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Thirteenth Judicial District Overview

The Thirteenth Judicial District encompasses all of Kit Carson, Logan, Morgan, Phillips, Sedgwick, Washington and Yuma Counties, namely all of northeastern Colorado. It is approximately the size of the state of Massachusetts. Its county seats are Burlington, Sterling, Fort Morgan, Holyoke, Julesburg, Akron and Wray.

The Thirteenth Judicial District serves a population of approximately 70,000 people. There are presently 3,648 cases filed annually in the district courts and 13,110 cases filed annually in the county courts. The caseload is the responsibility of four district judges and seven county judges.
The seven county court judges are responsible for traffic and misdemeanor matters in addition to civil cases that do not exceed the jurisdictional dollar amount of the county court. The bulk of the county court judges’ work is involved in the processing of traffic matters, domestic restraining orders and small civil claims. They also serve as district court magistrates for juvenile and mental health cases.

The four district court judges handle a varied caseload of domestic relations, felony criminal matters, juvenile cases (dependency and neglect and delinquency), probate proceedings, mental health matters, and civil filings which exceed the county court jurisdictional amount.
In addition to the district and county judges, there are approximately thirty-three support staff positions. These positions include clerks of court, division clerks, court clerks, court reporters, collection investigators, probation officers, court administrative officers and probation and administrative employees. Approximately fourteen employees are assigned to the probation department.

The filings in the district courts have been growing as of late in the area of criminal and juvenile delinquency cases. It is anticipated that this trend will continue, particularly with the case filings from a newly opened Department of Corrections facility in Sterling, and private detention facilities in Burlington and Brush. area of criminal and juvenile delinquency cases. It is anticipated that this trend will continue, particularly with the case filings from a newly opened Department of Corrections facility in Sterling, and private detention facilities in Burlington and Brush.



Court Records


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Name: Christina Argyres
Division X
TCAA: Dez Marie Desantis
Phone: 505-841-7512
Biography Judge Christina Argyres received her law degree from Ohio Northern School of Law in 1997. She served as a Judge of the Metropolitan Court from 2010-2012 and joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2012. Judge Argyres serves in the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Shannon Bacon - Presiding Civil Court Judge
Division XXIII
TCAA: Heather Garcia
Phone: 505-841-7529
Biography Judge C. Shannon Bacon was appointed to the Second Judicial District Court in 2010. Judge Bacon is the Presiding Judge in the Civil Division and presides over a civil docket. Currently, Judge Bacon is the co-chair of the Second Judicial District's pro bono committee, a Commissioner on the Access to Justice Commission, the Chair of the Supreme Court's Rules of Evidence and serves on the Supreme Court Personnel Committee. She is also the President of the District and Metropolitan Court Judges Association. Outside of Court, Judge Bacon serves on a non-profit board that serves LBGTQ youth experiencing homelessness.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Denise Barela-Shepherd
Division XVIII
TCAA: Amy Ballou
Phone: 505-841-7534
Biography Judge Barela-Shepherd has been a District Court Judge since December 2003. She has the unique experience in presiding over both criminal and civil law cases. She currently presides over civil law cases. She previously presided over all phases of criminal law cases ranging from misdemeanor to 1st-Degree felony offenses.

Judge Barela-Shepherd has served as the Chairman of the District Court Security Committee since 2005, which develops and oversees security issues and concerns involving the Court. She was previously appointed by the NM Supreme Court to serve as a member of the Statewide Court Security Committee. Judge Barela-Shepherd is a long-time standing member of the Bench Bar Media Committee, which serves as a liason between the Judiciary and the Media.

Judge Barela-Shepherd is a native New Mexican. She received her high school diploma from Valley High School, her Bachelor of Science in Microbiology from Texas Tech University, and her Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Beatrice J. Brickhouse
Division IV
TCAA: Bobbi Jo Walker
Phone: 505-841-7517
Biography Judge Brickhouse began practicing law in New Mexico in 1993, after graduating from the University of Arizona Law College. She was appointed to be a State District Court Judge in January 2009. She is assigned to the Civil Division and hears a wide variety of cases, including personal injury, employment, breach of contract, civil rights, probate and guardianship, and business disputes. Prior to becoming a judge, Judge Brickhouse practiced as both a civil and criminal litigator for 16 years in New Mexico.

Judge Brickhouse is a member of the New Mexico State Bar, the Albuquerque Bar Association, and the New Mexico Black Lawyers' Association. She is also the New Mexico Chair for the National Association of Women Judges, and is on the Board of the New Mexico Board of Bar Examiners. She previously served as the Lincoln County Bar Association President and as a Bar Commissioner for the New Mexico State Bar.

She is married, with two children, and resides in Albuquerque, New Mexico
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Charles Brown - Presiding Criminal Court Judge
Division XXVI
TCAA: Aaron Jaramillo
Phone: 505-222-4570
Biography Judge Charles Brown is a 1985 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. He joined the bench in 2007 and serves as the Presiding Judge of the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Carl Butkus
Division XVI
TCAA: Cindy Molina
Phone: 505-841-7515
Biography Carl Butkus is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (1971) and the Gonzaga U. School of Law (1977). He was appointed District Judge in the Second Judicial District in 2005. Prior to that, he was in private practice from 1978 - 2005. From 1977 - 1978, he was law clerk to Honorable Wm. Hendley of the Court of Appeals of New Mexico. Among other things, he has been past Chair of the Supreme Court Rules of Civil Procedure Committee.
Groups: Civil Court Judges


Name: Clay Campbell
Division XII
TCAA: Russell Garcia
Phone: 505-841-7434
Biography Judge Clay Campbell practiced law for 15 years, primarily in the area of civil litigation, before becoming a Second Judicial District civil trial judge in March 2005. From October 2005 until January 2011, he served as a Co-Chair of the Second Judicial District Court's Pro Bono Committee. The Albuquerque Bar Association named Judge Campbell "Judge of the Year" for 2009, and he was recognized in 2010 by the American Board of Trial Advocates for his pro bono activities.

Judge Campbell got his bachelor's degree in journalism from the University of Florida in 1985, and worked as a news reporter for two years before law school. He put himself through college by working on oil rigs in Oklahoma and paid for law school by working construction jobs.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Benjamin Chavez
Division XIX
TCAA: Ruby Martinez
Phone: 505-841-7537
Biography Judge Benjamin Chavez graduated form the University of New Mexico of Law in 1996 and served as a Judge of the Metropolitan Court from 2004 through 2012. He joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2012 where he serves as a member of the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges


Name: Jacqueline Flores
Division XX
TCAA: Irene Marquez
Phone: 505-841-7562
Biography Judge Jacqueline Flores graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 1996 and joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2009. Judge Flores serves in the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Nancy J. Franchini
Division V
TCAA: Sue Gonzales
Phone: 505-841-7522
Biography Judge Franchini joined the Court in 2014 after 17 years as a civil trial attorney practicing throughout New Mexico. Judge Franchini currently serves on the Board of Governing the Recording of Judicial Proceedings and is also assisting in the development of the Elder Court at the Second Judicial District Court.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Alisa Hart
Division XXI
TCAA: Gina Duran
Phone: 505-841-6748
Biography Judge Alisa Hart graduated from Hofstra Law School in 1991. She joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2010 where she serves as a member of the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Valerie A. Huling
Division XIII
TCAA: Charlene Montoya
Phone: 505-841-7494
Biography Judge Valerie A. Huling has served in the Civil Division of the Second Judicial Court since May of 2003, and formerly was Presiding Judge of the Civil Division from 2009 to 2012. In addition, she has served as a member of the Board Governing the Recording of Judicial Proceedings and the Commission on Professionalism, and as a former Chair of the Uniform Jury Instructions - Civil Committee. She is a graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law and received a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration from Xavier University of New Orleans. She was also a former Vice President of the New Mexico District Judges Association. Prior to her judicial appointment, Judge Huling had eighteen (18) years of experience in civil law.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Cristina T. Jaramillo
Division VIII
TCAA: Ellen Wickens
Phone: 505-222-4550
Biography Judge Jaramillo first became a judge with Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court in December 2002. She was elected to the District Court in December 2014. She currently sits as a judge in the Criminal Division. Over the 12.5 years as a judge she has presided over thousands of criminal cases. Prior to coming to the Bench, she worked with the NM Public Defender's Office for 11.5 years, providing criminal defense for indigent persons. She received a joint degree with a JD and and MBA in 1990 from UNM. She has been involved, both as an attorney and as a judge, with New Mexico drug courts since 1997. She currently is the President of New Mexico Association of Drug Court Professionals. She was also the Chairperson of the New Mexico Supreme Court Drug Advisory Committee for six years. She and her husband of 36 years have two daughters and three grandchildren.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Gerard Lavelle
Division XI
TCAA: Hallie Rossbach
Phone: 505-841-7574
Biography Prior to being appointed to the Family Court bench in January 2009, Judge Lavelle practiced Family Law for 28 years. Judge Lavelle has presented at Continuing Legal Education seminars on Family Law issues locally and nationally. Judge Lavelle has served for many years as a judge at Mock Trials for both high school and middle school students.
Groups: Family Court Judges



Name: Cindy Leos
Division IX
TCAA: Bernadette Torres-Carian
Phone: 505-841-7480
Biography Judge Cindy Leos is from Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended Moriarty High School. She received a bachelor’s degree in sociology from the University of Colorado in Boulder, Colorado, and earned her Juris Doctorate from Chicago-Kent College of Law in Chicago, Illinois. Her professional experience includes working in private practice, as a Children’s Court attorney for Child Protective Services, and as a Felony Attorney/Supervisor for the New Mexico Office of the Public defender. Judge Leos was elected in the general election on November 8, 2016 to Division IX of the Second Judicial District Court.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Jane Levy
Division XXV
TCAA: Maria Chavez
Phone: 505-222-4566
Biography On November 29, 2016, Governor Susana Martinez appointed Jane Levy of Albuquerque to Division XXV of the Second Judicial District Court. Judge Levy has practiced law for more than ten years, with a focus on advocating for New Mexico families. In addition to her legal experience, Judge Levy has spent time volunteering for organizations that help domestic abuse victims and the homeless. Judge Levy holds a Juris Doctorate from Lewis and Clark Law School in Portland, Oregon and a Bachelor’s Degree from Beloit College in Beloit, Wisconsin.
Groups: Family Court Judges



Name: Victor Lopez
Division XXVII
TCAA: Theresa Pomerleau
Phone: 505-841-7454
Biography Judge Lopez was first sworn-in as a District Court Judge in December 2014. He has been licensed to practice for over 31 years. In his practice, he was responsible for a wide variety of civil and administrative law cases. He served as a Workers' Compensation Judge for six (6) years, as a disciplinary board hearing officer, and recently as a DWI hearing officer. Judge Lopez currently seeks to administer justice fairly and promptly in a wide variety of civil cases for the Second Judicial District Court.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Brett R. Loveless
Division III
TCAA: Janice Blasing
Phone: 505-841-7499
Biography After practicing law for seventeen years in New Mexico, Judge Loveless joined the Court in 2012 and presides over criminal cases. Judge Loveless is a graduate of the University of New Mexico and the University of New Mexico School of Law. He also presides over cases in the Judicial Supervision/Mental Health Court Program.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Alan Malott
Division XV
TCAA: Susan Gibson
Phone: 505-841-7474
Biography Judge Malott joined the Court in 2009 after 30 years as a trial attorney practicing throughout New Mexico. Since joining the Court, Judge Malott has served as Co-Chair of the Pro Bono Committee, which helps bring free legal services to low income citizens. He also developed and manages the Court's Mortgage Alternative Program (MAP), which provides settlement assistance in residential mortgage cases. Judge Malott also writes a regular opinion column on legal and judicial issues appearing in the Albuquerque Journal.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: Nan G. Nash - Chief Judge
Division XVII
TCAA: Sandra Partida
Phone: 505-841-7532
Biography Chief Judge Nan G. Nash joined the Court in January 2003 and moved to the Civil Division in September 2007. Prior to the move she served in the Family Court Division and was Presiding Family Court Judge from December 2004 through August 2007. Before taking the bench, Judge Nash served the Court as Special Commissioner of Domestic Violence, Family Court Hearing Officer, and Court Alternatives Director. Judge Nash has taught as an adjunct professor at the University of New Mexico School of Law since 1995 and serves as Vice Chair of the New Mexico Access to Justice Commissioner. She has served on numerous committees including the New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission, the Language Access Advisory Commission, the Rules of Civil Procedure Committee and the Domestic Relations Task Force. Judge Nash was elected Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District Court in 2014.
Groups: Civil Court Judges



Name: William Parnall
Division I
TCAA: Julie Parras
Phone: 505-841-7603
Biography Judge Parnall was appointed to the Children's Court Division of the Court in November of 2007 after a 30-year practice as a trial attorney in Criminal and Juvenile Defense and Personal Injury. He was appointed by the New Mexico Supreme Court as Co-Chair of the New Mexico Tribal/State Judicial Consortium and still serves on that committee. The purpose of the Consortium is to foster strong relationships between Tribal and State judges throughout New Mexico. Judge Parnall recently created a Family Reunification Drug Court in the Second Judicial District which provides extra support for families torn apart by drug and alcohol addiction. The goal of the program is to accomplish early reunification when in the best interest of children in order to avoid the trauma of separation from their families in prolonged foster placement.
Groups: Children's Court Judges



Name: Debra Ramirez - Presiding Family Court Judge
Division XXIV
TCAA: Maria Guerrero
Phone: 505-841-7476
Biography Judge Ramirez joined the Court in 2014 as the Domestic Violence Judge. Prior to that, she served the Second Judicial District Court as the Domestic Violence Special Commissioner from 2001-2003 returning in 2009, serving until her appointment to the bench in 2014. She serves as the Chair of the New Mexico Supreme Court's Domestic Relations Rules Committee and is a member of the New Mexico Intimate Partner Homicide Review Team.
Groups: Family Court Judges



Name: John J. Romero Jr.
Division VII
TCAA: Daniel Sanchez-Saenz
Phone: 505-841-7311
Biography John J. Romero, Jr. serves in the Children's Court Division. The cases before him include delinquency matters, child welfare and adoptions. He presides over the Program for the Empowerment of Girls (PEG), an intensive multi-agency juvenile probation program for girls who have some type of violence in their history. He was born in Embudo, NM. Judge Romero completed undergraduate, graduate and law school work at UNM.

Judge Romero is Co-Chair of the Children's Court Improvement Commission. He was the first judge in the country to be recognized as a Certified Child Welfare Law Specialist by the ABA-accredited National Association of Counsel for Children. In 2014, Judge Romero received the New Mexico Voices for Children Alice King Public Service Award. He serves on the Board of Directors of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.
Groups: Children's Court Judges



Name: Deborah Davis Walker
Division XXII
TCAA: Mary Beth Lovato
Phone: 505-841-6778
Biography Judge Walker has been with the Second Judicial District Court since 1993. Judge Walker was appointed and elected as a Family Court Judge in 1997. Prior to her appointment, Judge Walker served as a Family Court Hearing Officer. Judge Walker has been a member of the New Mexico Bar since 1978 and has been recognized as a Specialist in Family Law. Judge Walker received her Juris Doctor from the University of Colorado and her B.A. in History from the University of Idaho.
Groups: Family Court Judges



Name: Marie Ward - Presiding Children's Court Judge
Division XIV
TCAA: Marisa Salazar
Phone: 505-841-7392
Biography Judge Marie Ward was appointed to the District Court in March 2014. She joined the Court in 2004, serving the Second Judicial District Court as a Family Court Hearing Officer and Trial Court Staff Attorney. Judge Ward presides over the Juvenile Drug Court, a national model site, which is part of the National Learning Collaborative of the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges. Judge Ward was the founder and director of the Court's Peter H. Johnstone Pro Bono Program, which provides low income families with free settlement facilitation in Family Law matters. Judge Ward serves on a variety of committees focused on improving outcomes of youth and families involved in Juvenile Justice and Abuse and Neglect systems. Judge Ward graduated from UNM School of Law, magna cum laude, in 1998 and worked in private practice and as a Special Assistant Attorney General before joining the Court.
Groups: Children's Court Judges



Name: Stan Whitaker
Division II
TCAA: Sonja Clevenger
Phone: 505-841-7521
Biography Judge Stan Whitaker is a 1989 graduate of the University of New Mexico School of Law. Judge Whitaker joined the Second Judicial District Court in 2006. He serves as a member of the Criminal Division.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges



Name: Briana Zamora
Division VI
TCAA: Jeff Gulley
Phone: 505-841-7484
Biography Judge Zamora joined the Court in 2012 after presiding as a Criminal Division Judge at the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court. As a Judge, she has assisted with the District Court Drug Court Program. After law school, Judge Zamora worked as an attorney for the State of New Mexico in several legal capacities; she then joined the law firm of Butt, Thornton & Baehr and litigated both civil and criminal cases. Prior to being appointed to the bench, she founded the Zamora Law Firm. Judge Zamora is a member of the Supreme Court Committee on the Code of Judicial Conduct.
Groups: Criminal Court Judges


Adalberto Jordan
A. Howard Matz
Aida M. Delgado-Colon
A. Joe Fish
A. Kathleen Tomlinson
Alan B. Johnson
Alan C. Kay
Alan Kay
Alan S. Gold
Aleta A. Trauger
Alexander Williams, Jr.
Alex R. Munson
Alfred V. Covello
Algenon L. Marbley
Alia Moses
Alicemarie H. Stotler
Alicia M. Otazo-Reyes
Alison J. Nathan
Allison D. Burroughs
Allyne R. Ross
Alvin K. Hellerstein
Alvin W. Thompson
Amit P. Mehta
Amos L. Mazzant
Amos L. Mazzant, III
Amul R. Thapar
Amy B. Jackson
Amy R. Hay
Amy Totenberg
Analisa Torres
Ancer L. Haggerty
Andrea M. Simonton
Andre Birotte, Jr.
Andrew J. Guilford
Andrew J. Peck

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