Eighteenth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Patricia Herron
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Nineteenth Judicial District commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees (10-0) that Chief Judge James F. Hartmann MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hartmann was appointed to the Nineteenth District Court in August 2002 and took the bench on March 1 2003. Prior to his appointment, Judge Hartmann was a Deputy District Attorney for the Weld County District Attorney’s Office for twelve years, with his last three years serving as the Chief Deputy District Attorney. Judge Hartmann received his undergraduate education form the University of Northern Colorado, in Greeley, Colorado and his law degree from the University of Idaho in 1989. Judge Hartmann presides over water and probate cases, and fulfills his responsibilities as Chief Judge of the 19th Judicial District. Judge Hartmann has been active in various committees of importance to the community and has worked to improve the effectiveness and understanding of a multitude of legally related areas, including, service with victims’ rights, community corrections, water, probate, domestic violence, and protection of children. Judge Hartmann has utilized his experience to mentor new Judges, not only in the 19th Judicial District but also throughout the State of Colorado.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hartmann, reviewed opinions authored, observed court proceedings reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation process, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who appeared before Judge Hartmann. A total of 92 attorneys responded and 80 commented on his performance and 72 non-attorneys responded to the surveys with 53 expressing their opinion of Judge Hartmann’s performance. Of those responding 95% responded that Judge Hartmann met performance standards, 2% responded Judge Hartmann did not meet performance standards, and 2% had no opinion as to whether Judge Hartmann met performance standards (Percentages may not total 100% due to rounding).
Judge Hartmann presided primarily over water and probate cases during this term and assisted other Judges with their dockets as needed. Based on the Commission’s review, (as set forth above), the Commission’s overall evaluation is that Judge Hartmann has demonstrated compliance with judicial standards and meets or exceeds performance standards in all categories. While some respondents to the survey were critical of Judge Hartmann these were by far in the minority and the Commission as a whole did not observe any proceedings, or evidence any performance that did not meet the established performance standards. Judge Hartmann received high marks for his interaction with parties in his courtroom and patience with those who appeared before him. While a small percentage responded he sometimes “hurries” cases along in an effort to manage the caseload, the overall responses were very positive. Judge Hartmann is described as being very fair and calm in the courtroom and exhibits an evenhanded presentation of the facts of the cases as well as a sound understanding of the law in his rulings. Judge Hartmann has shown a capability to make legally complicated matters understandable to the lay party in his courtroom and often goes out of his way to explain the legal “technicalities” in such a manner that the untrained can comprehend the issues. Based on these findings the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Hartmann meets judicial performance standards.