Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge Sells

Fourth Judicial District - District Judge


Reports:
2012 Retention Survey Report
2011 Interim Survey Report
2009 Interim Survey Report

Honorable Scott A. Sells

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Fourth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance, by a vote of 7-1, recommends that Judge Scott A. Sells BE RETAINED. Two Commissioners were absent.

Judge Scott A. Sells was appointed to the District Court bench on January 1, 2008.  Judge Sells received his Bachelor of Arts degree from Missouri State University in 1978 and his law degree from Mississippi College Law School in 1984.  Before taking the bench as a District Judge, Judge Sells was a District Court Magistrate from 1996 to 2007.  His docket as a magistrate consisted primarily of family law and juvenile cases.  Judge Sells was a solo practitioner prior to his appointment as a District Court Magistrate in 1996.  Judge Sells has been extensively involved in coaching youth sports in Teller County, Colorado over the last eleven years and is active in his church.  This is Judge Sells first time being considered for retention.

Judge Sells’ docket is 50% domestic relations and 50% criminal.  Judge Sell’s evaluation scores as graded by both attorneys and non-attorneys are above the average for all district judges standing for retention.  The written comments submitted by attorneys and non-attorneys make clear that Judge Sells is particularly committed to the fair and impartial resolution of domestic disputes.  This was confirmed by comments made by Judge Sells to the Commission in his personal interview.  In criminal cases Judge Sells is not considered either pro-prosecution or pro-defense.  His scores for neutrality in criminal cases were significantly higher than the average of all district judges standing for retention in the state.  Although Judge Sells’ evaluation scores for demeanor on the bench were above average, there was some concern expressed in the written comments received by the Commission regarding a perceived lack of patience or frustration on occasion on the part of Judge Sells toward attorneys who appear before him.  Judge Sells acknowledged this concern in his interview and pledged to work on correcting this issue.

Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, 90% recommend to retain, 6% not to retain, and 3% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 94% recommended to retain and 6% not to retain.  Of all non-attorneys surveyed, 88% recommended to retain, 7% not to retain, and 5% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 93% recommended to retain and 7% not to retain.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)