16th Judicial District Access to Justice Committee

  • Michael Schiferl, District Court Judge, 16th Judicial District
  • Wendy Larsen, District Administrator, 16th Judicial District
  • Sarah Zane, Magistrate, 16th Judicial District
  • Erin Harris, Managing Attorney, Colorado Legal Services – La Junta Office
  • Daniel Ramirez, Family Court Facilitator, 16th Judicial District
  • Jeremy Dowell, Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator, 16th Judicial District

Charter of the Sixteenth Judicial District Access to Justice Committee

This Charter is adopted jointly by the representatives of the Sixteenth Judicial District of Colorado and the Sixteenth Judicial District Bar Association to organize a group known as the Sixteenth Judicial District Access to Justice Committee. The Committee shall function under the following rules:

  1. The Committee is formed for the purposes of improving access to justice for citizens of the District, primarily through the development and encouragement of community education of the Colorado Judicial Court system. Existing community outreach projects shall be supported and strengthened as possible. Members shall make a constant effort to improve the public’s access to the Courts. Programs offered by the Committee shall serve a variety of legal needs of the community.
  2. The Committee shall be composed of no less than six persons working or living in Otero, Bent, and Crowley counties. The committee will be comprised of:
    a. At least one county or district court judge from the l6th Judicial District
    b. Attorney members of the Sixteenth Judicial Bar Association
    c. A representative of Colorado Legal Services (CLS)
    d. A designee from the District Attorney’s office or Public Defender’s Office
    e. The Family Court Facilitator
    f. The Self-Represented Litigant Coordinator
  3. The Committee shall meet quarterly. Unless otherwise decided by the Committee, it shall meet at the Otero County Courthouse at noon on the first Wednesday of the months of January, April, July, and October. The Committee chair shall send a notice of each meeting two weeks in advance.
  4. The agenda of any regular meeting shall include the following:
    a. A report or update from the CLS representative regarding the status of CLS work
    in the District. This report may be sent in an email prior or given verbally at the
    b. A report or update from the Family Court Facilitator and/or Self-Represented
    Litigant Coordinator regarding the status of pro se litigants in domestic relations
    cases, and other case type that requires examination or comment from the
    c. An update from the Bar Association representative about any events, status
    changes, or access to justice opportunities for litigants or area attorneys.
    d. A summary of any recent events organized by the Committee.
  5. The Sixteenth Judicial District has a large membership of attorneys employed by governmental agencies. Therefore, it is a priority for this Committee to provide ample opportunities for governmental attorneys to participate in community education and other events that serve self-represented litigants, and access to justice needs in the community.
  6. Any expenses of the Committee shall be kept at a minimum as there is no fee for participating or membership in this Committee. In the event that expenses are required to perform an event or service, members of the Committee shall receive approval from the Sixteenth Bar Association, Colorado Judicial Courts, Colorado Legal Services, or other funding source.
  7. The Committee will report as required by the Colorado Access to Justice Commission, to the Association, and the Chief District Judge. This report may be completed electronically.
  8. Various programs and forms of community outreach shall be explored and tested by the committee. Options to be explored include but are not limited to: clinics, call-a-lawyer events, providing the community self-help documents and brochures, and representation of low-income persons or charitable organizations through pro-bono legal work.

Accepted by the Chief District Judge and the l6th Judicial District Bar President this 5th day of May, 2015.

Mark A. MacDonnell, Chief District Judge of the Sixteenth Judicial District

Daniel Ramirez, Family Court Facilitator & Bar President of the Sixteenth Judicial District