Eighteenth Judicial District - Douglas County Judge
Honorable Susanna Meissner-Cutler
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) recommends that Judge Susanna Meissner-Cutler MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Meissner-Cutler was appointed to the Douglas County Court in 1995. Prior to her appointment, she was an attorney specializing in civil litigation. She received her law degree from the University of Denver in 1986 after earning a bachelor’s degree in nursing from the University of Colorado Health Sciences Center. In 2012 Judge Meissner-Cutler received the Colorado Judicial Institute Judicial Excellence Award, and this year received the Greco Award in recognition of exemplary leadership and achievement as a county court judge. She is actively involved in “Our Courts”, an organization that educates the public about the judicial system.
The Commission conducted a personal interview, reviewed opinions that the judge authored, observed her in court, and reviewed surveys sent to attorneys and non-attorneys. Among the questions asked was, “based on your responses related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Meissner-Cutler meets judicial performance standards?” Of the attorneys responding, 89% answered yes, meets performance standards, 6% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 6% had no opinion (these percentages do not equal 100% due to rounding). Of the non-attorneys responding, 87% answered yes, meets performance standards, 10% answered no, does not meet performance standards, and 3% had no opinion. Eighteen attorneys and 60 non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance survey expressing their opinion of Judge Meissner-Cutler’s performance.
Judge Meissner-Cutler is the presiding county court judge for the Eighteenth Judicial District. She has worked successfully to institute a new management system for the small claims docket. Judge Meissner-Cutler has presided over the civil and felony dockets and recently transitioned to a traffic and misdemeanor docket. Based on the survey results, she receives above average scores for all performance criteria, including case management, application and knowledge of the law, communication, demeanor and diligence. She is described by participants in her courtroom as “hard-working,” ”fair-minded,” “calm” and “respectful.” Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Meissner-Cutler meets performance standards.