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State of Colorado

Methods of Judicial Selection: Colorado

Limited Jurisdiction Courts

County Court
Jurisdiction: civil cases < $15,000; misdemeanors; traffic infractions; felony complaints; restraining orders; small claims
Selection of Judges: gubernatorial appointment from nominating commission*
Retention of Judges: retention election
Qualifications: qualified elector and resident of county; licensed to practice law in state**
Water Court
Jurisdiction: determination of water rights; uses and administration of water resources; all other water matters
Selection of Judges: designation by supreme court from among district court judges
Retention of Judges: redesignation
Qualifications: qualified elector in district; licensed to practice law in state 5 yrs; mandatory retirement age of 72
Municipal Court
Jurisdiction: municipal ordinance violations
Selection of Judges: appointment by governing body of municipality
Retention of Judges: reappointment
Qualifications: high school graduate or its equivalency;*** municipality may require judge to be elector of municipality or county

*In Denver, judges are appointed by the mayor rather than the governor.

**In small counties, judges are only required to have graduated from high school or obtained the equivalent of a high school education. Such judges must attend an institute on the duties and functioning of the county court.

***Preference is to be given by the municipal governing body to the appointment of judges who are licensed to practice law in the state or who are trained in the law.