District Court

13th Judicial District Court in Valencia County

There are 13 different judicial districts. Valencia County is part of the 13th Judicial District, which includes Sandoval and Cibola counties.

District court judges can conduct jury trials in criminal or civil proceedings. In some instances, district court judges can decide cases without a jury, a procedure known as a bench trial.

13th Judicial District Court

1835 N.M. 314 SW

Los Lunas, N.M., 87031

(505) 865-2400

• Judge Cindy Mercer (Valencia County)

• Judge James Lawrence Sanchez (Valencia County)

• Judge Allen Smith (Valencia County)

• Judge Amanda Sanchez Villalobos (Cibola County)

• Judge James Noel (Sandoval County)

• Judge Chris Perez (Sandoval County)

• Judge George Eichwald (Sandoval County)

• Judge Cheryl Johnston (Sandoval County)

Magistrate Court

Magistrate courts are of limited jurisdiction. While there are jury trials in magistrate courts, most are bench trails.

This court will hear cases including tort, contract, landlord/tenant rights ($0-10,000), felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanor, DWI/DUI and other traffic violations. Judges in magistrate court can only give a maximum of 12 months in jail.

Magistrate Court Divisions I & III

1206 Main St.

Los Lunas, N.M., 87031


• Judge John “Buddy” Sanchez

• Judge Heather Benavidez

Magistrate Court Division II

901 W. Castillo

Belen, N.M., 87002


• Judge John Chavez

Valencia County Probate Court

Probate Court is a court of limited jurisdiction. The probate court only has jurisdiction over informal probates. The constitution defines the jurisdiction as follows:

• Admission of a Last Will and Testament to informal probate

• If required, fixing bond according to the formula set out in the State Probate Code

• Informal appointment of personal representatives to an estate

• To enable the personal representative to obtain a discharge of liens securing his performance

• Upon verified application of a personal representative, signing a certificate that the personal representative appears to have fully executed an estate

444 Luna Ave.

Los Lunas, N.M., 87031


• Judge Jamie Goldberg

Municipal Courts

Municipal court is a court of law with jurisdiction limited to a city or other municipality. It typically addresses violations of city ordinances and may also have jurisdiction over minor criminal cases and over certain civil cases.

This court will hear cases including petty misdemeanors, DWI/DUI, traffic violations and other municipal ordinance violations.

Belen Municipal Court

525 Becker Ave.

Belen, N.M., 87002

• Judge Kathy Savilla

Bosque Farms Municipal Court

1455 W. Bosque Loop

Bosque Farms, N.M., 87068

(505) 869-9231

• Judge Dolly Wallace

Los Lunas Municipal Court

660 W. Main St.

Los Lunas, N.M., 87031

505) 839-3844

• Judge Avilio Chavez

Peralta Municipal Court

90A Molina Road

Peralta, N.M., 87042

(505) 869-2205

• Judge Tracy Aragon

Rio Communities Municipal Court

360 Rio Communities Blvd.

Rio Communities, N.M., 87002

(505) 861-6803

• Judge Noelle Chavez

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The Valencia County News-Bulletin is a locally owned and operated community newspaper, dedicated to serving Valencia County since 1910 through the highest journalistic and professional business standards. The VCNB is published weekly on Thursdays, including holidays both in print and online.