Steamboat Springs A third district judge position has been created in the 14th Judicial District, which includes Moffat, Routt and Grand counties.
Evan Herman, district court administrator, said the addition of another district judge would ease the caseload for the two existing judges who have been handling an increasing number of cases.
"The Colorado Judicial Branch monitors caseload, and when they identify locations that are in need of other judgeships, they create legislation to put judges in those areas," he said.
Gov. Bill Ritter recently passed House Bill 1054, which during the next three years will put 43 new judges in place. The legislation originally called for 63 new judges, Herman said.
"Our district is in the first group of districts to begin receiving judges because our need is one of the highest," he said. "We have a need for three district court judges now, and our dockets clearly reflect that as we have one of the highest caseloads in the state."
Applications for the new position are due by 5 p.m., June 1. The job comes with a salary of $113,232.
Once all the applications are submitted the names of those who applied for the position will be disclosed, at which point the public is invited to make comment on the qualifications of the applicants.
A nominating committee comprised of residents in all three counties will review the applications and make nominations for appointment to Gov. Ritter, who chooses who to appoint.
The 14th Judicial Nominating Committee - Robert Anderson of Granby, Michael Ritschard of Kremmling, Robert Aaberg of Craig, Kris Hammond, Ron Smith and Nancy B. Smith, all of Steamboat Springs- is scheduled to meet June 19 in Steamboat Springs to interview candidates and select nominees.
District Judge Shelley Hill was the last judge to have been appointed in the district. She was appointed by former Gov. Bill Owens in May 2006 to replace former District Judge Paul McLimans.
The initial term of office of a district judge is a provisional term of two years. After that period, the incumbent judge, if retained by voters, serves a six-year term.
Herman said having a third judge in the district would help serve the community better.
"It's really a good thing because now we can better serve the citizens of our three counties, which is our primary goal," he said.