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Plotz, Kenneth 1998 Evaluation


Eleventh Judicial District - District Court Judge

Honorable Kenneth M. Plotz

Retention Year: 1998
Recommendation: Retain


The Eleventh Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Kenneth M. Plotz BE RETAINED.

Judge Plotz graduated from the University of Denver law school in 1973. He was appointed to the district court bench in February of 1989. Judge Plotz is a full-time district court judge. Judge Plotz currently presides over cases of domestic relations, civil matters, felony criminal matters, and various other cases.

Questionnaires for evaluation of Judge Plotz were sent a variety of people, including attorneys who have appeared in his court, court and probation employees, litigants who have had cases in his court, law enforcement officers, social services workers, and jurors who have served on juries in his court. The responses to the questionnaires rated Judge Plotz highly overall. Those persons who responded to the questionnaires made the following recommendations concerning retention of Judge Plotz: Attorneys (34 responses) Retain: 88.2% - Do Not Retain 11.8%, Court employees (8 responses) Retain: 87.5% - Do Not Retain 12.5%, Litigants (7 responses) Retain 57.1% - Do Not Retain 42.9%, Law Enforcement Personnel (19 responses) Retain: 100%, Crime Victims (4 responses) Retain: 100% and Jurors (17 responses) Retain: 100%.

The Commission bases its findings upon information supplied to the commission through the questionnaires, public hearings, and a personal interview with Judge Plotz. The Commission finds that the workload for Judge Plotz continues to increase. He travels primarily among three counties to hear cases and has the scheduling of his case load divided among various court clerks, which adds difficulty to management of the docket. Judge Plotz is a courteous, thoughtful, fair judge. He has very good control in the courtroom and is respectful of those who appear in his court. He demonstrates good judgment, integrity and a considerable amount of common sense in resolving factual disputes. The Commission was favorably impressed with Judge Plotz's candor and honesty. He continues to make efforts toward improvement in areas of law where he perceives weakness and focuses his continuing education in those areas. Judge Plotz views his judicial responsibilities with great earnestness and reflects on means of self-improvement.

The Commission did receive negative comments about Judge Plotz through correspondence and public hearing comment. After consideration of the comments, the Commission determined that many of the negative comments were more fairly attributable to poor legal representation or to a general misunderstanding of the judicial process. The primary concern of the Commission concerns hasty decisions and inconsistent decisions on legal issues. The Commission recognizes that Judge Plotz continues to demonstrate improvement in this area, but feels more attention should be devoted to it. The Commission encourages Judge Plotz to devote more time in analyzing weighty legal issues before issuing decisions. Based upon all information gathered, the Commission is confident that Judge Plotz will continue to conduct his court in a professional and dignified manner.