The United States District Court
District of Colorado

Hon. Philip A. Brimmer, Chief Judge
Jeffrey P. Colwell Esq., Clerk of Court

Our mission is to serve the public by providing a fair and impartial forum that ensures equal access to justice in accordance with the rule of law, protects rights and liberties of all persons, and resolves cases in a timely and efficient manner.

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Guidance: For information regarding COVID-19 guidance,
general orders, and public announcements click HERE.

Court News

U.S. Magistrate Judge Vacancy - Denver, CO

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a full-time United States Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado located in Denver, Colorado to fill the vacancy created by Magistrate Judge Nina Y. Wang’s recent confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. The term of office is eight (8) years. The current annual salary of the position is $205,528. Applications are due by close of business (5:00 p.m. MDT) on August 29, 2022. The application and other related materials may be found HERE.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States District Judges Charlotte N. Sweeney and Nina Y. Wang

United States District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney and United States District Judge Nina Y. Wang were each sworn into office on July 22, 2022 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. Formal investitures will be planned for each at a later date. Judge Sweeney will start her first day on the bench on August 1, 2022. Her chambers will be in C-253 in the Byron G. Rogers Courthouse, and she is assigned courtroom C-204. Cases assigned to Judge Sweeney will be identified on the docket by her initials CNS. Judge Wang will remain in chambers A-532 and courtroom A-502 of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse. Cases assigned to Judge Wang will continue to have her initials NYW.

 

Committee on Conduct Opportunities for Interested Attorneys

The United States District Court is seeking applications for appointment to the court's Committee on Conduct. The Committee on Conduct presides over attorney disciplinary matters, as defined in D.C.COLO.LAttyR 6(c). There is currently one upcoming vacancy on the Committee. For more information, please visit the Attorney Discipline page of the court's website, available HERE.

 

Arraj Front Door Replacement

Beginning, Thursday July 21st, the center doors into the Arraj Courthouse will be replaced. This replacement project is expected to last approximately 2-3 weeks. During this time period these centers door will be inaccessible. The revolving doors on either side of the center doors will remain open. For those unable to use the revolving doors, posted signs will route you to a temporary entrance along the Champa Street side of the Arraj courthouse. We appreciate your patience during this renovation.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States Magistrate Judge Maritza Dominguez Braswell

United States Magistrate Judge Maritza Dominguez Braswell was sworn into office on the afternoon of July 6, 2022 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture ceremony will be planned for a later date. Magistrate Judge Dominguez Braswell's chambers are located in Colorado Springs. Chamber's telephone number is: 719-575-0328. Cases assigned to Magistrate Judge Dominguez Braswell will be identified on the docket by her initials MDB.

 

Notice to Attorneys – Requests for Certificates of Good Standing or Duplicate Bar Certificates

Please be aware that effective July 1, 2022, requests for Certificates of Good Standing and requests for Duplicate Bar Certificates must be submitted through the U.S. District Court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing system ("CM/ECF"). Please note that the use of an e-mailed credit card authorization form to the Clerk's Office will no longer serve as the method to request a certificate and will not be available after July 1. For more information, visit here.

 

Order Appointing Magistrate Judge Selection Panel - Durango, CO

In accordance with Volume 3, Chap. 4, § 420 of the Judicial Conference Regulations governing the Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment of United States Magistrate Judges, the Court has appointed a Merit Selection Panel to review the current service of incumbent part-time Magistrate Judge James M. Candelaria. Magistrate Judge Candelaria sits in Durango, Colorado. A copy of the appointment order is available HERE.

 

Notice – U.S. District Court Civil Pro Bono Panel 2021 Annual Report

Under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 15 - Civil Pro Bono Representation the Standing Committee on Pro Se Litigation is responsible for implementing the Civil Pro Bono Panel Program and for reporting annually to the court on the status of the program. The 2021 Annual Report of the Civil Pro Bono Panel is now available HERE for the court's, the bar's, and the public's review. Please also visit the Civil Pro Bono Panel page for more information about the Program.

 

Public Notice Concerning the Reappointment of Magistrate Judge James M. Candelaria

The current term of office of part-time United States Magistrate Judge James M. Candelaria for U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado is due to expire on January 1, 2023. Magistrate Judge Candelaria sits in Durango, Colorado. The United States District Court is required by law to establish a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of the magistrate judge to a new four-year term. Written comments from members of the bar and the public are invited as to whether the incumbent magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court. Comments must be received by 5:00 p.m. on May 20, 2022. Read more HERE.

 

U.S. DISTRICT COURT LOCAL RULES REVISIONS (Clarification)

EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2021

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado reviewed and approved revisions to the court's Local Rules on Nov. 3, 2021. The amended rules become effective December 1, 2021.  The District Court has clarified Local AP Rule 5.2.  The latest action does not change the filing requirements for social security appeals, but rather emphasizes that filers should not redundantly seek to file their papers using the docket event “Restricted Document level 1.”

The amendments can be found in a redline/strikeout version, a compilation of the revised rules, a summary explaining the rule amendments, and final form by visiting the link below.

Visit the Local Rules page HERE.

 

New U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado is pleased to announce the selection of Ms. Maritza Dominguez Braswell as a United States Magistrate Judge to sit in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Ms. Dominguez Braswell currently serves as the Deputy Attorney General for the Civil Litigation & Employment Law Section for the State of Colorado. Prior to that, her private practice work centered on complex civil litigation. Ms. Dominguez Braswell will fill the vacancy created by Magistrate Kathleen M. Tafoya's upcoming retirement at the end of January. Ms. Dominguez Braswell's appointment is subject to a required background investigation.

To assist the Court with the selection process, the Court appointed a seven-member Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel that reviewed submissions received from numerous applicants. From this applicant pool, the Selection Panel made its recommendations to the Court of the candidates it determined were most qualified to serve. Each of the candidates was interviewed by the judges of the court before it made its final selections. The Court thanks the members of the Selection Panel for their service.

Upon her retirement, Magistrate Judge Tafoya's pending cases will be reassigned among the Court's other full-time magistrate judges with the expectation that most of these cases will later be reassigned to Ms. Dominguez Braswell upon her appointment.

 

REVISED Notice - Judicial Practice Standards (Criminal and Civil) Updates

Effective December 1, 2021 U.S. District Judge William J. Martínez and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty have published revised practice standards. U.S. District Judge Christine M. Arguello has also published revised practice standards. They are listed under the respective judicial officers HERE. Please refer to the Judicial Practice Standards page for other revisions which may have been made recently – including U.S. District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez’s Criminal Practice Standards – and upcoming revisions to the practice standards of U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Domenico (Civil and Criminal) and Judge Rodriguez (Civil).

 

 

U.S. DISTRICT COURT LOCAL RULES REVISIONS

EFFECTIVE DECEMBER 1, 2021

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado reviewed and approved revisions to the court's Local Rules on Nov. 3, 2021. The amended rules become effective December 1, 2021.

The Advisory Committee on the Local Rules of Practice and Procedure in the 2020-2021 local rules cycle continued its review of public suggestions and comments for improvements to the local rules.

The amendments can be found in a redline/strikeout version, a compilation of just the revised rules, a summary explaining the rule amendments, and final form by visiting the link below.

Visit the Local Rules page HERE.

 

Notice - Judicial Practice Standards (Criminal and Civil) Updates

Effective December 1, 2021 U.S. District Judge William J. Martínez and U.S. Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty have published revised practice standards. They are listed under the respective judicial officers HERE. Please refer to the Judicial Practice Standards page for other revisions which may have been made recently – including U.S. District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez’s Criminal Practice Standards – and upcoming revisions to the practice standards of U.S. District Judge Daniel D. Domenico (Civil and Criminal) and Judge Rodriguez (Civil).

 

Announcement of the Reappointment of Magistrate Michael E. Hegarty

The Judges of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado take great pleasure in announcing the reappointment of United States Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty to a third term of eight years effective February 15, 2022. The Court unanimously approved Judge Hegarty's reappointment based upon the recommendation of a Merit Selection Panel that recently solicited comments from the public relative to Judge Hegarty's performance. The Merit Selection Panel was comprised of Colorado attorneys and lay persons.

 

Announcing the Federal Court Prison Litigation Handbook

A project of the Standing Committee on Pro Se Litigation, the Prison Litigation Handbook is written for - and available to - any attorney who wishes to consider and accept a federal prison litigation case on pro bono basis. Because civil actions involving incarcerated plaintiffs present specific procedural and substantive issues that many attorneys may not address in their everyday practice, the Handbook attempts to provide helpful information for those attorneys new or unfamiliar with this aspect of the law and interested in representing prisoners in civil actions in the District of Colorado. The Handbook is available here.

 

Order Appointing Magistrate Judge Selection Panel

In accordance with Volume 3, Chap. 4, § 420 of the Judicial Conference Regulations governing the Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment of United States Magistrate Judges, the Court has appointed a Merit Selection Panel for the upcoming vacancy for a United States Magistrate Judge located in Colorado Springs, Colorado. A copy of the appointment order is available HERE.

 

New Chief U.S. Probation Officer

The Judges of the Court are happy to announce that Ms. Elizabeth K. Russell has been selected as the next Chief U.S. Probation Officer for the District of Colorado. Deputy Chief Russell will succeed Chief Lavetra A. Morgan upon Chief Morgan's retirement at the end of the year.

 

Update Regarding the Committee on Conduct

In accordance with D.C.COLO.LAttyR 6(b), the judges of this court have voted and appointed Peter B. Goldstein as Chair; Brooke H. Meyer as Vice Chair; released Thomas J. Overton, Paula D. Greisen, and Edward R. Harris as members of the Committee with the Court’s gratitude; and appointed Matthew K. Belcher, Troy Rackham, and Traci L. Van Pelt as new members of the Committee on Conduct. The U.S. District Court thanks all the applicants to the Committee for their time and interest in serving the legal community.

 

Proposed Local Rule Revisions

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado announces proposed amendments to its local rules and invites public comment. The proposed amendments can be found by visiting the local rules page on the U.S. District Court website, under the "Local Rules of Practice Open for Comment" column HERE. All comments must be submitted no later than Friday, October 8, 2021. Please e-mail comments to LocalRule_Comments@cod.uscourts.gov, or mail them to the Clerk of the Court, United States District Court, Attn: Legal Officer, Alfred A. Arraj U.S. Courthouse, 901 19th Street, Denver, Colorado 80294. Please identify the specific local rule to which your comment(s) relate.

Thank you in advance for your input.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez

United States District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez was sworn into office on the afternoon of July 1, 2021 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer.  A formal investiture ceremony will be planned for a later date.  Judge Rodriguez's chambers are located in A-738 of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse and she is assigned to courtroom A-702.  Chamber's telephone number is: 303-335-2170.   Cases assigned to Judge Rodriguez will be identified on the docket by her initials RMR.

 

 

New Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado

Pursuant to 28 USC 154(b), the judges of the U.S. District Court have designated U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Kimberley H. Tyson as the next Chief Judge of the U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the District of Colorado. Judge Tyson's seven-year term as Chief Judge will begin on July 1, 2021. The U.S District Court congratulates Judge Tyson and thanks outgoing Chief Judge Michael E. Romero for his service to the District over the past seven years.

 

Clerk's Office Front Counter Open

Beginning June 8, 2021 the Clerk's Office Intake Counter will reopen to public entry. The drop box established inside the front entry of the Arraj Courthouse during the COVID-19 will be discontinued immediately. The Clerk's Office will continue to accept filings from unrepresented parties via email in compliance with procedures published by the Clerk of Court. Available HERE.

 

Notice – U.S. District Court Civil Pro Bono Panel 2019-2020 Annual Report

Under D.C.COLO.LAttyR 15 - Civil Pro Bono Representation, the Standing Committee on Pro Se Litigation is responsible for implementing the Civil Pro Bono Panel Program and for reporting annually to the court on the status of the program. The 2019-2020 Annual Report of the Civil Pro Bono Panel is now available HERE for the court's, the bar's, and the public's review. Please also visit the Civil Pro Bono Panel page for more information about the Program.

 

General Order 2021-1: FILING OF HIGHLY SENSITIVE DOCUMENTS

In response to recent disclosures of widespread breaches of both private sector and government computer systems, federal courts are adding new security procedures to protect highly sensitive documents filed with the courts. General Order 2021-1 outlines the procedures this Court has adopted for the filing of certain highly sensitive documents. The full text of General Order 2021-1 is available here.

 

Notice – Federal Rule Changes in Effect

Under the Rules Enabling Act, 28 U.S.C. §§ 2071-75, the following changes to the Federal Rules of Appellate, Bankruptcy, and Civil Procedure, and the Federal Rules of Evidence, took effect December 1, 2020:
-Civil Rule 30;
-Evidence Rule 404;
-Appellate Rules 35 and 40; and
-Bankruptcy Rules 2002, 2004, 8012, 8013, 8015, and 8021.

For more details, see the official submissions to Congress by the Chief Justice of all the rule amendments, available HERE.

Additionally, please be aware that there are no District of Colorado local rule revisions in effect.

 

Upcoming Events

Faculty of Federal Advocates presents:

"The Psychology of Lawyering” - Elizabeth Titus, Esq., Holland & Hart, LLP; Andrew Lillie, Esq., Holland & Hart, LLP; Lauren Groen, Esq., Novus Global

When: Wednesday, August 17, 2022, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Where: Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room, 901 19th Street, Denver
2 general CLE credits requested.

A discussion on how considering the hearts and minds of colleagues, clients, opposing counsel, and judges when practicing law inevitably make lawyers better advocates and counselors.
To register, visit the Faculty of Federal Advocates website here.

 

 

Faculty of Federal Advocates presents:

"Legal Malpractice and Lawyer Discipline – How to Prevent Yourself from Being Before the Committee on Conduct or Being Sued” - Troy Rackham, Esq., Spencer Fane, LLP

When: Thursday, September 15, 2022, 12:00 PM - 1:15 PM

Where: Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse, Jury Assembly Room, 901 19th Street, Denver
2 general/ethics CLE credits requested.

Mr. Rackham will identify common situations that create greater risk to lawyers of a malpractice claim or a grievance.  Mr. Rackham will identify techniques and strategies to prevent or reduce the circumstances that can result in a malpractice claim or grievance, including good engagement letters, regular and robust communication with clients, and documentation techniques.  Mr. Rackham also will discuss the Rules of Professional Conduct and the common ones that result in discipline in this Court and in Colorado.
To register, visit the Faculty of Federal Advocates website here.