James R Hartenbach 21st Judicial Circuit (St. Louis County)


The 21st Judicial Performance Evaluation Committee recommends that Judge James R. Hartenbach BE RETAINED.


Circuit Judge

Evaluation Year



Judge Hartenbach has been a circuit judge since January 21, 1984. His judicial assignments since the last retention election have included the civil, criminal, domestic and equity courts. Judge Hartenbach received his undergraduate and law degrees from St. Louis University. He was the first assistant in both the St. Louis and Franklin County prosecutor’s offices. He is a member of The Missouri Bar, St. Louis County Bar Association, Bar Association of Metropolitan St. Louis, and the Lawyers Association of St. Louis.


Attorneys who responded to survey questions rated Judge Hartenbach on a scale of 1 to 5, with 1 representing “not at all” and 5 representing “completely.” More than 500 attorneys responded with respect to Judge Hartenbach.

The attorneys rated Judge Hartenbach as 4.64 or higher on all 18 categories of criteria surveyed. Judge Hartenbach received his highest scores for maintaining and requiring proper order and decorum in the courtroom (4.80); demonstrating appropriate demeanor on the bench (4.77); knowledge of evidence (4.74); and knowledge of the law (4.73).

Ninety-two (92) juror surveys were returned with responses pertaining to Judge Hartenbach. Juror surveys were answered “yes” or “no,” with “yes” being a positive responde and “no” being a negative response. Of the 10 criteria surveyed, Judge Hartenbach received 92 positive responses out of 92 in nine of the 10 criterion and 90 out of 92 for the tenth.

The committee also reviewed a “Findings of Fact and Conclusions of Law” written by Judge Hartenbach in a civil cases and found the ruling to be well-written, concise, and consistent with case law cited therein.