Douglas County District Judges Paula Martin and Michael Malone should be retained by voters in November, according to state government report cards released Friday.
The Kansas Commission on Judicial Performance released its evaluations of appointed district judges, Kansas Supreme Court justices and Court of Appeals judges who will appear on the ballot in this year's general election. The commission's task is to provide voters with information about how well justices and judges perform and whether they should keep their jobs.
Based on survey responses from attorneys, other judges and a random selection of people who've had cases before a particular judge, the commission has recommended that Douglas County voters keep Martin and Malone on the bench.
The commission's survey results indicate that 97 percent of attorneys and 88 percent of non-attorneys recommended that Malone be retained. Attorneys gave him an overall average score of 3.77 on a 4-point scale, non-attorneys gave him a score of 3.38, and appellate judges gave him a 3.8.
For Martin, 87 percent of attorneys and 86 percent of non-attorneys recommended that she be retained. Attorneys gave Martin an overall average score of 3.45 on a 4-point scale; she received a 3.38 from non-attorneys and a 3.1 from appellate judges. Martin was rated as being completely neutral in criminal cases by 100 percent of the attorneys who were surveyed, a summary of the commission's report said.
Two Kansas Supreme Court justices and four Court of Appeals judges will also be up for retention this year. The commission has recommended that all judges and justices who will appear on Douglas County ballots in November be retained.
Complete and detailed reports about all the judges are available online. A firm in Boulder, Colo., conducted the surveys.
The commission was created by the Kansas Legislature in 2006. According to the commission, six other states have such an evaluation system.