Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Ruybalid

Tenth Judicial District - Pueblo County Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report

Honorable Ernest J. Ruybalid

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Ernest J. Ruybalid BE RETAINED.

Background:  Judge Ruybalid was appointed to the Pueblo County Court in early 1997.  He graduated from the University of Colorado with a bachelor of arts degree and from the University of Colorado School of Law.  Before his appointment to the court, Judge Ruybalid served as a private attorney, practicing criminal, domestic relations, business and probate law.  He also served as an assistant Pueblo County attorney in child welfare cases.  His court workload includes misdemeanor, traffic, and civil cases.  He provides community service in assisting elementary school student councils as a mentor and counselor.

The commission conducted an interview with Judge Ruybalid, studied his self evaluation, reviewed the 29 returned surveys, the 74 returned surveys from non-attorneys, and the three of his issued orders selected by him.  It also held oral interviews with several agency representatives associated with groups and matters assigned to his courtroom. 

Strengths: Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Ruybalid average or above average for:  (1) case management, (2) application and knowledge of the law, (3) communications, (4) demeanor, and (5) diligence. Attorneys also rated Judge Ruybalid about the same as other county court judges for:  (1) promptly making rulings during trial, (2) maintaining appropriate control over proceedings, (3) promptly issuing a decision on the case after trial, (4) making decisions without fear of being appealed, (5) speaking clearly, (6) making sure all participants understand the proceedings, (7) using understandable language, (8) giving proceedings a sense of dignity and, (9) treating pro se parties fairly.  Non-attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Ruybalid the same or better than all county judges in all survey areas. 

Weaknesses: Some persons from agencies and organizations that work and interact closely with our judges felt that Judge Ruybalid is not as strong in legal ability as other judges.  Although the state does not supply guidelines concerning the number of permissible “paid leave” type days for our judges, the common concern of the commission was that the 33 days taken by Judge Ruybalid, in addition to the state holidays, was excessive.

Recommendation:  70% of the 29 attorneys who submitted completed surveys strongly recommended or somewhat recommended that Judge Ruybalid be retained in office.  Of the non-attorneys who returned surveys, 89% strongly recommended or somewhat recommended that Judge Ruybalid be retained in office