(Feb. 5) – A bill to add two new district judgeships and support staff to the Fifth and Ninth Judicial districts passed the House today on a vote of 62 to 2.
HB13-1035, sponsored by Rep. Millie Hamner (D-Dillon), would fulfill the Judicial Department’s request for two new district judges and staff for the Fifth and Ninth Judicial Districts, both in Rep. Hamner’s House district. The two judicial districts include Eagle, Summit, Clear Creek, Lake, Pitkin, Garfield and Rio Blanco counties.
The Fifth Judicial District currently has the lowest district court judge staffing level in Colorado with just under 70 percent of full staffing. The Ninth Judicial District has the second lowest with 73 percent of full staffing.
Rep. Hamner said this bill will lessen the burden on the courts and expedite court cases.
“Right now, these district judges have extremely heavy caseloads and this bill will help ensure every judge has and is able to give the proper time and attention to their cases,” Rep. Hamner said. “This bill will make our judicial system more efficient and speed up the process for people going through the court system in those areas.”
The Fifth Judicial District last received a new district judge in 2005 and has since grown its caseload by 71 percent where the Ninth Judicial District last received a new district judge in 2009 and has since increased its caseload by 68 percent.
The bill needs two-thirds of the General Assembly to pass, which it achieved in the House, and will now move on to the Senate. This bill has no impact on the General Fund.