Eighteenth Judicial District - Arapahoe County Judge
Honorable Cheryl Rowles-Stokes
Retention Year: 2018
Recommendation: Meets Performance Standard
The Eighteenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously (10-0) agrees that Judge Cheryl Rowles-Stokes MEETS PERFORMANCE STANDARDS.
Judge Rowles- Stokes serves as a County Court Judge in Arapahoe County. Judge Rowles-Stokes earned her undergraduate degree from Colorado Christian University and a master’s degree from Jones International University. Judge Rowles-Stokes received her Juris Doctorate from the University of Denver Sturm College of Law. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Rowles-Stokes distinguished herself as a human resource professional at High Speed Access Corporation and Rifkin & Associates. Judge Rowles-Stokes is most notable for her career in the Arapahoe County District Attorney’s Office of which she served as the Chief Deputy District Attorney in the Economic Crimes Unit for eleven years. When not on the bench, Judge Rowles-Stokes dedicates a significant amount of her free time serving the community as a member of the Sam Cary Bar Association and as a board member of the Sam Cary Scholarship Endowment Fund.
The Commission conducted a personal interview with Judge Rowles-Stokes, reviewed opinions she authored, observed her in court, reviewed comments received from interested parties during the evaluation, and reviewed survey responses from attorneys and non-attorneys who had experience with Judge Rowles-Stokes. 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, 45% answered yes, meets performance standards, 45% answered no, does not meet performance standards and 9% had no opinion (these percentages do not equal 100% due to rounding). Of the non-attorneys responding to the survey, 95% answered yes, meets performance standards, 5% answered no, does not meet performance standards, and 0% had no opinion. Twelve attorneys and sixty-three non-attorneys responded to the judicial performance surveys expressing their opinion of Judge Rowles-Stokes performance.
Judge Rowles-Stokes presides over traffic and misdemeanor cases. Judge Rowles-Stokes received below average marks in case management, application of knowledge of law, communications, and demeanor from attorneys surveyed. However, among non-attorneys, Judge Rowles-Stokes received above average marks on each of the above referenced categories. These responses mirror those that Judge Rowles-Stokes received in her 2014 evaluation. Judge Rowles-Stokes was given the opportunity to explain the wide disparity between the attorney and non-attorney grades. Judge Rowles-Stokes stated that she has high expectations of the attorneys who appear before her and uses her authority to manage her courtroom in a way that best serves the public. She believes that these are the major reasons for the disparity. The Commission asked Judge Rowles-Stokes to be sure she allows parties to make a good record in her court and to continue to try to manage her court docket without resorting to the use of sanctions unless absolutely required. The Commission also noted that Judge Rowles- Stokes is very considerate of the public and jurors in her court. Based on these findings, the Commission unanimously agreed that Judge Rowles-Stokes meets judicial performance standards.