Thirteenth Judicial District - Washington County Judge
Honorable Kelly S. Hansen
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Thirteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees (8-0, with two members absent) that Judge Kelly S. Hansen MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hansen was appointed Washington County Court Judge in the fall of 2016. As a part-time judge, she continues to work as an attorney in private practice, where she handles real estate, estate planning, probate, and business matters. Over the years, Judge Hansen has also served surrounding communities in a variety of capacities, including as municipal court judge, city/town attorney, and prosecutor. Judge Hansen earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in political science in 2000 from Colorado State University, where she graduated cum laude and was a member of the Honors Program. In December of 2002, she earned her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver College of Law, where she was Staff Editor of the University of Denver Law Review and a Marshall in Phi Alpha Delta Law Fraternity.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hansen, reviewed a sampling of her written rulings, observed her in court, and reviewed comments and responses from a survey of individuals familiar with Judge Hansen. Of those who completed the survey, 2 attorney and 11 non-attorney respondents indicated that they had worked with her enough to evaluate her performance. The Commission placed limited weight upon the survey results due to the small sample size. When asked if Judge Hansen meets performance standards, the responses were as follows: 50% of the 2 attorney respondents said “yes”, 50% had “no opinion; 90% of the 11 non-attorney respondents said “yes”, 10% had “no opinion”.
Judge Hansen’s County Court docket consists of primarily of traffic and misdemeanor cases, as well as some civil and small claims matters. Based upon the Commission’s overall evaluation, Judge Hansen has demonstrated that she meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories (integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and public). In observations, Commissioners noted Judge Hansen’s efforts to make sure individuals who appeared before her without an attorney understood the process and what they needed to do next. Survey comments emphasized Judge Hansen’s moral integrity, commitment to the community, and willingness to perform additional research prior to making a decision. Some comments noted that the Judge tends to speak too quickly, a habit Judge Hansen acknowledged she was working on in her interview. Written opinions evidenced Judge Hansen’s knowledge of the law and effective communication skills. All available information suggests Judge Hansen is an asset to the community both on and off the bench, and the Commission unanimously agreed that she meets performance standards.