Judicial Officers and the Case Management Order
There are two types of judicial officers – a District Court Judge and a Magistrate Judge. Magistrates often handle preliminary matters and then the case is transferred to a District Court Judge for the final orders hearing. A final orders hearing is where all unresolved property, support and child-related issues are addressed and resolved by a court. It is possible for a Magistrate to preside over a final orders hearing if the parties consent to it. Magistrates also handle many post-decree cases. A Magistrate is a court employee in contrast to a District Court Judge who is a public official appointed by the Governor.
The good news about a Magistrate order is that you can request a review of the magistrate’s decision in the same court system that issued the order – the District Court. The request for review process is similar to but simpler and less expensive than an appeal to the Colorado Court of Appeals. You would request review of the order within 14 days if you were present when the order was issued, or in 21 days if you were not.
A request for review is based on an error of fact or law in the decision. The court can not hear new evidence and it is not a second bite at the apple. The district court judge will defer to the magistrate on certain aspects such as a credibility evaluation of the parties, however sometimes magistrate decisions are overturned. You will request and file the hearing transcript for the order that you are asking be reviewed. There is a presumption that if you don’t request and submit the transcript, that the lower court order should be upheld. Without a copy of the transcript, the district court judge's ability to review the case is very limited. When you request the transcript, you would reference the specific areas where you believe there is an error of fact or law.The Case Management Order
The court will issue a case management order early in the case providing guidance about events and deadlines. The good news is that at least insofar as the Case Management Order, the court will provide guidance on what to do and when to do it. The deadlines are important and if you miss them, there can be negative consequences such as an inability to submit evidence. Always put the deadlines on a calendar to keep track of them.
Common things addressed in a case management order are:
- The Initial Status Conference
- Financial disclosure requirements and deadlines
- Discovery procedures and deadlines
- Motions procedures
- Procedures for continuances
- The mandatory parenting class for those with children
- Trial procedures
A knowledgeable and experienced divorce and family law attorney can guide you through Colorado Springs divorce and family law matters by negotiating, mediating and litigating. Give yourself the benefit of hiring one. This allows you to focus on moving on to a better future instead of spending your time attempting to navigate complex legal rules and procedures.
Sabra Janko from Janko Family Law Solutions has more than 20 years of legal experience and protects your best interests and ensures that you are aware of your legal rights and obligations. Contact us at 719-344-5523 for a free 30-minute informational consultation or complete our online form.