Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 1996 Full List Judge Nieschburg

Fifteenth Judicial District - District Judge

Honorable Garth L. Nieschburg

Retention year: 1996
Recommendation: Retain

The Judicial Performance Commission for the 15th Judicial District recommends that Judge Garth L. Nieschburg BE RETAINED.

Judge Nieschburg received his law degree from the University of Denver, College of Law, and was admitted to the Colorado Bar in 1970.  Judge Nieschburg engaged in the general practice of law in 1977, when he was sworn in as a District Attorney for the 15th Judicial District. Judge Nieschburg was appointed to the district court bench in 1987.

Judge Nieschburg met with the Commission on May 8, 1996, at which time the Commission found overall approval for Judge Nieschburg. Judge Nieschburg displays obvious enthusiasm for his position, and brings with him a wealth of life experiences which guide him in the administration of justice in his courtroom. The major areas of concern that Judge Nieschburg addressed were courtroom demeanor, timeliness of rulings, and perceived gender bias.

Some litigants and attorneys expressed concern over courtroom demeanor. Judge Nieschburg did not feel his demeanor was inappropriate. Judge Nieschburg did state that in the past he would tire in the afternoons because of blood pressure medication. He has now changed the timing of his medication and no longer feels the effects of the medication during the work day. The attorneys have noted an improvement in demeanor and attentiveness in recent times. In any case, the Commission found that Judge Nieschburg is compassionate, and his strengths far outweigh any weaknesses in this area.

As to timeliness of rulings, Judge Nieschburg believes that he has improved in this area. However, he does express frustration over ever-increasing caseloads and expanding travel time due to the necessity of covering Lincoln County dockets. Lincoln County is the site of the Limon Correctional Facility, and prisoner caseloads demand more and more of Judge Nieschburg’s attention. The Commission is satisfied that Judge Nieschburg is making diligent efforts to expedite his decisions.

Judge Nieschburg feels that complaints of gender bias occur most frequently in the context of domestic relations cases. He also noted that both male and female litigants complain about perceived bias depending on which party is most adversely affected by a ruling. Judge Nieschburg attempts, to the extent possible, to place parties in equal economic standing in property division and maintenance cases, and always looks to the best interest of children in determining custody and parenting time. Judge Nieschburg points out that these cases are the most difficult for the court and for the litigants, and are usually emotionally charged. When asked if he has any biases in close custody cases, Judge Nieschburg admitted that life experiences cannot help but affect how cases are viewed, and specifically cited the favorable relationship that he enjoyed with his step-mother when he was a child. The commission recognizes the difficult nature of domestic relations cases, and also recognizes that any complaints that it received of garner bias were anecdotal. The Commission is satisfied that Judge Nieschburg is, and will continue to be, vigilant of any form of bias in his courtroom.

Judge Nieschburg presented an overall positive impression on the Commission, and the Commission recommended retention without reservation.