The Hon. Colleen M. Nichols is a judge for the Superior Court of Placer County in California. She was elected to the bench in March 2004, filling a vacancy created by the retirement of the Hon. James D. Garbolino.
Nichols earned a B.A. in political science from California State University, Chico in 1981. After graduating from university, she spent one year working as a paralegal for Legal Services of Northern California in Sacramento. She then enrolled at the University of California, Davis School of Law, completing a J.D. in 1985.
Prior to her appointment to the bench, Nichols served as a court commissioner for the Superior Court of Placer County for twelve years. During this time, she was instrumental in the creation of a drug court and a dependency court in Placer County. She also helped develop the Placer County Proposition 36 drug-court program.
She has chaired the Juvenile Law Education Committee of the Judicial Council.
Nichols was born and raised in Roseville, California. As a teenager, she helped her parents manage the several dry-cleaning businesses that they owned.
When she is not presiding over cases, she enjoys playing tennis.