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Hearn, Kathleen 1998 Evaluation


Tenth Judicial District - Pueblo County Court Judge

Honorable Kathleen K. Hearn

Retention Year: 1998
Recommendation: Retain


The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends, not unanimously, that Judge Kathleen K. Hearn BE RETAINED.

Judge Hearn was appointed to the Pueblo County Court on December 18, 1995. As a County Court Judge, Judge Hearn presides over preliminary felony hearings, misdemeanor criminal cases, traffic cases, restraining order requests and handles cases where the amount in dispute is less than $10,000.

A survey was conducted to evaluate the performance of Judge Hearn. Questionnaires were distributed to law enforcement personnel, litigants, court personnel, jurors, and attorneys who have been involved in court proceedings before Judge Hearn.

The Commission also held a public hearing and conducted interviews with representatives from the Probation Department, Department of Social Services, Public Defender's office, District Attorney's office, the Pueblo County Bar Association, the District Court Clerk's office and Arkansas Valley-Pikes Peak Legal Services. The Pueblo County Sheriff and City of Pueblo Police Chief were also interviewed. Of those responding, 85.7% of the attorneys, 77.8% of the Court personnel, 100% of the litigants, 100% of the law enforcement personnel and 100% of the jurors recommended that Judge Hearn be retained.

Some of the responses to the survey and those interviewed suggested that Judge Hearn needs to render written decisions more quickly and at times hands down sentences that are too lenient for criminal defendants. It was urged that Judge Hearn be more stern with repeat offenders and probation violators. Some of the responses also suggested that Judge Hearn could utilize her staff better and delegate her workload more evenly. The overwhelming majority of the responses, however, praised Judge Hearn for her hard work, fair and even handed demeanor on the bench and control of her courtroom. Most responses and persons interviewed praised Judge Hearn for her approachability, awareness of domestic violence issues, patience with litigants who are not represented by attorneys and docket management.