Fifth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Catherine J. Cheroutes
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fifth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously agrees by a vote of 10-0 that Judge Catherine J. Cheroutes 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 Cheroutes is a District Court Judge in the Fifth Judicial District sitting in Clear Creek County (Georgetown) and Lake County (Leadville). She was appointed to the bench in February 2019 and now handles a mixed docket encompassing all manner of cases from adoptions to complex criminal matters. The Commission evaluated Judge Cheroutes and finds that she is conscientious, respected by her peers, demonstrates care for litigants and honors the profession. She shows deep awareness of the seriousness and, at times, challenging nature of the decisions she must make and convey and works to deliver it thoughtfully. Judge Cheroutes displayed high levels of care and expresses passion for her work. She actively engages in continuing education, mentorship opportunities, and regularly reviews source material. Judge Cheroutes is skilled in the areas of legal knowledge and legal writing. Additionally, she effectively manages diverse dockets in two different counties and on schedule. Judge Cheroutes strives to maintain balance in her courtroom, readily adapting to the needs of litigants.
In its evaluation of Judge Cheroutes, the Commission reviewed all available survey responses (52 attorney and 41 non-attorneys), conducted interviews with the Judge and the Chief Judge, interviewed other District stakeholders, reviewed written opinions, and a self-evaluation. Judge Cheroutes scored below her district judge peers from non-attorney respondents, but her scores from attorneys and appellate judges were close to or equal to her district judge peers. Some non-attorneys expressed in survey responses that they occasionally perceived her temperament to be somewhat dismissive and that her delivery of information in high conflict matters is not always successful; however, many of the survey responses express positive remarks in the same areas. Based on the breadth of material reviewed, and on Judge Cheroutes’ demonstrated dedication to continuing education and the clear pride she takes in her work, the Commission is confident in her continued service. The Commission concludes that Judge Cheroutes has taken effective action and demonstrated sufficient responsiveness to the non-attorney concerns on record and that she has done so with professionalism, openness, and humility.
Judge Cheroutes is a Denver native who graduated from Manual High School in 1986. After graduating from Franklin & Marshall College in 1990 she returned to Colorado to attend the University of Colorado School of Law, graduating in 1993. After a short time in private practice and working as a consultant, she worked for the District Attorney’s Office in the Fifth Judicial District for almost five years, until leaving in late 2002. After brief stints with a few firms, Judge Cheroutes opened her own family law practice in 2006. In addition to her representation of parties in domestic relations cases, she acted as a Court Family Investigator, Child’s Legal Representative, and mediator as well as a Guardian ad Litem in Dependency and Neglect cases. She skis, bikes, hikes, plays tennis and cooks in her free time.