El Paso County Judge
Honorable Karla J. Hansen
The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends by a unanimous vote that Judge Karla J. Hansen BE RETAINED.
Background: Judge Hansen was appointed to the County Court in 2001. She graduated from the University of Utah College of Law in 1986, after earning her Bachelor’s Degree in nuclear medicine from the University of Wisconsin, LaCrosse in 1978. Prior to her appointment to the bench, Judge Hansen served as a part-time Colorado Springs Municipal Court judge and had an active law practice specializing in the areas of criminal defense, divorce, and guardian ad litem advocacy. She also served as a Fourth Judicial District deputy district attorney from 1986 to 1994. Judge Hansen currently hears misdemeanors, traffic and civil cases.
Strengths: The transcripts of Judge Hansen’s decisions showed that she followed the law, and that her decisions were well-reasoned, clear and concise. Judge Hansen contributes to the community through various activities associated with her church. She also volunteers to do presentations to high school classes, the Girl Scouts, and other organizations. She also has assisted with Teen Court and Mock Trial competitions.
Weakness: Attorneys responding to the survey rated Judge Hansen as below average in the categories related to judicial demeanor, and significantly below average in several of those categories. Although voting to recommend retention, the Commission did find it necessary to address concerns regarding Judge Hansen’s demeanor. The Commission and Judge Hansen developed a performance improvement plan to address these issues.
Recommendation: In making its recommendation, the Commission considered the results of surveys from 38 attorneys and 140 non-attorneys, a self-evaluation by the judge, comments received at a public hearing, courtroom observations, transcripts of her decisions and orders, and an interview with Judge Hansen before the Commission. The survey results show a combined 86% of attorney respondents recommended retention; 94% of non-attorney respondents recommended retention.
View the 2008 Retention Survey Report for the Honorable Karla J. Hansen in pdf format.