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Legislative Year: 2023 Change

Bill Detail: HB23-1205

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Title Office Of Judicial Ombudsman
Status Governor Signed (06/07/2023)
Bill Subjects
  • Courts & Judicial
House Sponsors J. Bacon (D)
M. Lynch (R)
Senate Sponsors D. Moreno (D)
R. Gardner (R)
House Committee Judiciary
Senate Committee Judiciary
Date Introduced 02/15/2023

The bill establishes the office of the judicial discipline ombudsman
(office) as an independent office in the commission on judicial discipline
(commission) that is operated pursuant to a memorandum of
understanding between the office and the commission. The judicial
discipline ombudsman is the director of the office.
The bill establishes the judicial discipline ombudsman selection
board (board) to be made up of 7 board members who must be appointed
not later than January 1, 2024. The duties and responsibilities of the board
  • Overseeing personnel decisions of the ombudsman, which
include appointing a person to serve as the ombudsman,
filling a vacancy in the ombudsman position, evaluating the
ombudsman's performance, and developing a complaint
process concerning the ombudsman's performance;
  • Overseeing and advising the ombudsman on the strategic
direction of the office and its mission;
  • Working cooperatively with the ombudsman to provide
fiscal oversight of the general operating budget of the
  • Ensuring compliance with the provisions of the bill, the
memorandum of understanding, and state and federal laws;
  • Promoting the mission of the office; and
  • Providing assistance to the ombudsman when requested.
The powers and duties of the ombudsman include:
  • Creating and maintaining an anonymous reporting system
for judicial personnel to submit complaints;
  • Helping complainants understand their rights and options
in reporting and filing a complaint with the commission
and other appropriate authorities;
  • Providing complainants with necessary referrals for
additional support services and care if needed or requested;
  • Reporting appropriate cases to the commission, the office
of attorney regulation counsel, law enforcement, and the
judicial department;
  • Serving in an advisory capacity to the commission and the
judicial department on rule-making;
  • Ensuring accountability and consistency in the operating
policies and procedures of the office; and
  • Serving as a liaison for communications between a
complainant and the commission or the judicial
The bill requires that, to be appointed, the ombudsman must have
prior experience serving as an ombudsman; have a deep understanding of
and expertise in organizational culture and diversity, equity, and
inclusion; have professional experience working with human resources;
and possess the ability to act in a nonpartisan manner.
The bill requires all communications and information disclosed to
the ombudsman by a complainant to be kept confidential unless the
complainant gives the ombudsman permission to disclose the information.
Disclosed information and records are not discoverable if the information
and records are received during and within the scope of the ombudsman's
duties and responsibilities.
The bill requires the ombudsman to disclose a complaint that
alleges judicial misconduct and to keep the identity of the complainant
confidential unless the complainant gives permission to disclose the
complainant's identity.
The records related to complaints received by the office are not
subject to the Colorado Open Records Act.
The bill authorizes the office to promulgate rules necessary to
implement the requirements of the bill and to ensure confidentiality of
disclosures made to the office by complainants.

Committee Reports
with Amendments
Full Text
Full Text of Bill (pdf) (most recent)
Fiscal Notes Fiscal Notes (07/17/2023) (most recent)  
Additional Bill Documents Bill Documents
  • Past bill versions
  • Past fiscal notes
  • Committee activity and documents
  • Bill History
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