Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2008 Full List Judge Reyes

Tenth Judicial District - District Judge

2008 Retention Survey Report

Honorable Victor Reyes

Retention year: 2008
Recommendation: Retain

The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Victor Reyes BE RETAINED.

Background: Judge Reyes has served as a District Court Judge for 9 years.  Prior to his appointment in 1998, he was a public defender for 14 years.  His caseload includes juvenile, criminal, civil, probate, and domestic matters.  His community activities include teaching classes concerning domestic matters, with special emphasis upon the subject of domestic violence.

The Commission conducted an interview with Judge Reyes, studied his self evaluation, two of the seven sections of which were left completely blank, reviewed the 29 returned surveys from attorneys and the 190 returned surveys of non-attorneys, all of whom, presumably, appeared before him. The Commission also reviewed the three written orders submitted by Judge Reyes, held oral interviews with several agency representatives associated with groups that had matters assigned to his courtroom and also requested and considered his declarations of additional income earned and the district’s record of his personal leave time taken. 

Strengths: The totality of this review process left the commission with the impression that Judge Reyes is a competent judge who is committed to his work.  He does conduct his docket in an organized manner and clearly is personally committed to dealing with the various problems associated with domestic violence issues.  The Commission members generally felt that his communication and deportment skills are, for the most part, better than what is reflected in the returned survey results.

Weaknesses: Although there are no known state guidelines on the subject of “paid leave” days, it was the unanimous feeling of the commission that Judge Reyes spends excessive time away from the bench (57 work days plus state holidays in 2007).  Although much of this time may have been spent in worthwhile out of state teaching activities, such time appears to be of questionable, if any, direct benefit to the citizens of this judicial district.

Reasons do appear to exist to voice concern that Judge Reyes may have a tendency to be overly rigid in his exercise of “control” of his courtroom.  The specific areas on concern include his policy of having a predetermined time limitation of only 20 minutes for attorney conducted voir dire, his tendency to mandate that fines be paid to a charity in which he is personally involved and his insistence upon the posting of cash bonds, especially by individuals who obviously lack the financial resources to do so.  It is the commission’s recommendation that Judge Reyes undertake improvement efforts due to his overall evaluation grade by attorneys being less than the average for the state. 

The Commission recommends that Judge Reyes spend less time away from his courtroom and, attempt to demonstrate a higher degree of compassion and understanding for all those who appear before him. 

Recommendation: Among the non-lawyers, the “strongly retain recommendation” rate was 78% and among the attorneys it was 74%.