Fourth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Marla Prudek
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance voted 5-1 with 4 absent that Judge Marla Prudek 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 Prudek’s docket includes 50% civil, 49% domestic relations and 1% criminal. (Prior to April 2022 she had a 50% criminal docket and no civil.) Judge Prudek is described as smart, prepared, professional, consistent, and fair. She is knowledgeable about the law and applies the law appropriately. Judge Prudek’s overall combined performance score on the 2022 Judicial Performance Survey was 2.8 out of 4.0, lower than the average score of 3.4 for all District Court Judges. 83% of attorneys and 35% of non-attorneys stated that Judge Prudek meets judicial performance standards. In most categories Judge Prudek scored 3.2 or above on a 4.0 scale from attorneys. Her scores from attorneys were generally higher than in the 2016 survey. Judge Prudek’s scores from non-attorneys were lower than the average for all district court judges. Several of the non-attorney comments appear to reflect the decisions she made in domestic relations cases. It is noted that these 2022 non-attorney comments are markedly different from her non-attorney scores in 2016, when she received an overall score of 3.79 out of 4.0 from non-attorneys. She did not have a domestic relations docket when the 2016 survey was conducted.
The Commission interviewed Judge Prudek, observed her in Court, and reviewed her self-evaluation, written opinions, and the 2022 survey data. The Commission also spoke with representatives of the District Attorney’s Office and the Public Defender’s Office. In her interview with the Commission Judge Prudek acknowledged the low scores from non-attorneys. She believes they are likely the result of her domestic relations caseload which has a large number of self-represented parties. Judge Prudek takes these scores seriously and intends to regain the high ratings from non-attorneys that she had in the past. She currently explains the process of trial to self-represented parties at the pre-trial conferences. Judge Prudek will issue oral and written rulings in domestic relations cases that provide more clarity as to her fact finding and her reasoning. She will obtain advice on best practices when dealing with self-represented parties from a mentor judge. These steps will help her identify any implicit biases she may have and allow her the time to use language that is clear and written with the perspective of the losing party in mind.
Judge Prudek was appointed to the District Court in November 2012. She obtained her law degree from the University of Puget Sound School of Law in 1986. She was a Deputy District Attorney in El Paso County from 1989-1991. After she left the district attorney’s office she was in private practice and specialized in criminal defense. She believes community involvement is important. She supports the Pikes Peak Range Riders Foundation that benefits children.