Third Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Jesse Manzanares
Retention Year: 1990
Judicial Performance Commission’s recommendation: Should Be Retained.
Judge Manzanares was appointed by Gov. Roy Romer in his current position as district judge, southern division, of the Third Judicial District on Aug. 18, 1987. Manzanares took office Oct. 1, 1987. He also serves as chief judge of the Third Judicial District which includes Huerfano and Las Animas counties.
Manzanares is married and the father of three college-age boys. He and his wife, Kathryn, reside in Trinidad.
Manzanares was born and raised in Las Animas County. He attended elementary school in the Morely coal town, high school at Holy Trinity in Trinidad, and attended Trinidad State Junior College. He graduated from Colorado College in 1962, earned a Master’s Degree in educational administration in 1969 from New Mexico Highlands University, and taught high school for several years before attending law school.
Manzanares attended the University of Denver College of Law, and graduated in December 1969.
Manzanares engaged in private law practice for nine years and served as a law professor and associate dean of the University of Denver College of Law for eight years.
In private law practice, Manzanares worked primarily in the areas of personal injury, municipal law, and real estate law. While serving as a law professor, he taught the following law subjects: torts, civil procedure, evidence, legal ethics, federal jurisdiction, trial tactics, and municipal law. Manzanares has long been active in numerous professional, community, and civic organizations.
As chief judge of the Third Judicial District, Manzanares presides over all civil, criminal, domestic, probate, and juvenile cases that are filed in Las Animas County. He also handles a limited number of cases in Huerfano and Otero counties at times when the district judge normally assigned is disqualified. Manzanares is periodically assigned by the chief justice of the Colorado Supreme Court to hear and try civil and criminal trials in Arapahoe and El Paso counties.
The Judicial Evaluation Committee assigned to evaluate the performance of Manzanares gathered information about his performance from attorneys, litigants, jurors, and other people who have regular contact with his court. The results of our evaluation were overwhelmingly supportive of the judicial performance of Manzanares. He is generally viewed by his evaluators as a judge who is diligent in his work ethic and a fair and impartial decision maker.