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Santa Fe County Magistrate Judge Division 2

Four-year term. The 54 Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction, hearing cases with claims up to $10,000 in tort, contract, and landlord/tenant civil cases, plus misdemeanor, DWI/DUI and other traffic violations. Magistrate Judges also conduct preliminary hearings in felony cases. There are 67 Magistrate Judges. Minimum qualifications: at least 18 years of age, resident of the district, high school graduation or equivalent.Periodo de cuatro años. Las 54 Cortes de Magistrado tienen jurisdicción limitada y presiden sobre los casos con reclamos de hasta $10,000 en casos de agravio, contratos y casos civiles de casero/inquilino, además de delitos menores, DWI/DUI y otras infracciones de tránsito. Los jueces magistrados también realizan audiencias preliminares en casos de delitos graves. Hay 67 Jueces Magistrados. Los requisitos para los candidatos son tener por lo menos 18 años de edad, vivir en el distrito por el que se postula y tener certificado de preparatoria o equivalente.

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  • Candidate picture

    Melissa Y Mascarenas

  • Candidate picture

    Morgan H Wood

Biographical Information

1. What knowledge or experience has prepared you for this position?

2. Why do you want this position?

3. What should be done to improve the Magistrate Court system?

4. What laws would you like to see changed, if any?

Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 31848
Santa Fe, NM 87594
Campaign Phone 5054706325
Occupation Retired
I am proud to say that I have lived in Santa Fe County my entire life. I know my community. I have over 30 years of legal experience. I have a BBA from the College of Santa Fe. I have worked at the First Judicial District Court, NM Supreme Court and the NM Environment Dept. While employed I was involved in various types of hearings. I had daily interactions with the public, attorneys and law enforcement. I was very fortunate to have on the job training with some of the best possible mentors. I have sat at the table with Pueblo Governors, church and community leaders to solve difficult issues in our community. I was presented the 2019 Heritage Preservation Award from the City of Santa Fe.
I am passionate about helping people. It has been a lifelong goal to become a Santa Fe Magistrate Judge. This court was developed to be a People’s Court. Having the Executive branch make appointments to this position takes away from the community as a whole having a choice in who their Magistrate Judges are. It’s important that people get out and vote to keep this position as it was intended to be, a People’s Court. I volunteer in many organizations. Making a difference is one of my strong points. We face many problems, and I want to bring a positive change. I am asking for your support. Please VOTE and help me get from the Ballot to the Bench.
As a judge the most important thing to have is integrity. It’s important to lead by example. The community needs to trust the system. People need to be held accountable for their actions. A Judge must take everything into consideration and be fair with their decision. Following the law and working hard to make sure that justice is being served. DWI, Domestic Violence and Drug addiction are serious problems in our community. I want to work with prosecutors, defense attorneys, case workers to continue with current programs but also try other types of programs such as the Taos Domestic Violence program and the Entrepreneurial Institute of Northern NM which recently launched in Santa Fe.
I would like to work with the current legislature and see if we can change the 5-401 Pretrial Release Rule also known as the “catch and release law”. Too many people are getting released from jail and re-offending. Our community is concerned. We need to stop this revolving door. Safety of our community should be a priority. By setting a bond and conditions it helps to ensure that someone is not going to reoffend. This is another way of holding people accountable for their actions.
Campaign Mailing Address PO Box 4696
SANTA FE, NM 87502
Occupation Magistrate Judge
For the past 2 decades I've served as a lawyer in public service, primarily as a public defender and also as a prosecutor. My focus has been on the Magistrate Court, so I am very familiar with the laws and procedures here--this is important because most of my cases have one or more parties pro se, meaning they're not attorneys and need to have the laws explained in lay terms. I've helped create out Transformative Justice Initiative, worked with our DWI Court, and the Engage Program, and regularly work with other judges, staff, law enforcement, treatment providers, and both prosecutors and defense attorneys. Prior to taking the bench, I attended over 80 hours of training for magistrates. I am uniquely qualified for this position.
It is an honor to use my unique skills for our community. My background, legal training and experience, as well as my long-term relationships with other attorneys, judges, staff, law enforcement, and community stakeholders means that every case is heard with the highest level of professionalism and informed by 2 decades of legal knowledge. I look forward to continuing my work with various community groups as well as our work with UNM to encourage and retain talented local public service attorneys. I make a positive difference in peoples' lives daily, I am proud of that work, and look forward to continuing it.
Having misdemeanor cases prosecuted by law enforcement is always going to be a concern, and while I appreciate their efforts, it's just not their responsibility to act as lawyers or have those specific skills. I believe that many of these cases could be resolved in a productive way if the prosecution were represented by lawyers. Moving forward, with having hearings recorded and perhaps more of them in person, we'll definitely need more support for our staff--both training and even additional staff members.
Each case must be judged on its own merits, and it wouldn't be ethical for me as a judge to express an opinion on our statutes or laws. I certainly pledge to continue to apply our laws to each case, considering the unique circumstances. This is where we can have such an impact--each case has a range of possible sentences, and we get to craft the right penalty for the right person. In Magistrate Court we do not advocate for any position, but rather ensure that everyone's rights and the laws are respected and enforced.