Sixteenth Judicial District - Crowley County Court Judge
Honorable Carl Ross
Retention Year: 1994
The Judicial Performance Commission for the 16th Judicial District has voted to recommend that Crowley County Judge Carl Ross be retained in office for another four years by the voters of Crowley County this fall.
Carl Ross moved to Crowley County in 1967. Ross attended Otero Junior College for two years, then completed his degree in business management at Metro State College. After some experience in retain sales, he was appointed Crowley County Assessor in 1976, then was elected to a four year term. After five years as county assessor, he resigned to take a position as a real estate appraiser with the Colorado Division of Property Taxation.
In 1987, he was appointed to the Crowley County bench, a position that was then 20% of full time. Subsequent to the building of the Arkansas Valley Correctional Facility, the position has become a 30% of full time. He has averaged 410 cases per year.
In addition to being county judge, he continues to be a consultant to county assessors, does some private appraisals and is an electronics distributor. He is not an attorney.
Judge Ross estimated 17% of his load are civil cases (about half of these being small claims cases), about 20% are misdemeanor cases, 34% are traffic offense cases and 29% are traffic infraction cases. In about 85% of the cases he hears, the defendant represents himself or herself.
Attorneys agreed he displays a sense of justice, treats all parties equally, has appropriate demeanor, maintains courtroom control, is courteous, displays compassion, works diligently, gives prompt rulings and decisions, is punctual with proceedings and should BE RETAINED. Law enforcement officers recommended his retention.
In response to questions, Judge Ross said he does not generally find Crowley County’s smaller population causes conflicts of interest for him, some younger repeat offenders appear to lack respect for anyone, but he tries to treat each case on its own merits. As a part-time, non-attorney judge, he finds the key is good common sense. The most difficult part is getting past the language of the law.
Over the five years he has been on the bench, some of the changed he has noted include: more problems with youth, a breakdown of families that has meant less discipline at home, and the development of useful public service as a good tool in sentencing youths. Alcohol plays a big role in traffic offenses he sees, he feels strongly that punishment is not effective unless the public knows what to expect and the administration of punishment is immediate. Collections and restitutions are a serious problem. The most rewarding part of being a judge are those times where he is able to help a young person get their attitude and life turned around, to do their part to make society a better place for everyone.