Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2000 Full List Judge Schultz

Eighth Judicial District - Larimer County Judge

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Honorable Ronald L. Schultz

Retention year: 2000
Recommendation: Do Not Retain

The Eighth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance recommends that Judge Ronald L. Schultz NOT BE RETAINED. This recommendation was not unanimous.

Judge Schultz received his law degree from the University of Denver in 1967. Following law school, he worked in the Denver City Attorney's office until 1971. From 1971 to 1974 he served as a Deputy District Attorney with the Eighth Judicial District in Larimer County. He was appointed to the Larimer County bench in 1974.

Judge Schultz' caseload is 70% criminal and 30% civil. He is responsible for presiding over traffic cases, felony bond hearings, misdemeanors, civil cases not exceeding $10,000, as well as domestic violence cases. Judge Schultz is one of four County Court Judges in Larimer County. He currently holds the position of Presiding Judge for the Larimer County Court. As such he handles administrative matters pertaining to the county courts in addition to his normal duties.

The Judicial Performance Commission personally interviewed each judge in the District whose term was nearing completion and who was seeking retention. Further, written evaluations were requested from a random sample of attorneys, court employees, law enforcement personnel, jurors, litigants, crime victims and other constituents who have been involved in proceedings in each judge's court. Survey results were designed and compiled by an independent agency to provide confidentiality. Results from crime victims were deemed unreliable due to insufficient responses.

Ninety-eight (98) non-attorneys and 48 attorneys responded to a survey on the performance of Judge Schultz in the six areas of courtesy, impartiality, communication skills, judicial temperament, diligence, and application of law. Seventy-seven percent (77%) of non-attorneys and 64% of attorneys recommended that Judge Schultz be retained in office. Fourteen percent (14%) of non-attorneys and 32% of attorneys recommended that Judge Schultz not be retained in office. Nine percent (9%) of non-attorneys and 4% of attorneys had no opinion with respect to retention. Judge Schultz' "Do Not Retain" percentage by attorneys was twice as high as the statewide average for other County Court Judges. However, among the non-attorneys Judge Schultz' "Do Not Retain" percentage equaled the state average.

Attorney questionnaires rated Judge Schultz above average in the areas of courtesy and judicial temperament. However, in the areas of knowledge of the law, the rules of evidence, application of the law, impartiality, communications skills and diligence, Judge Schultz scored below the state average for other County Court Judges. Judge Schultz did not seem to give much credence to survey results. Four years ago, Judge Schultz received a "Do Not Retain" recommendation primarily due to deficiencies in the areas of knowledge of the law, criminal procedure and evidence. However, the voters retained him in office. The Commission is also concerned with Judge Schultz' inability to hold timely hearings for those in custody as required by Colorado law. In response to this concern, Judge Schultz presented the Commission with a plan to address this timeliness problem.

Lack of improvement in those areas of deficiency during the last four years, coupled with Judge Schultz' apparent lack of consideration for the survey results, provides the Commission with little hope that Judge Schultz will make needed improvements. It is therefore the recommendation of the Judicial Performance Commission of the Eighth Judicial District that Judge Schultz not be retained as a County Court Judge.