United States District Court for the District of New Mexico

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District of New Mexico
Tenth Circuit
Judges: 7
Posts: 7
Vacancies: 0
Active judges
Chief: Christina Armijo
Senior Judges
Magistrate Judges
Chief Magistrate: Karen Molzen
Former Judges
(Numbers indicate % of seats vacant.)
More than 40%

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico is one of ninety-four United States district courts. The district operates out of courtrooms in Alburquerque, Las Cruces, Santa Fe and Roswell, N.M. When decisions of the court are appealed, they are appealed to the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals based in downtown Denver at the Byron White Federal Courthouse.

The United States Attorney for the District of New Mexico represents the United States in civil and criminal litigation in the court. The current district attorney is Damon P. Martinez.[1]

Vacancy warning level

The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico's vacancy warning level is green. The court currently has no vacancies for its seven posts.

Pending nominations

There are no pending nominations for the United States District Court for the District of New Mexico.

Active judges

Article III judges

JudgeBornHomeAppointed byActiveChiefPreceededBachelorsLaw
Judge Martha Vazquez1953Santa Barbara, CAClinton 10/1/1993 - Present2003 - 2010Santiago CamposUniversity of Notre Dame, B.A., 1975University of Notre Dame, J.D., 1978
Chief Judge Christina Armijo1951Las Vegas, NMW. Bush 11/12/2001 - Present10/1/2012 - PresentNew Seat|114 Stat. 2762University of New Mexico, B.A., 1972University of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1975
Judge Robert Brack1953Lynnwood, CAW. Bush 7/15/2003 - PresentNew Seat|116 Stat. 1758Eastern New Mexico U., B.A., 1975University of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1978
Judge James O. Browning1956Levelland, TXW. Bush 8/1/2003 - PresentCurtis HansenYale, 1978University of Virginia Law, J.D., 1981
Judge William P. Johnson1959Roanoke, VAW. Bush 12/21/2001 - PresentJohn ConwayVirginia Military Institute, 1981Washington and Lee U. Law, J.D., 1985
Judge Judith Herrera1954Chicago, ILW. Bush 6/13/2004-PresentJames ParkerUniversity of New Mexico, 1976Georgetown Law, 1979
Judge Kenneth John Gonzales1964Espanola, NMObama 6/17/2013Bruce BlackUniversity of New Mexico, B.A., 1988U. of New Mexico Law, J.D., 1994

Active Article III judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of active judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Senior judges

JudgeAppointed byActiveChiefSeniorBachelorsLaw
Senior Judge Curtis HansenH.W. Bush 10/2/1992 - 4/18/20034/18/2003 - PresentUniversity of Iowa, 1956University of New Mexico Law, 1961
Senior Judge James A. Parker 11/6/1987-9/1/20032000-20039/1/2003-PresentRice University, 1959University of Texas School of Law, 1962
Senior judge Bruce BlackClinton 12/26/1995 - 10/1/20122010 - 2012Albion College of Michigan, B.A., 1969Michigan Law, J.D., 1971

Senior judges by appointing political party

This graph displays the percent of senior judges by the party of the appointing president and does not reflect how a judge may rule on specific cases or their own political preferences.


Magistrate judges

Magistrate Judge Lorenzo Garcia11/09/1992 - Present
Magistrate Judge Carmen Garza08/25/2006 - Present
Magistrate Judge Lourdes Martinez04/01/2003 - PresentNew Mexico State U.University of New Mexico Law
Chief Magistrate Judge Karen Molzen04/26/1999 - PresentNew Mexico State U., B.A., 1973University of New Mexico, J.D., 1985
Magistrate Judge William P. Lynch04/21/2005 - PresentNorthern Illinois U.University of Illinois, J.D.
Magistrate Judge Gregory Wormuth05/18/2009 - PresentDavidson College, B.S., 1992Wake Forest U. Law, J.D., 1995
Magistrate Judge Stephan Vidmar12/27/2011 - PresentUnited States Military AcademyUniversity of Michigan
Magistrate Judge Steven C. Yarbrough05/07/2014 - PresentStanford, B.A.University of New Mexico, J.D., 1995


The Counties of New Mexico (click for larger map)

The District of New Mexico has original jurisdiction over cases filed within its jurisdiction. These cases can include civil and criminal matters that fall under federal law.

The jurisdiction of the District of New Mexico consists of all the counties in the state of New Mexico.

Court is held in Albuquerque, Las Cruces, Roswell, Santa Fe and Silver City.




Federal Court Caseload Statistics*
YearStarting case load:Cases filed:Total cases:Cases terminated:Remaining cases:Median time(Criminal)**:Median time(Civil)**:3 Year Civil cases#:Vacant posts:## Trials/Post
2013 2622591185335477 30561.29.687 (6.5%)8.516
2012 2717494076574841 28161.78.564 (5.1%)024
2011 2868507479425016 29262.38.555 (5%)026
2010 3044546585095605 29041.98.9203 (15.7%)025
2009 3166556087265321 34051.79.649 (3.6%)024
2008 3076474378194746 30732.59194 (11.2%)022
2007255047327282462926533.19.356 (3.5%)021
*All statistics are taken from the Official Federal Courts' Website and reflect the calendar year through September.    **Time in months from filing to completion.
#This statistic includes cases which have been appealed in higher courts.    ##This is the total number of months that any judicial posts had spent vacant that year.

Notable cases

For a searchable list of opinions, please see Opinions for the District of New Mexico.


The District of New Mexico was established by Congress on June 20, 1910, with one post to cover the entire state. Over time, six additional judicial posts were added for a total of five current posts.[4]

Judicial posts

The following table highlights the development of judicial posts for the District of New Mexico:[4]

Year Statute Total Seats
June 20, 1910 36 Stat. 557 1
September 14, 1922 42 Stat. 837 2(1 Temporary)
1929 Post expired 1
February 10, 1954 68 Stat. 8 2(1 Temporary)
May 19, 1961 75 Stat. 80 2
June 2, 1970 84 Stat. 294 3
October 20, 1978 92 Stat. 1629 4
December 1, 1990 104 Stat. 5089 5
December 21, 2000 114 Stat. 2762 6
November 2, 2002 116 Stat. 1758 7(1 Temporary)

Former chief judges

In order to qualify for the office of chief judge in one of the federal courts, a judge must have been in active service on the court for at least one year, be under the age of 65, and have not previously served as chief judge. A vacancy in the office of chief judge is filled by the judge highest in seniority among the group of qualified judges. The chief judge serves for a term of seven years or until age 70, whichever occurs first. The age restrictions are waived if no members of the court would otherwise be qualified for the position. Unlike the Chief Justice of the United States, a chief judge returns to active service after the expiration of his or her term and does not create a vacancy on the bench by the fact of his or her promotion.[5][6]

Former judges

For more information on judges of the District of New Mexico, see former federal judges of the District of New Mexico.

See also

External links