Eighteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Harold Clayburn Hurst
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance finds, by a vote of 7-0 (with three Commissioners not participating), that Judge Harold Clayburn Hurst MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Hurst currently sits in Lincoln County presiding over all District Court matters and splits his assignment in Douglas County presiding over the Probate, Mental Health and Juvenile Docket. Judge Hurst is strong in all judicial performance criteria areas- case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, diligence, fairness, and particularly demeanor. Judge Hurst consistently displays a calm temperament and respectful demeanor, described as being compassionate, fair, knowledgeable, and well intentioned. Survey participants consistently remarked on Judge Hurst’s strengths, especially noting his knowledge of law and experience. Across the board, the feedback on Judge Hurst’s performance is exceptional and highly favorable. The 2022 Judicial Performance Survey for Judge Hurst received seventy-nine (79) responses; Judge Hurst achieved an overall performance rating of 3.8, compared to all District Court Judges at a rating 3.4. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agrees that Judge Hurst meets judicial performance standards.
The Commission met with Chief Judge Michelle Amico to discuss her interactions with Judge Hurst and the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Probation Department for feedback on Judge Hurst’s performance. The Commission personally interviewed Judge Hurst and reviewed his written self-evaluation. Members also observed Judge Hurst in court and reviewed 2022 Judicial Performance Survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys. Among the survey questions was, "Based on your responses to the previous questions related to the performance evaluation criteria, do you think Judge Hurst meets judicial performance standards?" Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 100% answered yes, meets performance standards. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 95% answered yes, meets performance standards.
Judge Hurst previously served 7 years as a District Magistrate for the 18th Judicial District handling domestic relations, criminal, civil, probate and mental health dockets. In October 2020 he was awarded Judicial Officer of the Year for the State of Colorado. He is a native of Colorado, graduated from Metropolitan State College and received his Juris Doctor Degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law in 1996. Prior to being appointed to the Bench he was in private practice, specializing in Family Law, Juvenile, Probate, Civil matters and was a municipal prosecutor for 15 years. In addition, from 2004-2018 he served as a Board of Trustee, Mayor Pro-tem and two terms as Mayor for the Town of Elizabeth. In 2018 he was appointed by the Justice of the Colorado State Supreme Court to the Supreme Court Probate Rules Committee and is serving his second term on that committee. He also serves on the Probate Advisory Workgroup which advises the Supreme Court Probate Rules and Forms Committee. He is a Bar Fellow of the Colorado Bar Foundation which promotes the advancement of jurisprudence and provides grants to improve access to justice and legal services and volunteers to speak at Continuing Education sessions.