Colorado's Court of Appeals is the intermediary appellate court for the state. The Court of Appeals is not a trial court and decisions, called “opinions” are decided by a panel of three judges. The Colorado Court of Appeals mission is “to provide the citizens of Colorado with clear, impartial, and timely resolutions of appealed orders and judgments as provided by law.” Additionally, “The Court of Appeals was created by statute; accordingly, jurisdiction is limited to the areas specified by state statute, together with the inherent powers granted to all courts.”
The Colorado Court of Appeals has initial jurisdiction over District, Juvenile and Probate Court proceedings and many cases when appealed will first end up in the Court of Appeals. The Court of Appeals is located in Denver Colorado.
There are 22 Court of Appeals judges. They are elected to office by the public for an eight-year term. The Chief Justice of the Supreme Court selects a Chief Judge to sit on each three-member panel. The Supreme Court Chief Justice also rotates assignments to avoid bias and keep things fair. The Colorado Judicial Branch website has links to each judge in his or her district with a biography and picture.
On average, the Colorado Court of Appeals hears 2,400 cases per year. The highest number of cases are criminal, then civil cases, followed by juvenile matters and industrial claims. The average number of filings stays fairly consistent year-to-year except for a small increase of about 5% per year. Published opinions from the Colorado Court of Appeals are posted every week on the Judicial Branch website for the public to review. The site also has detailed instructions and all forms for self-represented individuals to navigate the appeals process through the Colorado Court of Appeals.