Second Judicial District - Denver County Court Judge
Honorable Chelsea Malone
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Second Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees by a vote of 9-0, with one Commissioner absent from voting, that Judge Chelsea Malone MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Malone presides over a criminal docket in Denver County Court. Judge Malone meets all aspects of the judicial performance criteria and writes in a clear, concise, and well-reasoned manner. She is described in survey results as professional and knowledgeable in the law. Commission members observed these qualities, as well as good demeanor, during their evaluation and interview. Judge Malone met the Court’s benchmark for completing 80% of cases within 360 days. The Commission did not identify any evaluation category in which Judge Malone displayed a notable weakness.
The Commission met with the Presiding Judge of Denver County Court, as well as with members of the Public Defender’s Office and Probation Department, to discuss their impressions of Judge Malone’s performance. The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Malone, observed her during court proceedings and reviewed decisions she authored, case management data, comments received from interested parties, and judicial performance survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys that self-reported they had sufficient interaction with Judge Malone in the courtroom to meaningfully respond. The surveys reflected personal opinions on Judge Malone’s Case Management, Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor, and Fairness. Of the four attorneys and 22 non-attorneys who completed the survey and reported they had sufficient knowledge of Judge Malone’s performance to evaluate her, 100% of the attorneys and 85% of the non-attorneys believe that she meets performance standards. Judge Malone’s combined (attorney and non-attorney survey scores are above average for county court judges in the categories of Application and Knowledge of the Law, Communications, Diligence, Demeanor and Fairness, and her score for Case Management is near the average. As a result of procedural irregularities in the distribution of these surveys, the response rates for the 2022 survey were not as robust as compared to prior evaluation cycles. While the Commission used these survey results in its evaluation, limited weight was given to these survey results and the results were used in conjunction with several other tools to evaluate her performance. The overall data reviewed by the Commission supports the recommendation that Judge Malone be retained.
Mayor Hancock appointed Judge Malone in July 2016. She earned her law degree from the University of Denver and her undergraduate degree from the University of Wyoming. Prior to her appointment, Judge Malone was a solo practitioner specializing in criminal defense. She began her career as a Public Defender. She is a member of the Colorado Criminal Rules Committee and a board member of the Asian Pacific American Bar Association’s Community Outreach Committee and the Colorado Bar Association’s Criminal Law Executive panel.