Home Judicial Performance Evaluations 2012 Full List Judge Melonakis

Seventeenth Judicial District - District Judge


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

Honorable Chris Melonakis

Retention year: 2012
Recommendation: Retain

The Seventeenth Judicial District Commission on Judicial Performance unanimously recommends that Judge Chris Melonakis BE RETAINED.

Judge Melonakis, a District Judge for the Seventeenth Judicial District, was appointed to the District Court bench in 1998. Prior to his appointment, he had been engaged in the private practice of law for over 20 years.  Judge Melonakis graduated from McGeorge School of Law, University of the Pacific, Sacramento, California in May of 1977 with distinction, and did his undergraduate at Metropolitan State College of Denver graduating in May of 1974, Summa Cum Laude with a B.A. in Economics and Political Science.  Judge Melonakis presides over criminal, juvenile, civil, domestic relations, mental health, and probate cases.  His current docket is 77% criminal. 

In arriving at their recommendation, Commission members interviewed Judge Melonakis personally after reviewing survey results provided by lawyers, parties, and other individuals who appeared in front of Judge Melonakis or otherwise observed him in court.  The Commission members also reviewed Judge Melonakis’s self-evaluation, observed him in court, and reviewed a number of decisions rendered by the judge.  The Commission believes that Judge Melonakis shares his expertise of the law both in and out of the courtroom.  He keeps up to date on Supreme Court rulings and applies those rulings where applicable.   He has a high regard for his position and high expectations of all that enter his courtroom.  He answers their questions and educates them on courtroom procedure.  Judge Melonakis is appreciative of the duties of the juries that sit for trials and always talks to them to thank them for their service.  Judge Melonakis may seem harsh to the unprepared but he does not ask of others what he does not expect of himself, as each person that enters his courtroom deserves professionalism, preparedness, courtesy, and knowledgeable representation.

During this election cycle, the Commission's survey results revealed that from attorneys and non-attorneys Judge Melonakis received ratings that were slightly above the statewide average among all district judges standing for retention.  Of all attorneys surveyed about retention, with a sample size of 122, 86% recommended to retain, 9% 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, 91% recommended to retain and 9% not to retain.   Of all non-attorneys surveyed, with a sample size of 800, 95% recommended to retain, 2% not to retain, and 2% were undecided or didn’t have enough information to make a recommendation.  Of those expressing an opinion to retain or not to retain, 97% recommended to retain and 2% not to retain.  (These percentages may not total 100% due to rounding.)  Based on its review of returned surveys, review of several of Judge Melonakis’s decisions, courtroom observations, and interview of Judge Melonakis, the Commission unanimously recommends that Judge Chris Melonakis BE RETAINED.