Thirteenth Judicial District - District Judge
Honorable Charles M. Hobbs
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 Charles M. Hobbs MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hobbs has been a District Court Judge since 2009. Immediately prior to his appointment, he served for 2 years as a part-time Municipal Court Judge for the City of Fort Morgan and operated a solo law practice in Fort Morgan for 13 years, where he focused on criminal defense, bankruptcy, and other civil matters. Judge Hobbs earned an undergraduate degree in political science from Fort Lewis College in 1981 and his law degree from the University of Denver, College of Law in 1988. He is a lifelong Colorado resident, and was born in and graduated from high school in Fort Morgan.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Hobbs, reviewed a sampling of his written rulings, observed him in court, and reviewed comments and responses from a survey of individuals familiar with Judge Hobbs. Of those who completed the survey, 24 attorney and 64 non-attorney respondents indicated that they had worked with him enough to evaluate his performance. When asked if Judge Hobbs meets performance standards, the responses were as follows: of the 24 attorneys, 83% said “yes”, 8% said “no”, and 8% had “no opinion; of the 64 non-attorneys, 87% said “yes”, 8% said “no”, and 5% had “no opinion”.
Judge Hobbs’ docket consists of primarily of criminal, juvenile, civil, and domestic relations cases, as well as some mental health and probate matters. Overall, the Commission found that Judge Hobbs meets or exceeds performance standards. Survey scores, comments, courtroom observations, and a review of Judge Hobbs’ written opinions all reflected particular strength in the areas of knowledge and application of the law, fairness, integrity, and demeanor. Survey scores and comments in the areas of communications, diligence, and administrative case management were more mixed. In particular, the Commission did note deficiencies in the following areas: beginning court on time, issuing timely written orders, and administrative case management. The Commission raised these concerns in its interview with Judge. The Commission also encouraged Judge Hobbs to reconsider how his nonverbal communication may be interpreted by others in the courtroom based upon some survey comments and observations that raised that issue. It was of importance to the Commission that Judge Hobbs was receptive to this feedback, acknowledged areas where he could improve, and took accountability. He recognized the need to develop and implement better administrative workflows and controls, and to better utilize court staff, to improve his performance in these areas. It is evident that the Judge takes his job seriously and appreciates the gravity, responsibility, and privilege of his position. The Commission is satisfied that Judge Hobbs is willing and able to make improvements in these areas over the next term, should he be retained, and can state without hesitation that, despite the need for improvement in these areas, Judge Hobbs is unquestionably an asset to the Thirteenth Judicial District.