Twelfth Judicial District - Rio Grande County Court Judge
Honorable Patrick Hayes
Retention Year: 2014
The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a unanimous vote that Judge Patrick Hayes BE RETAINED.
Judge Hayes was appointed to the Rio Grande County Court in 2011. He attended the Oklahoma City University School of Law where he graduated summa cum laude. He was admitted to the Oklahoma Bar in 1994 and the Colorado Bar in 1995. Judge Hayes began his legal career as an Assistant District Attorney in the Oklahoma County DA’s office. Upon moving to the Valley, Judge Hayes served as a deputy district attorney and Chief Deputy District Attorney. He served as the Juvenile Magistrate for Rio Grande County in 2001 and 2002, and was the municipal magistrate in Creede for four years. Judge Hayes was also in private practice with a primary emphasis in criminal defense. In addition to his present duties on the County Bench, Judge Hayes serves as the Water Referee in the Water Division 3.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hayes, reviewed opinions he issued, observed him in court, and reviewed surveys sent to attorneys and non-attorneys. Among the survey questions was, “How strongly do you recommend that Judge Hayes be retained in office, or not retained in office?” Of attorneys responding to the survey, 87% recommended to retain, 0% not to retain, and 13% made no recommendation regarding retention. Of non-attorneys responding to the survey, 90% recommended to retain, 5% recommended not to retain, and 5%made no recommendation regarding retention.
Judge Hayes has presided over civil, criminal, and traffic cases at the county court level. Based on the survey results of attorneys, Judge Hayes received an overall rating which exceeded the average combined rating of all county court judges standing for retention. Of the non-attorneys surveyed, Judge Hayes received an overall combined average rating which was slightly below the average combined rating of all county court judges standing for retention. Judge Hayes received high marks in case management, application and knowledge of the law, communication, and demeanor. Judge Hayes has been described as knowledgeable, fair-minded, attentive and courteous by both attorneys and non-attorneys responding to the surveys. Overwhelmingly, attorneys and non-attorneys alike expressed that Judge Hayes is not only an educated and knowledgeable judge, he is approachable as well. Based on courtroom observations and Judge Hayes’ interview, this Commission agrees with those comments.