Fourth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Jessica Curtis
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance finds District Court Judge Jessica Curtis, by a vote of 5-0 (with 5 commissioners absent), MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS. The Colorado statutory judicial performance standards are integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public.
Judge Curtis presides over a docket that is 50% Criminal and 50% Juvenile. The Juvenile docket was identified in many aspects of our research as the most challenging in the courthouse. Throughout her review, attorneys and non-attorneys alike recognized her as educated, prepared, compassionate, calm, respectful and cheery. Her neutrality, and inherent fairness were also emphasized. She is clearly dealing with extremely difficult circumstances in her cases with the dignity and thoughtfulness appropriate for the situation. She was identified on more than one occasion as a “superstar.” The members found Judge Curtis exhibits exemplary knowledge, demeanor, organization and application of the law. While consistently in charge of the proceedings, she is approachable and willing to explain and guide, not simply rule.
The commission’s decision was based on an interview, Judge Curtis’ self-evaluation, survey results and additional interviews with the Chief Judge, Public Defender and District Attorney. Multiple members of the commission observed her in the courtroom both in person and via Webex video conference, and her written rulings were reviewed. Her survey results showed an overall grade of 3.6, with the average of all other judges at 3.4. Her recommendations for retention were 89% and 85% from Attorneys and Non-Attorneys respectively, with averages for all district Judges at 83% and 79%.
Outside her Judicial duties, Judge Curtis volunteers as a presenter for the Judicially Speaking program at local schools and participates as a mock trial judge and Teen Court judge. She is currently co-chair of the 4th Judicial District’s Minority Over Representation Subcommittee which focuses on data and community dialogue regarding disproportionality issues within the juvenile court system. Judge Curtis was elevated to the District Court in July 2019 and previously served as a County Court judge for El Paso County since 2017. She was a magistrate for the 4th Judicial District (2011-2017); a partner at Hoffecker & Curtis, L.L.P. (2010-2011); an attorney in the Office of the Guardian Ad Litem (2005-2010); and a deputy state public defender in Colorado Springs (2003-2005). She earned her undergraduate degree from the University of Colorado, Boulder in 2000, and her J.D. from the University of Colorado School of Law in 2003. The commission encourages her to be retained and hopes she will continue to serve our community for many years.