Judge Carter named 2003 Outstanding Judicial Officer | PostIndependent.com
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Judge Carter named 2003 Outstanding Judicial Officer

Garfield County Judge Stephen Carter of Rifle has been selected as the Colorado Judicial Branch Outstanding Judicial Officer for 2003.

The award recognizes exemplary work by a judge or magistrate in the state’s judicial system, according to a Colorado Judicial Branch news release.

Carter has served as a judge for 31 years. His most recent project was the development of teen court.



Teen court is aimed at providing area kids who have committed petty offenses with a sentencing hearing conducted by fellow teens. The court uses teen prosecutors, defense attorneys, and jurors, but an adult judge presides over each hearing.

“Judge Carter, acting as facilitator, brings all the different parties together,” 9th District Chief Judge Thomas Ossola and clerk of the court Kathy Schouten wrote in their nomination of Carter for the award. “His energetic approach creates an optimistic and stimulating environment for the Teen Court volunteers.”



No juvenile is required to participate as a defendant in Teen Court, but the case can be dismissed if the juvenile complies with the court’s sentence.

Carter was also recognized for the diligence, patience and fairness he brings to the courtroom, the news release said.

“He is patient and respectful of defendants and always tries to impose a sentence that is appropriate,” Ossola and Schouten wrote.


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