Eighteenth Judicial District - Arapahoe County Court Judge
Honorable Cheryl Rowles-Stokes
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 Cheryl Rowles-Stokes 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 Rowles-Stokes presides over a diverse docket in Arapahoe County, including civil, misdemeanor and traffic cases. Judge Rowles-Stokes is described as being calm, fair and having compassion for those appearing in front of her. Survey participants consistently remarked on Judge Rowles-Stokes’ strengths of demeanor, fairness, knowledge of the law; however, a few concerns were expressed about inconsistent rulings. The Commission commends Judge Rowles-Stokes’ work. The 2022 Judicial Performance Survey for Judge Rowles-Stokes received forty-nine (49) responses; Judge Rowles-Stokes achieved an overall performance rating of 3.1 of a possible 4.0, compared to all County Judges at a rating 3.4. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agrees that Judge Rowles-Stokes meets judicial performance standards.
The Commission met with Chief Judge Michelle A. Amico to discuss her interactions with Judge Rowles-Stokes, as well as the District Attorney’s Office, Public Defender’s Office, Probation Department for feedback on Judge Rowles-Stokes’ performance. The Commission personally interviewed Judge Rowles-Stokes and reviewed her written self-evaluation. Members also observed Judge Rowles-Stokes 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 Rowles-Stokes meets judicial performance standards?" Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 81% answered yes, meets performance standards. Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 76% answered yes, meets performance standards. Seventy-nine individuals responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinions of Judge Rowles-Stokes’ performance.
Prior to joining the court, Judge Rowles-Stokes was a Chief Deputy District Attorney for the Eighteenth Judicial District Attorney, the Vice President of Human Resources for High Speed Access Corp., and the Director of Human Resources and Legal for Rifkin & Associates. She earned her undergraduate degree from Colorado Christian University in Human Resources Management, a master’s degree from Jones International University in Business Communications, and her law degree from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. When not on the bench, Judge Rowles-Stokes dedicates a significant amount of her free time serving the community as a board member of the Sam Cary Scholarship Endowment Fund (which awards scholarships to African American students at the University of Colorado and University of Denver Schools of Law) and enjoying life with her family (especially her eight grandchildren) and friends.