Fourth Judicial District - District Court Judge
Honorable Marla Prudek
Retention Year: 2016
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) recommends that Judge Marla Prudek BE RETAINED.
Judge Prudek was appointed to serve as an El Paso County District Court Judge in November, 2012. In 2009, she was appointed as a County Court Judge, and prior to that, she was an assistant Attorney General in Washington State, a prosecutor, and a criminal defense attorney in Colorado Springs. She obtained her B.A. degree from Carroll College in Montana in 1982, and graduated from the University of Puget Sound Law School in 1985. Judge Prudek volunteers with the annual high school mock trial competitions and attends various bar association functions. Judge Prudek volunteered in Black Forest after the devastating fire because she believes community service is important, and appreciates interacting with people who are not regularly involved with the judicial system.
As part of the review process, the Commission interviewed Judge Prudek, reviewed several of her written opinions, and reviewed her survey results. She was also observed in Court while she was presiding over cases. The survey results contain information about Judge Prudek that was gathered from many sources, including: jurors who appeared before her, people who represented themselves in her courtroom, people with lawyers who had cases in her courtroom, and lawyers who appear before Judge Prudek. The survey results show that 80% of all who completed the survey recommend that Judge Prudek be retained. Of those results, 92% of non-attorneys recommended that she be retained, 58% of attorneys recommended that she be retained, and 96% of jurors recommended she be retained.
Judge Prudek scored higher than average in every category that was rated by the 53 non-attorneys completing the survey. These categories include: Judge Prudek’s demeanor, fairness, communication, diligence, application of law, neutrality (lack of bias), and fairness in sentencing (for criminal, misdemeanor and traffic cases). The attorney scores rated Judge Prudek lower than average in these same categories. However, only 29 attorneys completed the survey. The combined scores of all participants in the survey result in a score for Judge Prudek of 3.42 out of a scale of 4. Judge Prudek was, until recently, assigned to handle criminal and civil cases. Since her background involved primarily criminal cases, the civil cases required her to learn an entirely new area of law. The Chief Judge recently changed the assignments of the District Court Judges, and Judge Prudek now handles 50% criminal cases and 50% domestic relations cases. The Commission finds Judge Prudek to be a hard-working Judge who is passionate about her work and her desire to always improve herself. Her written work is excellent, as is her relationship with members of the public who have appeared before her. She is motivated to improve the somewhat low survey scores she received from attorneys.