Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1996 Full List Judge Manzanares

Third Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable Jesse C. Manzanares

Retention year: 1996
Recommendation: Retain

The Third Judicial District Evaluation Committee recommends to the voters of the Third Judicial District  Judge Manzanares BE RETAINED.

In 1987 Judge Jesse Manzanares was appointed and sworn into his current position as a District Judge, Southern Division of the Third Judicial District. He presently serves as a Chief Judge of the Third Judicial District which includes both Huerfano and Las Animas Counties.

Judge Manzanares is married and the father and stepfather of three young men. Judge Manzanares and his wife, Kathryn, reside in Trinidad.

Judge Manzanares was born and raised in Las Animas County. He attended elementary school in the Morley coal town, high school at Holy Trinity in Trinidad, and attended Trinidad State Junior College.  He graduated from Colorado College in 1962, earned a Master Degree in Educational Administration in 1969 from New Mexico Highlands University, and taught high school for several years before attending high school.

Judge Manzanares attended the University of Denver, College of Law, graduated in 1969, and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1970. After admission to the Bar, Judge Manzanares engaged in private law practice for 9 years and served as a law professor and associate dean of the University of Denver, College of Law for 8 years.

Judge Manzanares private practice primarily involved work in the areas of personal injury law, municipal law, and real estate law. As a law professor, he taught in the following subjects: torts, civil procedure, evidence, legal ethics, federal jurisdiction, trial tactics, and municipal law. Judge Manzanares has long been active in numerous professional, community, and civic organizations.

As Chief Judge of the Third Judicial District, Judge Manzanares presides over all civil, criminal, domestic, probate and juvenile cases that are filed in Las Animas County. In addition, he also presides over a limited number of cases in Huerfano and Otero counties at times when the usual District Judge is disqualified, and is periodically assigned by the Chief Justice of the Colorado Supreme Court to hear and try both civil and criminal trials in Arapahoe and El Paso counties.

The Committee assigned to evaluate the performance of Judge Manzanares reviewed and evaluated information about his performance from attorneys, jurors, and other people who have regular contact with his Court, including court staff. The Committee was impressed with the Judge’s concern for attorneys, litigants and jurors, as well as his continual efforts to stay current with an ever increasing body of law. It was clear to the Committee that the Judge constantly strives to improve the functions of the courts in the Third Judicial District, and that Judge Manzanares is one of the leading jurists in Colorado. The Committee unanimously agreed on it recommendation regarding Judge Manzanares.