A Group of Advocates attended the monthly meeting of the Colorado Judicial Performance Commission October 3, 2106. It was a great day on the road to Justice for All.The Next Meeting for Colorado Public Judicial Performance Commission will be November 14, 2016 11:00am.

October 6, 2016 by Lulu

Message from Peter Coulter
A group of us attended the monthly meeting of the Colorado Judicial Performance Commission this past Monday. It was a great day on the road to Justice for All. At one point retired Denver District Court Judge Christine Habas asked me a question that I had to reference the Statute to answer. I was going to respond to her at the end of the meeting but she had to leave early so I wrote her the following email and cc’d a copy to all members of the Colorado Supreme Court including Chief Justice Nancy Rice. Ms. Habas made a thoughtful and encouraging reply which I will post later today. The Supreme Court also surprisingly replied which I will also post.

The concerted efforts of Lu, Leah, and Rob at that meeting were dynamic and I believe we now have their full attention; deservedly so. Reluctantly, I am filing suit against the Colorado Justice Branch, Chief Justice Rice and other Defendants today. I will post that as soon as it is filed. with the hope of convincing an excellent attorney to represent me after the fact.
You have all helped get us to this point. Don’t let this opportunity slip away. The next meeting is the 14th of November where they will be taking suggestions for a reset of the Judicial Performance Commission. If we can get this Committee to be 100% Transparent and accountable; many of the difficulties you have all suffered will disappear for future litigants. We do not want our children and grand children going through the same horrors each of us has faced. We need to keep up the pressure on these judicial actors until we reach our goal. That said,, please spread our mantra, NO JUSTICE, NO JUDGES until the Judiciary has 100% transparency..
Thanks again to everyone for their tenacity and dedication to our cause. /s/peter

Ms. Christina Habas
Member Colorado State Commission of Judicial Performance
Keeting, Wagner, Polidori & Free, P.C.

Dear Ms. Habas,
Peter Coulter here. You asked me a question concerning the surveys for Appellate and Supreme Court Judges at the JPC monthly meeting yesterday. You left before I was able to show you the applicable section of the Statute that applies.
To review the scenario, I noted that the Rules of the JPC conflicted with the Statute in that the JPC rules do not include pro-se litigants for receiving surveys for Appellate and Supreme Court Judges, while the Statute requires it. You stated that you saw nothing in the Statute that required that everyone be surveyed and would respond at a more appropriate time.
I do not disagree with you that everyone must not be surveyed and that a statistically correct sample can be used in accord with the Statute. This is one place where Mr. Wagner and myself disagree. As an example, if you had 100 ping pong balls in a bowl, 10 of which were black and the rest white. You could not pull the 10 black ones out and determine that you had a statistically valid sample of the original 100 “pool.” If you drew 10 out of the bowl without looking; you would then have a statistically valid sample with a plus or minus error determined by the sample size.
That said, the total pool of persons requiring surveys for a respective judge in the Appellate and Supreme Court is parametered by the Statute:
CRS-13-5.5-103. Powers and duties of the state commission

(1) In addition to other powers conferred and duties imposed upon the state commission by this article, the state commission has the following powers and duties:…….

(e) To develop surveys for persons affected by justices and judges, including but not limited to attorneys, jurors, litigants, [emphasis added] law enforcement personnel, attorneys within the district attorneys’ and public defender’s offices, employees of the court, court interpreters, employees of probation offices, employees of local departments of social services, and victims of crimes, as defined in section 24-4.1-302 (5), C.R.S.;

(f) To determine the statistical validity of completed surveys, [emphasis added] report to the district commissions on the statistical validity of the surveys for their districts, and specify when and how statistically invalid surveys may be used;

(g) To prepare alternatives to surveys where sample populations are inadequate to produce valid results…..

When Mr. Wagner and the Supreme Court Administrative Division set computer generated “parameters” where certain non-random litigants are not included in the survey process, [i.e. Rule 120 litigants] the result is a statistically invalid survey result contrary to the mandates of the Statute.
The same standard applies to the Approved Rules of the JPC when they do not include “litigants” as members of the pool to receive surveys for Appellate and Supreme Court Judges. The non-random exclusion of this faction is not statistically valid and the JPC has made a rule contrary to the mandates of the Statute.
In conclusion, I would agree with you that not every person associated with a respective judge is required to receive a survey under the Statute but what is required is if anything less than the total pool is surveyed, it must be statistically valid. Eliminating Rule 120 litigants [and other selections of litigants] and not including pro-se litigants [in the respective surveys of Appellate and Supreme Court judges] leads to an invalid, unlawful and biased survey result. That therefore leaves the various Commissions with biased survey results to compile their recommendations which finally leads to biased and invalid recommendations to the voters.
I hope you would agree that we are both on the same team in trying to have the best judges on the bench especially since 51% of all civil litigants are now pro-se and rely heavily on their respective judge to uphold their oath of office, the Code of Ethics and the Constitutional rights of every litigant. This is only possible if the system is Transparent and Accountable and the citizens have confidence and can trust the system.
Thank you for the opportunity to respond to your question Ms. Habas.

/s/Peter Coulter

Mr. Kent Wagner, Director Colorado Judicial Performance
Members of State Judicial Performance Commission via Mr. Wagner
Colorado Supreme Court via Mr. Christopher Ryan, Court Clerk and Ms. Terri Morrison, Supreme Court Council


Mr. Wagner and I have a difference of opinion of the decisions by himself with the assistance of the Supreme Court Administrative Division to set their own rules as to who receives a survey. When further questioned, Mr. Wagner states that they are not rules, but rather “parameters” that don’t need to be publicized and don’t need JPC approval or Supreme Court Approval. That is a very disingenuous position and contrary to the spirit and letter of the law.
Approved by the Colorado Supreme Court.
According to Colorado Supreme Court study, 2014.

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