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.

Court News

New U.S. Magistrate Judge Selections

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado is pleased to announce the selection of Timothy P. O'Hara and Cyrus Y. Chung as United States Magistrate Judges. Both selectees have extensive litigation experience. Mr. O'Hara currently serves as an Assistant Federal Public Defender with the Office of the Federal Public Defender for the Districts of Colorado and Wyoming. Mr. Chung currently serves as an Assistant United States Attorney in the Criminal Division of the United States Attorney's Office for the District of Colorado. Mr. O'Hara will fill the vacancy created by former Magistrate Judge Crews' recent appointment as a U.S. District Judge. Mr. Chung will fill the vacancy created by Magistrate Judge Hegarty's expected retirement on or about January 3, 2025.

Each selectee's appointment is subject to a required background investigation. To assist the Court with the selection process, the Court appointed a nine-member Magistrate Judge Selection Panel that reviewed submissions received from many qualified applicants. From this applicant pool, the Selection Panel recommended six candidates it determined were most qualified to serve. Each of the candidates was interviewed by the judges of the Court who made final selections. The Court thanks the members of the Selection Panel for their service.

 

United States v. Aldrich: 24-CR-00006-CNS

United States v. Aldrich: 24-CR-00006-CNS is set for a plea and sentencing hearing on Tuesday, June 18, 2024 beginning at 9:00 a.m. in courtroom A702 of the Alfred A. Arraj Courthouse before United States District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney.

Please refer to our Cases of Interest Page for more information.

 

Committee on Conduct Opportunities for Interested Attorneys

The United States District Court is seeking applicants 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 are currently 2 vacancies on the Committee. For more information, please visit the Attorney Discipline page of the court's website available HERE.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States Magistrate Judge Richard T. Gurley

Part-Time United States Magistrate Judge Richard T. Gurley was sworn into office on June 3, 2024 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture will be planned for a later date. Magistrate Judge Gurley's chambers are in the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building, 400 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501. His chambers telephone is: (970) 241-8932. Cases assigned to Magistrate Judge Gurley will have his initials RTG.

 

Announcement of the Reappointment of Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak

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 Scott T. Vaholak to a second term of eight years effective October 1, 2024. The Court unanimously approved Judge Varholak's reappointment based upon the recommendation of a Merit Selection Panel, comprised of Colorado attorneys and lay persons, that recently solicited comments from the public relative to Judge Varholak's performance.

 

New Magistrate Judge Uniform Civil Practice Standards

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado Uniform Civil Practice Standards of the United States Magistrate Judges ("D.C.COLO.MJ"), available here and each Magistrate Judge's webpage, shall go into effect April 1, 2024. Parties appearing in federal court, including attorneys and pro se litigants, with cases before a Magistrate Judge shall review and familiarize themselves with these Practice Standards.

 

New Bill of Costs Procedure

Effective February 12, 2024, hearings on Bill of Costs are no longer mandatory in the District of Colorado. Costs disputes will be resolved primarily through electronic filing of supporting documentation in CM/ECF. Visit the Bill of Costs page HERE for further details.

 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Vacancy - Denver, CO - Amended (Application due date extended)

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 S. Kato Crews' recent confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. Additionally, subject to Judicial Conference of the United States authorization, the District Court anticipates appointing a second full-time United States Magistrate Judge to fill the vacancy that will be created upon the retirement of Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty on or about January 3, 2025. Applications are now due by close of business on February 20, 2024. The full public notice, application, and other information are available HERE.

 

Magistrate Judge O’Hara to assist the District of Colorado

Visiting Magistrate Judge James P. O’Hara, District of Kansas, will temporarily assist the U.S. District Court for the District of Colorado while it fills the vacancy created by the recent appointment of former Magistrate Judge S. Kato Crews as United States District Judge. Judge O’Hara will operate in the referral capacity for a select number of cases that were previously assigned to Magistrate Judge Crews. Judge O’Hara’s cases will be identified by his initials, JPO.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States District Judge S. Kato Crews

United States District Judge S. Kato Crews was sworn into office on January 12, 2024 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture will be planned for a later date. His chambers will remain in C-250 of the Byron G. Rogers Courthouse, and his assigned courtroom remain C-201. Cases assigned to Judge Crews will continue to have his initials SKC.

 

Order Appointing Magistrate Judge Selection Panel for the Reappointment of Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak

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 Magistrate Judge Scott T. Varholak. Magistrate Judge Varholak sits in Denver, Colorado. A copy of the appointment order is available HERE.

 

Designation of Chief Magistrate Judge

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado announces the designation of Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty as the Chief Magistrate Judge for the District of Colorado.

The chief magistrate judge is designated based on seniority and has a four-year term.  In addition to the normal duties as magistrate judge, the duties of the chief magistrate judge will include: coordinating and leading regular meetings of the magistrate judges; being available as a liaison between the magistrate judges and the chief district judge, the clerk of the court, the U.S. Probation Office, and other stakeholders who work with the magistrate judges; providing support and guidance to newly appointed magistrate judges; helping to ensure an even distribution of work among the magistrate judges; and meeting periodically with the chief district judge to discuss administrative matters.

 

Now in Effect: Fee Schedule Changes Plus Local & Federal Rules Revisions

As previously announced, updates to district court fees have been implemented in the District of Colorado per the Judicial Conference's approval. An updated Fee Schedule may be accessed on the Forms/Fees webpage here. Additionally, changes to local and federal rules went into effect on Friday, December 1, 2023. Visit the court's "Local Rules" page here for further information.

 

Notice - Judicial Practice Standards Updates

Several judicial officers in the District Court for the District of Colorado, including District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez, District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney, District Judge Nina Y. Wang, District Judge Gordon P. Gallagher, Senior District Judge Christine M. Arguello, and Magistrate Judge Michael E. Hegarty, have updated their practice standards effective December 1, 2023. All parties with cases before any judges with revised practice standards should review these updates. The standards are available on the Court's website on the "Judicial Officers" page located HERE.

 

U.S. District Court Local Rules Revisions - Effective December 1, 2023

For the 2022-2023 local rules cycle, the Advisory Committee on the Local Rules of Practice and Procedure continued its review of public suggestions and comments for improvements to the local rules. The United States District Court for the District of Colorado has reviewed and approved revisions to the court's Local Rules on Sept. 13, 2023. The amended rules, which become effective December 1, 2023, can be found in a redline/strikeout version of the current local rules, a summary compilation of revised rules, and final form by visiting the Local Rules page HERE.

 

Public Notice of Pilot Program

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado provides this public notice and opportunity for public comment regarding a pilot program involving the Bankruptcy Appellate Panel (BAP). The purpose of the pilot program is to increase administrative efficiency in the processing of bankruptcy appeals by permitting the BAP Clerk’s Office to perform clerical and staff attorney functionality, regardless of whether the appeal ultimately proceeds before the BAP or the District Court. The full public notice is available on the court’s website here.

 

General Order 2023-6: Motions for Retroactive Application of Amendment 821

In anticipation of the retroactive application of Amendment 821 to the United States Sentencing Guidelines, the Court has adopted procedures for the filing of motions of this nature. The full text of General Order 2023-6 is available here.

 

New U.S. Magistrate Judge Selection

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado is pleased to announce the selection of Richard T. Gurley as a United States Magistrate Judge. Richard Gurley is currently serving as a district court judge in the 21st Judicial District, where he has been a judge for 17 years. Judge Gurley will fill the vacancy created by former Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher′s recent appointment as a U.S. District Judge. The position is part-time and is based in Grand Junction. Judge Gurley′s appointment is subject to a required background investigation.

To assist the Court with the selection process, the Court appointed a Magistrate Judge Selection Panel that reviewed submissions received from a number of qualified applicants. From this applicant pool, the Selection Panel recommended five candidates who it determined were most qualified to serve. Each of the candidates was interviewed by the judges of the Court. The Court thanks the members of the Selection Panel for their service.

 

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States Magistrate Judge Kathryn A. Starnella

United States Magistrate Judge Kathryn A. Starnella was sworn into office on August 7, 2023, by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture is planned for a later date. Judge Starnella will immediately start on the bench. Her chambers will be in C-253 in the Byron G. Rogers Courthouse, and she is assigned courtroom C-204. Chambers telephone number is: (303) 335-2770. Cases assigned to Judge Starnella will be identified on the docket by her initials, KAS.

 

Cases Assigned to Magistrate Judge Susan Prose

For consistency's sake, a slight adjustment has been made in CM/ECF to identify cases assigned to Magistrate Judge Susan Prose. These cases will now be identified by "SBP" rather than "SP". Parties with a case before Magistrate Judge Prose, shall adjust future filings accordingly.

 

Public Notice of Pilot Program

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado provides this public notice and opportunity for public comment regarding a pilot program for limited pro se prisoner assistance. The purpose of the pilot program is to provide limited legal assistance in cases filed by pro se prisoners incarcerated at the Colorado Department of Corrections Fremont Correctional Facility which have passed the Court's initial screening process. The full public notice is available on the court's website HERE.

 

Amended Order Appointing Magistrate Judge Selection Panel - Grand Junction, 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 assist the Court in selecting a candidate to serve as a part-time U.S. Magistrate Judge located in Grand Junction, Colorado. A copy of the appointment order is available HERE.

 

General Order 2023-5: Termination of the COVID-19 Public Health Emergency

The Court will return to its pre COVID-19 operational posture. Normal operations will resume. The revised Jury Protocols are hereby rescinded. Judicial officers, at their discretion, may institute rules regarding mask wearing in their courtrooms. The full order is available HERE.

 

Solicitation to Serve on Denver based Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel

In accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 4, § 420.30 of the Judicial Conference Regulations for the Selection, Appointment, and Reappointment of United States Magistrate Judges, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado is seeking applications for appointment to a Denver-based magistrate judge merit selection panel. More information and application instructions may be found here.

 

CVB has a new website!

The federal judiciary has relaunched its Central Violations Bureau (CVB) website which has been redesigned to make paying fines associated with federal violations easier. Visit the new website here or read this announcement for more details.

 

Announcement by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer

On May 22, 2023, at 6:30 p.m., the United States District Court for the District of Colorado and the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services will conduct a naturalization ceremony at Coors Field in Denver, Colorado, to welcome twenty-five new American citizens. United States Magistrate Judge Kristen L. Mix will preside over the historic ceremony, which will be hosted by the Colorado Rockies. After taking the oath as new citizens, the participants will enjoy the baseball game between the Rockies and the Miami Marlins. The Court is delighted to partner with USCIS and the Rockies to make this event possible.

 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States Magistrate Judge Susan Prose

United States Magistrate Judge Susan Prose was sworn into office on May 1, 2023, by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture will be planned at a later date. Judge Prose will immediately start on the bench. Her chambers will be in C-254 in the Byron G. Rogers Courthouse, and she is assigned courtroom C-205. Cases assigned to Judge Prose will be identified on the docket by her initials, SP.

 

U.S. Magistrate Judge Vacancy (Part-Time) - Grand Junction, CO

The Judicial Conference of the United States has authorized the appointment of a part-time United States magistrate judge for the District of Colorado located in Grand Junction, Colorado to fill the vacancy that was created by Magistrate Judge Gordon P. Gallagher's recent confirmation as a U.S. District Judge. The term of office is four (4) years. The current annual salary of the position is $106,996. Applications are due by the close of business (5:00 p.m. MDT) on Tuesday, May 30, 2023. The application and other related materials may be found HERE.

 

United States District Judge Sweeney’s Chambers and Courtroom Relocation

Effectively immediately, U.S. District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney's chambers have moved to A738 on the 7th floor of the Arraj Courthouse. All future hearings before Judge Sweeney will now be heard in courtroom A702.

 

Solicitation to Serve on Grand Junction based Magistrate Judge Merit Selection Panel

In accordance with Volume 3, Chapter 4, § 420.30 of Judicial Conference Regulations, the United States District Court for the District of Colorado is accepting submissions from qualified professionals interested in serving on the court's Grand Junction based merit selection panel. This solicitation is intended to supplement an existing merit selection panel, which must have no fewer than seven members, including the court-appointed chairperson. At least two of the members must be non-lawyers. The panel's responsibilities include evaluating and recommending to the district judges the best qualified applicants for appointment to the position of a part-time U.S. magistrate judge. The panel may also evaluate the performance of an incumbent magistrate judge whose term is expiring and is up for reappointment.

Members should reside or practice in the Grand Junction jury division which consists of Delta, Eagle, Garfield, Gunnison, Mesa, Moffat, Montrose, Pitkin, Rio Blanco, and Routt counties.

Interested candidates should email a resume and letter of interest to cod_magistratejudgepanel@cod.uscourts.gov no later than Friday, April 21, at 5:00 pm MDT.

No person may be considered for selection by the court for a magistrate judge position while serving as a member of a panel. For a former panel member to be considered for a subsequent magistrate judge position, one year must elapse between the earlier of when a former merit selection panel submitted its report to the court or when the member of that panel seeking a position resigned, and the date by which applications for a subsequent vacancy are due to be submitted to the court. The Committee on the Administration of the Magistrate Judges System may waive this provision, on an individual case basis. 
 

The District of Colorado Welcomes United States District Gordon P. Gallagher

United States District Judge Gordon P. Gallagher was sworn into office on March 29, 2023 by Chief Judge Philip A. Brimmer. A formal investiture will be planned for later date. Judge Gallagher's duty station and chambers will be located in the Wayne Aspinall Federal Building, 400 Rood Avenue, Grand Junction, CO 81501. Judge Gallagher's civil docket will be comprised of civil cases across the district; his criminal docket will be comprised of primarily cases that originate on the Western Slope (Grand Junction and Durango). Cases assigned to Judge Gallagher will be identified on the docket by his initials GPG.
 

Notice – U.S. District Court Civil Pro Bono Panel 2022 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 2022 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.

 

Announcement of the Reappointment of Magistrate Judge James M. Candelaria

The Judges of the United States District Court for the District of Colorado take great pleasure in announcing the reappointment of part-time United States Magistrate Judge James M. Candelaria to a second term of four years effective January 2, 2023. Magistrate Judge Candelaria sits in Durango, Colorado. The Court unanimously approved Judge Candelaria's reappointment based upon the recommendation of a Merit Selection Panel that recently solicited comments from the public relative to Judge Candelaria's performance. The Merit Selection Panel was comprised of Colorado attorneys and lay persons from the greater Durango area.

 

New U.S. Magistrate Judge Selections

The United States District Court for the District of Colorado is pleased to announce the selection of Susan Prose and Kathryn Starnella as United States Magistrate Judges. Both selectees have extensive litigation experience. Ms. Prose is currently an Assistant United States Attorney in the Civil Division of the United States Attorney’s Office, and Ms. Starnella currently serves on the Cross-Unit Litigation team of the Colorado Attorney General’s Office. Ms. Prose will fill the vacancy created by former Magistrate Judge Wang's recent appointment as a U.S. District Judge. Ms. Starnella will fill the vacancy created by Magistrate Judge Mix's expected retirement on or about August 5, 2023.

Each selectee's appointment is subject to a required background investigation. To assist the Court with the selection process, the Court appointed a nine-member Magistrate Judge Selection Panel that reviewed submissions received from a number of qualified applicants. From this applicant pool, the Selection Panel recommended six candidates it determined were most qualified to serve. Each of the candidates was interviewed by the judges of the Court who made final selections. The Court thanks the members of the Selection Panel for their service.

 

Notice - Judicial Practice Standards Updates

Several judicial officers in the District Court for the District of Colorado, including Chief U.S. District Judge Philip A. Brimmer, District Judge William J. Martínez, District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez, District Judge Charlotte N. Sweeney, District Judge Nina Y. Wang, and Senior District Judge Christine M. Arguello, have updated their practice standards effective December 1, 2022.  Please note that Judges Arguello, Rodriguez, Sweeney, and Wang have established Uniform Civil Practice Standards applicable to these four judges.  All parties with cases before any judges with revised practice standards should review these updates.  The standards themselves, as well as a redline version comparing the new standards to the previous (2021) standards, are available on the Court’s website on the “Judicial Officers” page at http://www.cod.uscourts.gov/JudicialOfficers.aspx


 

NOTICE RE: FEDERAL RULE AMENDMENTS EFFECTIVE DEC. 1, 2022

Please be aware that various federal rules have been amended, eff. Dec. 1, 2022. Please visit the official website of the United States Courts HERE for a complete list of all rule changes, which include appellate, bankruptcy, criminal, and civil rule changes. These federal rule changes do not impact the U.S. District Court, District of Colorado's local rules and practices, and the U.S. District Court will not be revising any local rules in response to these changes. For a summary of the federal rule changes and the operational impact on District of Colorado existing rules, please visit the Local Rules page HERE.

 

The District of Colorado Mourns the Death of Senior United States District Judge Zita L. Weinshienk

It is with great sadness that the United States District Court for the District of Colorado announces the death of Senior United States District Judge Zita L. Weinshienk.  Please find the full press release here.

 

Biennial Fee Payment Issues Resolved - October 7, 2022

Were you unable to complete the biennial fee payment process recently? The court discovered a technical glitch that has been addressed.  Please attempt to submit payment again.  Thank you for your patience.

 

Biennial / Renewal Fee for Attorneys BEGINS OCT. 1, 2022

All U.S. District Court, Dist. of Colorado bar members:  please be aware that the U.S. District Court’s Biennial / Renewal Fee payment of $60.00 will be due beginning Oct. 1, 2022.  The last day to pay the fee is Dec. 31, 2022.  The payment will be made through the court's Case Management/Electronic Case Filing ("CM/ECF") system - payments must be made ONLY through CM/ECF (cash or checks sent to the clerk's office will not be accepted).  Instructions to pay the fee are available on the court's Biennial / Renewal Fee Information page on the court's website, available here.


 

United States District Judge Rodriguez Chambers and Courtroom Move

Effectively immediately, U.S. District Judge Regina M. Rodriguez' chambers have moved to A941 on the 9th floor of the Arraj Courthouse. All future hearings before Judge Rodriguez will now be heard in courtroom A901.

 

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.

 

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.