Twelfth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Martin A. Gonzales
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends, with two recusals, that Judge Martin A. Gonzales BE RETAINED.
Judge Gonzales has served as a Judge in the Twelfth Judicial District since January 9, 2001. Judge Gonzales was appointed to the Bench as the Alamosa County Court Judge where he served until his appointment as a District Court Judge on August 7, 2007. Prior to his appointment to the Alamosa County Court, Judge Gonzales served as a Juvenile Magistrate, appointed on January 1, 1997. Judge Gonzales is a 1975 graduate of the University of Colorado. He received his law degree from the University of Colorado in 1978 and was admitted to the Colorado Bar that same year. Judge Gonzales displays a penchant for self-development through continued education and learning. Judge Gonzales remains committed to the community, where his efforts are focused on the betterment of youth and youth activities throughout the San Luis Valley.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Gonzales, read opinions he issued, observed him in court, and reviewed surveys sent to appellate court judges, attorneys, and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Gonzales. Among the survey questions was, “How strongly do you recommend that Judge Gonzales be retained in office, or not retained in office?” Of attorneys completing the survey, 94% recommended retention and 6% recommended not to retain. Of non-attorneys completing the survey, 75% recommended retention, 16% recommended not to retain, and 8 % made no recommendation regarding retention. A total of 18 attorneys and 24 non-attorneys completed judicial performance surveys regarding Judge Gonzales.
For the last three years, Judge Gonzales has presided over significantly more civil and probate matters, and less criminal cases, than in previous years. His current workload is forty percent civil, thirty percent juvenile, and thirty percent probate. Based on the survey results of appellate court judges and of attorneys, Judge Gonzales received an overall rating which exceeded the average combined rating of all district court judges standing for retention. Of the non-attorneys surveyed, Judge Gonzales received an overall combined average rating which was slightly below the average combined rating of all district court judges standing for retention. Judge Gonzales was applauded by attorneys for being fair and for his willingness to take the necessary time to hear cases. His case management skills were described as superb and his demeanor as respectful. With regard to bias, 100% of the attorneys who responded to the survey said that Judge Gonzales was “completely neutral.” Among non-attorney respondents, Judge Gonzales scored significantly lower than the average rating of all district court judges standing for retention in the areas of his sense of compassion for litigants, treatment of unrepresented parties, and in being understandable. Judge Gonzales received higher than average ratings, however, in the category of maintaining control over proceedings. Many non-attorney respondents commented that Judge Gonzales runs an efficient courtroom and is very knowledgeable in the law.