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Trujillo, Michael 2002 Evaluation


Twelfth Judicial District - Rio Grande County Court Judge

Honorable Michael H. Trujillo 

Retention Year: 2002
Recommendation: Retain

The Twelfth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Michael H. Trujillo BE RETAINED.

The Commission reviewed written evaluations of Judge Trujillo completed by individuals appearing in his courtroom, considered Judge Trujillo’s written self-evaluation, held a public hearing in Rio Grande County and conducted a personal interview with him.

Judge Trujillo was appointed to the Rio Grande County Court bench in 1991. He served as the Saguache County Judge from 1975 to 1991. Judge Trujillo practices law in Monte Vista in addition to fulfilling his part-time position as county judge. Judge Trujillo received his undergraduate degree from Adams State and his law degree from University of Colorado at Boulder. Approximately 60% of Judge Trujillo’s caseload is devoted to criminal traffic offenses and infractions and the remainder devoted equally among civil and other misdemeanor and felony cases.

Judge Trujillo received consistent marks from both attorneys and non-attorneys. He received higher marks than the state average for county court judges in 18 out of 25 categories of the attorney survey. Attorneys were uniform is praising Judge Trujillo in the areas of courtesy, judicial temperament, diligence and application of the law.

Judge Trujillo is noteworthy for his efforts to effectively handle a busy caseload, ruling from the bench to avoid delays and maintaining flexibility in handling cases, including settlement negotiations. Of the attorneys responding to the survey, 100% recommend retention. Fifty-six percent of the non-attorneys recommended retention, 27% recommended non-retention and 17% had no opinion.

Judge Trujillo is an excellent example of the diverse talents brought to our community by members of the bench. He currently serves as president of the San Luis Valley Farm Workers Housing Corporation, a board on which he has served for over 10 years. The board, which is a national role model, has been instrumental in developing housing for migrant workers in the San Luis Valley, recently completing a 270-bed facility center. The board is currently working on family housing and a facility for Migrant Headstart. Judge Trujillo is also a frequent speaker in the community schools, discussing the courts and issues surrounding them with different grade levels.