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Second Judicial District Court

Tribunal del Segundo Distrito Judicial

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Jerome Sanchez and Zachary Apodaca graduated from the Second Judicial District DWI Court Program on April 11, 2018, and based on the program’s track record, there’s almost no chance either of them will face DWI charges again.

"Since its inception in 2013, our program has had 35 graduates—counting Jerome and Zachary—and not a single one of them has re-offended," said Anthony Rudulfo, the Court’s DWI program manager.

That statistic is especially impressive considering all of the defendants referred to the program are facing felony charges as repeat DWI offenders. Once they have been screened and approved, all participants must agree to adhere to rules of the program, which takes a minimum of 24 months to complete.

Judge Jaqueline Flores presides over all DWI Court cases. She said the program works because it requires participants to undergo intense treatment that "gets to the emotional root of their drinking problem."

The treatment includes a heavy dose of group therapy that starts with each participant writing a story about their relationship with alcohol and reading that story aloud to the rest of the group. Judge Flores believes this type of therapy helps program participants develop a sense of community and accountability that makes them want to stick with their individualized treatment plans.

"Most of our participants are good people," Judge Flores said. "They just happen to have a problem with alcohol. Once they get a handle on the alcohol problem, they can become the people they were meant to be." That seems to have been true for Apodaca and Sanchez.

Apodaca said his drinking was a way of self-medicating to deal with anxiety issues he had battled since childhood. A car accident led to the DWI charge that landed him in the program, where he finally discovered he could manage his anxiety without relying on alcohol or any other substance. Having completed the program, Apodaca is looking forward to life with a new wife and daughter.

Sanchez credited the program with saving his life. "I hated the program when I started, but it has been the best thing for me," he said. "I slowly started to trust the process, and one day something in me changed. I realized that I didn’t have to identify with being a screw up anymore, and I made a promise to myself that I would do whatever it took to make it through."

Sanchez and Apodaca both thanked people who started the program before them for serving as peer mentors, and encouraged those still in the program to do the same for any newcomers.


The Second Judicial District Court kicked off Mother’s Day weekend by celebrating adoption proceedings that produced 31 new families.

The event took place on Friday, May 11, 2018, marking the second year the district court has kicked of Mother’s Day weekend by celebrating adoptions.

“We have always held these events on National Adoption Day in November, and we will continue to do so, but we thought we should do more to promote the idea of moving children out of foster care and into permanent homes,” said Marie Ward, Presiding Judge of the Second District Court’s Children’s Division. “The Friday before Mother’s Day is the perfect time to make that statement.”

The district court adoption celebration took place at the John E. Brown Juvenile Justice Center, 5100 Second St. NW, Albuquerque, NM  87107.

The families had completed all the paperwork to make their adoptions legal before arriving at the courthouse on May 11. These families were truly celebrating what for them had long been a dream in the making.  

The day started with remarks from Secretary Monique Jacobson of the New Mexico Children’s Youth and Families Department, who said she wanted to be there because CYFD shares the court’s goal of finding ways of getting more foster children into the “forever homes.”

The formal adoption proceedings followed those remarks. Then, it was time for family activities like making arts and crafts, having cake and refreshments—and of course sharing hugs and smiles.


Caption for adoption_day_2:

Presiding Children’s Court Judge Marie Ward, far left, shares a happy moment with some of the new families that celebrated the court’s Pre-Mother’s Day Adoption Event.

 


Children Youth and Families Department Secretary Monique Jacobson will be on hand for Second Judicial District Court’s Pre-Mother’s Day Adoption Event on Friday, May 11, 2018.

This is the second year that Second Judicial District Court has kicked off Mother’s Day weekend by celebrating adoptions. This is part of the court’s ongoing effort to focus attention on the more than 100,000 children in the state’s foster care system who would prefer being in permanent loving homes.

“We have always held these events on National Adoption Day in November, and we will continue to do so, but we thought we should do more to promote the idea of moving children out of foster care and into permanent homes,” said Judge Marie Ward, Presiding Judge of the Second District Court’s Children’s Division. “The Friday before Mother’s Day is the perfect time to make that statement. We are pleased that Secretary Jacobson has agreed to join us this year. ”

Twenty-two children were adopted at the first Pre-Mother’s Day event in 2017. Most of those children had spent time in foster care; some had lived in multiple homes and attended several different schools.

An adoption is the creation of a legal relationship between a new parent and a child, similar to that of a biological parent and child. Children in foster care who cannot be safely reunified with their biological families are adopted after the parents’ rights are voluntarily or involuntarily terminated. Adoptees who have not been involved in the child protection system are adopted by a step-parent, a relative or other appropriate family carefully selected by birth parents prior to a voluntary adoptive placement.

All of the paperwork to make an adoption legal will have been completed by the time the children and their new parents arrive at the courthouse on May 11. A judge will then issue an order declaring the process complete. The families will then celebrate the occasion. The deadline for submitting paperwork to the court is Friday, April 27, 2018.

For information on submitting paperwork, contact the following individuals:
•    For Judge Marie Ward, contact Marisa Salazar at 841-7392
•    For Judge John Romero, contact Daniel Sanchez-Saenz at 841-7311
•    For Judge William Parnall, contact Julie Parras at 841-7602.

The celebration will include a short ceremony that will include remarks from Secretary Jacobson and other dignitaries. There also is sure to be a lot of hugging and picture taking.

The festivities will take place at the John E. Brown Juvenile Justice Center, 5100 Second St. NW, Albuquerque, NM  87107.

 


Couples facing family law issues—such as s divorce, child custody and timesharing—without the assistance of attorneys have a chance to settle their cases free of charge at the Second Judicial District Court’s Peter H. Johnstone Pro Se Pro Bono Mediation Day.

On Friday, April 20, 2018, roughly 65 to 70 family law attorneys will be at the Second District Courthouse serving as volunteer mediators for couples who want to resolve their difference through negotiation rather than litigation.

The Second District Court has been hosting Pro Se Pro Bono Family Law Mediation Days since at least 2012.  Peter H. Johnstone, a family law attorney in Albuquerque, was one of the early organizers, and the events were named in his honor following his death in 2013.

On average, 65% of the couples participating in these events reach a full settlement of their cases by the end of the mediation session. Typically, an additional 10% to 15% reach at least a partial settlement.

“It’s always better—especially when children are involved—for couples to resolve issues on their own terms, rather than have solutions forced on them by the court,” said Judge Debra Ramirez, Presiding Judge of Family Court. “We are fortunate to have attorneys in our community who are willing to help couples who cannot afford legal representation find creative ways of resolving their cases.”

“Our goal is to resolve these cases on Peter Johnstone Day, and we usually do. A few cases get reset, but even with some of those we find this process helps get them on the path to a solution,” said Torri Jacobus, Director of the Court’s Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution.

There two requirements for couples wishing to participate in a Peter H. Johnstone Pro Se Pro Bono Mediation event:

•    Neither party can be represented by an attorney.
•    They must be referred by the Family Court.

Couples can be referred to the event by submitting a request to the judge presiding over a current case, or by making the request when opening a new case. The Court’s Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution can provide information for how to submit those requests.

The Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution is located on the first floor of the Second Judicial District Courthouse at 400 Lomas Blvd. NW, in Albuquerque. The Center is open 9:00 AM to 4:00 PM Monday through Friday.

The Center for Self Help and Dispute Resolution can be reached by telephone at 505-841-6702.

 


“A View from Gold Mountain” is the name of the sculpture to be installed on the west side of the Second Judicial District Courthouse to recognize the Asian American community’s historical relationship with the justice system.

The Asian American Monument Committee unanimously chose this work by the artistic team of Cheryll Leo-Gwin and Stewart Wong after a final round of judging this past January.  The Bernalillo County Commission, which is overseeing funding for the project, gave its approval for the county manager to execute a contract with the artists in late March.

The  monument committee had put out a nationwide call for a piece of art to reflect the Asian American community’s experiences interacting with the legal system, starting with the landmark case of the Territory of New Mexico v. Yee Shun. That 1882 case was the first in which testimony from an Asian American was considered valid in a United States court of law.

The ruling was somewhat bittersweet for members of the Asian community. On one hand, the ruling by New Mexico Supreme Court acknowledged that Asian Americans could take and abide by an oath to tell the truth when testifying in court—even if they adhered to a non-Christian religion. Previously, U.S. courts had only recognized oaths taken by practicing Christians as valid for giving legal testimony.

On the other hand, the testimony given by an Asian American was the most important piece of evidence leading to the murder conviction of Yee Shun, who many historians now believe was innocent.  Yee Shun was sentenced to life in prison for a murder that took place in Las Vegas, New Mexico on February 24, 1882. Shortly after hearing the appeal of his conviction had been denied, Yee Shun committed suicide in his cell in Leavenworth, Kansas, where he had been transported to serve his sentence.

The monument committee asked artists to consider this historical context when creating the work they would propose installing outside the district courthouse.  The winning team said they considered this history in not only creating their work, but in naming it as well.

Seeking the Pot of Gold 

“During the Gold Rush, people in China called America the Gold Mountain. They came to America to seek their fortunes and find the pot of gold to send or take home,” the artists wrote in the proposal accompanying a model of their work.  “Immigrants from other regions also came to that Gold Mountain for similar reasons. Instead, like Yee Shun and the Chinese, because of their skin color, culture or other differences, they found hardship, starvation, death and disillusionment. The pot of gold was more often than not only an elusive dream.”

Since its selection for installation outside the courthouse, Leo-Gwin and Wong’s sculpture has garnered much positive attention, including recognition in a national online magazine dedicated to the arts.

Despite these hardships, immigrants from Asia and elsewhere persisted and built lives for themselves and their families. Over time, the judiciary and other branches of government came together to offer these citizens a measure of justice and equality. 

 


Second Judicial District Veterans Court Recognizes its 59th Graduate

The Second Judicial District’s Veterans Court recognized its 59th graduate on March 7, 2017, when Jerome Fuentes, a United States Air Force veteran from the Vietnam era, officially completed the program.

The graduation ceremony took place in the courtroom of District Court Judge Christina Argyres, who told Fuentes he had been “a tremendous asset to our program.” Judge Argyres also advised Fuentes not to view completing the program as an ending, but rather as “the beginning of a whole new lifestyle that you have committed to.”

Participation in Veterans Court is voluntary; however, participants must get approval from the Veterans Court judges and the prosecuting attorney to be accepted into the program. In addition to Judge Argyres, District Court Judge Stan Whitaker also presides over Veterans Court cases.

The criteria for defendants to be accepted into the program includes agreeing to follow all program rules—which consists of regularly attending counseling or therapy sessions—until completion of the program. At a minimum, that is an 18-month to 24-month commitment.

Once the Veterans Court Team deems a defendant eligible for the program, the prosecuting attorney will make a plea offer that includes Veterans Court. That plea will outline two sets of sentencing stipulations. One would apply if the defendant successfully completes the program; the other would apply if the defendant does not complete the program. Defendants who are eligible for a conditional discharge often have seen their charges dismissed after successfully completing the program.

Rehabilitation v. Incarceration

The Second Judicial District Court launched the Veterans Court program in November 2011, with a goal of rehabilitating—instead of incarcerating—veterans charged with certain felony-level crimes. Defendants charged with violent crimes resulting in death or great bodily harm, sexual offenses, crimes against children or a 5th DWI are automatically excluded from the program.

The court started the program because judges realized that many of the veterans appearing in court were dealing with substance abuse and/or mental health issues that very likely were underlying causes for the behavior that led to their arrest.

Upon acceptance into the program, participants are supervised by the District Court’s Judicial Supervision and Diversion Programs unit. Staff members from that unit guide participants through the program’s five phases, all of which include some level of treatment tailored to the individual veteran’s needs.

The program seems to work well for veterans because much of the therapy and counseling is done in group settings, which allows veterans to form bonds and support one another in much the same way they did as part of military units.

“Phase one is like an orientation to the program. A new participant learns what is expected of them while in the program and what they may expect from the program and team in return. They also have opportunities to meet the other participants and start establishing peer support,” said Tamara Wheeler, a lead worker in the Judicial Supervision and Diversion Programs unit. “Furthermore, the rules are stricter in this phase with regard to testing for drug and alcohol use because it provides a deterrent for future use, highlights positive behaviors, and allows for rapid intervention for those who need extra support or may have recently relapsed.”

Peer support also includes mentoring by veterans who may not be in the program, but have volunteered to help others make it through the process. Although one current veteran mentor, Michael Rooney, is a program graduate.

As a participant advances through the phases, they get more freedom, such as being allowed to travel out of state.

Ninety seven veterans have entered the program since its inception. Fuentes is the Veterans Court’s fifty-ninth graduate, and twenty one participants are currently active in the program.

Fuentes has indeed changed his lifestyle since joining the Veterans Court program on August 31, 2016 after pleading guilty to charges of assault with a deadly weapon. “I consider myself an alcoholic,” he said on his graduation day. “The biggest thing this program did for me was to get me to stop drinking.”

At a hearing on his case just before the graduation ceremony, even the team prosecutor commented on how well Fuentes did in the program and recommended that he receive a conditional discharge as a result of successfully completing the program.

With his legal issues behind him, Fuentes said, he plans to “restart my bucket list.” The first entry on that list is riding to the Annual Sturgis Motorcycle Rally in South Dakota, something he never thought possible before he entered the Veterans Court Program.


The New Mexico Supreme Court has appointed Second Judicial District Court Judge C. Shannon Bacon, Chair, and Judge Nancy Franchini, Vice-Chair, of a committee charged with implementing steps for improving the state’s adult guardianship system.

The committee is comprised of members from all three branches of state government, including Sen. James White of Albuquerque, who sponsored the newly enacted legislation, and Rep. Damon Ely of Corrales, the bill’s co-sponsor.

The new law, Senate Bill 19, was passed during the 2018 legislative session and takes effect on July 1, 2018. It will revamp the state’s guardianship system by opening court hearings that historically have been closed and giving family members more access to court records in guardianship cases.

In addition to making the guardianship process more transparent, the new law allocates $1 million for the courts to develop processes for better tracking and management of guardianship cases. The steering committee will advise the New Mexico Supreme Court on priorities for funds appropriated by the Legislature for guardianship reforms.

“Judge Bacon and Judge Franchini are natural choices for leadership roles on this committee,” said Chief Judge Nan Nash of the Second Judicial District Court. “When legislation for reforming the guardianship system was introduced, Judge Bacon and Judge Franchini took the lead in helping legislators understand how changes to the law would impact New Mexicans and the judiciary’s role in the guardianship process.”

“I am honored to be a part of a team tasked with the very important job of reforming our state’s guardianship system,” said Judge Bacon. “The new law is aimed at increasing transparency, establishing safeguards for protected persons, and allowing greater involvement of family members in guardianship proceedings. This committee will put together concrete, actionable recommendations to the Supreme Court on establishing priorities for guardianship reforms, statewide review of guardianship and conservatorship cases, and ensuring comprehensive oversight of the guardianship system.

“I am pleased about this appointment and looking forward to meeting with the representatives of the three branches of government, implementing the key objectives of this new legislation and evaluating the recommendations of the New Mexico Adult Guardianship Study Commission,” said Judge Franchini.

The New Mexico Supreme Court also appointed Judge Bacon and Judge Franchini to serve on a separate committee to recommend changes in rules governing court procedures in guardianship and conservatorship cases.


The New Mexico Supreme Court, working with the Executive and Legislative branches, has formed a committee with representatives from all branches of state government to assist in the implementation of newly enacted legislation for improving the adult guardianship system. 

Second Judicial District Court Judge C. Shannon Bacon will chair the steering committee and District Judge Nancy Franchini will serve as vice chair.

The panel will make recommendations regarding $1 million allocated to the Administrative Office of the Courts by the Legislature for guardianship reforms. Among the possibilities are funding auditors – potentially in the State Auditor’s Office – to examine financial information submitted to the courts by conservators, hiring contractors to assist in a statewide review of guardianship and conservatorship cases, and designing user-friendly online forms to ensure conservators file more accurate and consistent information with the courts, which also will help with auditing and monitoring of conservatorship reports.

Court-appointed guardians make personal and health care decisions for individuals who are incapacitated. Conservators are appointed by a court to manage the financial and possibly the property affairs of an incapacitated person, including those who may have dementia, traumatic brain injuries, a developmental disability or mental illness.

The Supreme Court has appointed a separate committee to recommend changes in rules that govern court procedures in guardianship and conservatorship cases. Gaelle McConnell, an Albuquerque attorney, will chair the Ad Hoc Guardianship and Conservatorship Rules and Forms Committee. The committee, as part of its work, will consider rule amendments necessary to comply with the guardianship legislation (Senate Bill 19) approved during the 2018 legislative session.

The new law, which takes effect on July 1, opens court hearings that are now closed and expands access to court records for family members and others who are entitled to notice of guardianship proceedings under the new statutory requirements. 

Formation of the rules committee was among the recommendations of the New Mexico Adult Guardianship Study Commission, which was appointed by the Supreme Court last year to propose improvements in the guardianship system. Other commission recommendations included changes in annual financial reports that conservators must file with courts.

The steering committee also will advise the Supreme Court on possible future steps for revising the guardianship system, including how to proceed with recommendations made by the study commission.

Other steering committee members are: Sen. James White of Albuquerque; Rep. Daymon Ely of Corrales; State Auditor Wayne Johnson; Leslie Porter, cabinet director in the Office of Gov. Susana Martinez; Third Judicial District Court Chief Judge James Martin; Thirteenth Judicial District Court Chief Judge Louis McDonald; and First Judicial District Court Judge David Thomson. Three AOC staff members are non-voting committee members: Greg Saunders, chief information officer; Celina Jones, general counsel; and Patricia Galindo, an attorney who has worked on guardianship and conservatorship issues.

Other rules committee members are: District Judges Bacon and Franchini; Mary Galvez of Guardianship and Care Management Services LLC; Alice Liu McCoy of Disability Rights New Mexico; Ruth Pregenzer, an Albuquerque attorney; Sarah Steadman of the University of New Mexico Law School; and Mary H. Smith, an Albuquerque attorney.


More than 150 people got answers to their legal questions at 2018’s first Law-La-Palooza free legal fair.

The event was held at the Barelas Community Center, 801 Barelas Rd. SW, Albuquerque on Thursday, March 15, 2018.

Legal experts, including several district court judges, attorneys and law students volunteered their time to speak with people who couldn’t afford to pay for legal advice. At a Law-La-Palooza, citizens get 30 minutes to speak with an attorney or legal expert about any legal issues they are facing at no cost.

The Law-La-Palooza legal fairs are designed to help low-income people and families facing a wide range of legal issues, including divorce, custody, bankruptcy, contracts, landlord/tenant, creditor/debtor, child support, kinship/guardianship, wills, probates, personal injury, powers of attorney, public benefits, unemployment, immigration, Social Security, disability, IRS tax issues foreclosure, and name changes.

The fairs are sponsored by the Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program, a program of Legal Aid New Mexico.

The District Court’s Pro-Bono Committee—co-chaired by Judge Shannon Bacon and Judge Alan Malott—has been hosting Law-La- Paloozas each year since 2010. Over that time, roughly 8,000 individuals—about 1,000 each year—have gotten help with their legal problems at these events.

"New Mexicans continue to struggle in a difficult economy which has left one in five of us at or near the poverty level. Legal problems exacerbate the effects of poverty and can foster a cycle of failure that derails lives," said Judge Malott. "New Mexico lawyers have shown both responsibility and compassion for those less fortunate by providing free consultations to thousands of residents through Law-La- Palooza legal fairs in Bernalillo County and across the state. The need continues and I know the Bar will remain responsive."

The Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program, a program of Legal Aid New Mexico, host four Law-La- Palooza events each year. The full schedule for remaining 2018 fairs is below. All events run from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

  • Law-La-Palooza - July 12, 2018, Alamosa Community Center, 6900 Gonzales Rd SW, Albuquerque
  • Law-La-Palooza - October 18, 2018, North Domingo Baca Community Center, 7521 Carmel Ave NE, Albuquerque
  • Law-La-Palooza - December 13, 2018, Loma Linda Community Center, 1700 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque

For more information about these events, contact Aja Brooks, Pro Bono Coordinator for the Volunteer Attorney program, at 505-814- 5033 or ajab@nmlegalaid.org.


Law-La-Palooza Free Legal Fairs are back for 2018; First One in Barelas on March 15

The Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program will host their first Law-La-Palooza free legal fair of the year on Thursday, March 15, 2018. The event will take place at the Barelas Community Center, 801 Barelas Rd. SW, Albuquerque, from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

These free legal fairs are designed to help low-income people and families facing a wide range of legal issues, including divorce, custody, bankruptcy, contracts, landlord/tenant, creditor/debtor, child support, kinship/guardianship, wills, probates, personal injury, powers of attorney, public benefits, unemployment, immigration, SSI/SSDI, IRS tax issues foreclosure, and name changes.

The District Court’s Pro-Bono Committee—co-chaired by Judges Shannon Bacon and Alan Malott—has been hosting Law-La-Paloozas each year since 2010. Over that time, roughly 8,000 individuals—about 1,000 each year—have gotten help with their legal problems at these events.

“New Mexicans continue to struggle in a difficult economy which has left one in five of us at or near the poverty level. Legal problems exacerbate the effects of poverty and can foster a cycle of failure that derails lives,” said Judge Malott. “New Mexico lawyers have shown both responsibility and compassion for those less fortunate by providing free consultations to thousands of residents through Law-LaPalooza legal fairs in Bernalillo County and across the state. The need continues and I know the Bar will remain responsive. ”

Law-La-Palooza participants can speak with an attorney or legal expert for 30 minutes about any legal issues they are facing. Volunteers are comprised of attorneys, judges, court staff, and law students. Interpreters and bilingual attorneys will be on site. Help will be offered on a first-come, first-served basis.

Community service providers also staff tables to provide additional resources to attendees. Prior to the March 15 event, the Southwest Women’s Law Center will give a free presentation on accessing child care and health care benefits from 2:00 PM to 2:45 PM. Those who attend the presentation can preregister for their consultation with an attorney.

The Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program, a program of Legal Aid New Mexico, host four Law-La-Palooza events each year. The full schedule for 2018 is below. All events run from 3:00 PM to 6:00 PM.

  • Law-La-Palooza—March 15, 2018, Barelas Community Center, 801 Barelas Road, SW, Albuquerque
  • Law-La-Palooza—July 12, 2018, Alamosa Community Center, 6900 Gonzales Rd SW, Albuquerque
  • Law-La-Palooza—October 18, 2018, North Domingo Baca Community Center, 7521 Carmel Ave NE, Albuquerque
  • Law-La-Palooza—December 13, 2018, Loma Linda Community Center, 1700 Yale Blvd SE, Albuquerque.

For more information about these events, contact Aja Brooks, Pro Bono Coordinator for the Volunteer Attorney program, at 505-814-5033 or ajab@nmlegalaid.org .


Cassie & Judge WardOne of the most recognizable faces at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Justice Center belongs to Cassie, a 6-year-old Labrador retriever.

Cassie interacts with families, especially those with children, who need her friendship. When a girl is called to testify about traumatic abuse or neglect, Cassie might sit at her feet to provide solace. Or Cassie might stay with a sobbing boy who has just been separated from his parents after being placed into protective custody.

"Cassie provides great comfort in the courtroom and gets smiles from everyone she meets when she is in the building," Children’s Court Judge Marie Ward said.  "She is a silent companion who has a way of removing the edge from very difficult situations."

Cassie has been a presence at the Juvenile Justice Center since late 2013. She is a specially-trained Courthouse CASA dog, a name that is derived from the acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Cassie was purchased using a grant by New Mexico Kids Matter, the CASA program in Albuquerque. CASA believes that every child who has been abused, neglected or is in foster care deserves to have a dedicated volunteer advocate speaking up for them in court.

"We are very fortunate to have Cassie, both as a resource and as a friend," Judge Ward said.  "She brings a lift to everyone she meets and she is especially valuable to the children who need her most."

Cassie was trained by Assistance Dogs of the West, a Santa Fe-based accredited service dog organization that also provides service dogs for the Veterans Court program. Courthouse dogs have been used around the country since 2003.

For more information about CASA please visit www.nmkidsmatter.org.



​Archived News

Compliments For Clerk’s Office Staff

Staff members at the Second Judicial District Court adhere to the highest levels of professionalism and customer service.

Just the same, it’s always nice when we get word that someone appreciated it.

Recently, a legal assistant at an Albuquerque law firm wrote a letter to the Court Administration in praise of employees Jennifer Sanchez, Cori Roney and Chris Peck, who work in the Clerk’s Office.

“They are very helpful and patient, as there are times when our office is handling very difficult and out-of-the-box cases.  I am instructed to call the court clerks often, and they do not get upset or bugged,” wrote Ms. Z., who has worked for 23 years in the legal field.

She said the employees have been “extremely knowledgeable and competent” and timely returned her telephone calls to provide much-needed information.

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