Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2000 Full List Judge Ruybalid

Tenth Judicial District - Pueblo County Judge

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Honorable Ernest J. Ruybalid

Retention year: 2000
Recommendation: No Opinion

The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance concludes that the results of information gathered are not sufficiently clear to make a firm recommendation on Judge Ernest J. Ruybalid. Therefore the Commission issues a recommendation of NO OPINION. Nine commission members participated in the deliberation.

Judge Ernest J. Ruybalid was admitted to law practice in 1979. He was in private practice and public practice as an Assistant City Attorney and Assistant County Attorney until appointment to the County Court bench in Pueblo in 1997. Judge Ruybalid's caseload includes preliminary felony hearings, misdemeanor criminal cases, traffic cases, restraining order requests, and civil cases where the amount in dispute is less than $10,000.

A survey conducted to evaluate the performance of Judge Ruybalid sought responses from members of law enforcement, attorneys, litigants, jurors, criminal defendants, courthouse personnel and crime victims. Responses were received from all of the above, interviews were conducted among professionals who work with the judge on a regular basis and a public meeting was held.

Of non-attorneys surveyed, 72% recommended that Judge Ruybalid be retained, 17% recommended that he not be retained, and 12% had no opinion. Of the attorneys surveyed, 47% recommended that Judge Ruybalid be retained, 44% recommended that he not be retained and 9% had no opinion.

In survey, interview and public hearing responses, there was a general sense that Judge Ruybalid relies too heavily on court personnel to make judicial decisions, does not know or apply the law, treats women unfairly, has insufficient experience in criminal or jury trials and does not prepare adequately for court. There is also a general concern that Judge Ruybalid manages his docket poorly, is habitually late in starting court, and exercises poor communication to courthouse staff regarding his absence from the courtroom.

Others reported that Judge Ruybalid has made significant improvement in docket management and application of the law during his tenure on the bench. Further, respondents indicated that the judge does a fair job of managing his docket based on his immense caseload. Some respondents noted that Judge Ruybalid was fair to all who appear in his courtroom.

The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance takes into consideration that Judge Ruybalid is relatively new to the bench. During his interview with the Commission, Judge Ruybalid indicated a strong desire to improve on areas of weakness as identified through the evaluation process. The Tenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, upon examination of all available information regarding Judge Ruybalid is divided and, therefore, recommends "No Opinion" on the retention of Judge Ruybalid.