of a random sampling of fifteen court and probation employees, nine responded. Of those employees responding 3 or 33.3% recommended retention of Judge Enichen, 1 or 11.1% had no opinion as to retention and 5 or 55.6% indicated she should not be retained. Thirty-two litigants were surveyed with only two responding. Both favored retention. Based upon a random sampling of 132 law enforcement employees with 35 valid responses, 28 or 80% indicated Judge Enichen should be retained, 6 or 16.7% had no opinion as to retention and 1 or 2.9% indicated that she should not be retained. Nineteen jurors were surveyed, with five responding. All 5 responding jurors, or 100%, indicated Judge Enichen should be retained.

Judge Enichen expressed concern about the sample size and small return rate in several categories of her survey results. The Judicial Performance Commission shares in this concern and urges caution in drawing broad generalizations from those categories with small survey sample sizes or return rates.