Nineteenth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Kimberly B. Schutt
Retention Year: 2022
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Nineteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance finds that the Honorable Kimberly B. Schutt Meets Performance Standards. Four members voted Judge Schutt "does meet performance standards", four voted "does not meet performance standards", one commissioner was absent, and one recused. Without a majority of members finding that Judge Schutt does not meet performance standards, the Commission finds that the Judge Schutt MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Schutt presides over a District Court courtroom where the vast majority of her cases are domestic relations matters, including divorce and parental responsibility. After interviewing Judge Schutt, reviewing her work, and assessing feedback from attorneys and non-attorneys, the Commission was evenly split as to whether she meets performance standards. The areas of performance for which all judges are evaluated include integrity, legal knowledge, communication skills, judicial temperament, administrative performance, and service to the legal profession and the public. Surveys were sent to people who appeared before Judge Schutt, both attorneys and non-attorneys, including the parties whose cases she presided over. Judge Schutt does a great number of things very well. She is rated higher than the average of all District Court judges in overall performance, receiving a rating of 3.6 out of 4, whereas the average of all District Court judges was 3.4. Of all non-attorney survey respondents, 94 percent said Judge Schutt meets performance standards, and of all attorney respondents, 88 percent said Judge Schutt meets performance standards, both of which are higher than the average score for all District Court judges. Judge Schutt was consistently rated higher than the average of all District Court judges in the areas of case management, application and knowledge of law, communications, diligence, demeanor, and fairness.
The primary area of concern for the Commission is Judge Schutt’s administrative performance, and specifically the lack of timeliness of her rulings. This issue was raised by survey respondents, was acknowledged by Judge Schutt, and was noted by the Commission. Litigants reasonably expect to receive a ruling in their cases in a timely fashion and too often it is taking Judge Schutt far too long to make her rulings, including cases where it took many months for her to announce her decision. The Commission takes seriously that Judge Schutt’s caseload has been reduced due to this issue and feels strongly that she should be handling an even share of cases with all due speed. Despite her high ratings and performance in almost all other areas, the deficiency in timely case management cannot be ignored and is something that demands Judge Schutt’s prompt attention if she is to be a successful District Court Judge.
Judge Schutt has lived in Weld County with her family for approximately two decades. Prior to taking the bench, Judge Schutt was an attorney in private practice for 22 years, specializing in civil litigation, estate planning, probate, business, and non-profit law. Judge Schutt earned her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois and earned her Juris Doctorate degree after attending law school at the Chicago-Kent College of Law and the University of Colorado in Boulder.