Second Judicial District - Denver County Judge
Honorable Chelsea Malone
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Chelsea Malone MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Malone was appointed to the Denver County Court in April 2016. Prior to her appointment, she was in private practice in Denver and previously served as a Deputy State Public Defender in Denver. Judge Malone graduated from the University of Wyoming and received her law degree from the University of Denver. During the past two years, Judge Malone has presided over traffic court and the civil protection docket.
To reach its decision, the Commission reviewed survey results and comments from people who have appeared in Judge Malone’s courtroom including attorneys, non-attorneys, law enforcement personnel, defendants, litigants and witnesses. The Commission also conducted an in-person interview with Judge Malone, reviewed her self-evaluation and some members of the Commission observed Judge Malone in court. Additionally, the Commission reviewed several of Judge Malone’s written and oral opinions. Among the survey questions was “based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Malone meets performance standards?” Survey feedback from 38 respondents rated Judge Malone favorably with 92% finding she meets performance standards. This includes 100% of the attorneys and 85% of the non-attorneys while 3% had no opinion and only 6% answered no, does not meet performance standards. Attorneys rated Judge Malone’s performance significantly higher than all county judges standing for retention.
Judge Malone has been described by attorneys as “intelligent, capable and efficient” and “one of the fairest, kindest, judges on the bench” with “ideal judicial temperament including patience.” Members of the Commission who observed Judge Malone in court noted that she strives to take the time to treat each person with dignity and respect. Even though she is a relatively new to the bench, Judge Malone has taken on larger projects to improve the justice system including drafting the Denver County Court’s first comprehensive traffic bench book and a bench book for civil protection orders. These bench books provide an overview of legal procedures and have been distributed to other counties as a model. Judge Malone also participates in community service projects to stay connected to those she serves. For all these reasons the Commission unanimously concluded Judge Malone meets performance standards.