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Second Judicial District Court

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Children’s Court Judges

The children’s court division has four (4) judges who handle juvenile cases including abuse and neglect of children, adoptions, and juvenile delinquency.

They preside at the Juvenile Justice Center, which is located at 5100 2nd Street NW.

Name: Catherine Begaye
Division VIII
TCAA: Elisha Cooper
Phone: 505-222-4550

Biography: Judge Catherine Begaye, a member of the Navajo Nation, is New Mexico’s only Native American District Court judge. Judge Begaye is a graduate of UNM Law School, where she was the Editor in Chief of the New Mexico Law Review and a Dean’s Award recipient for being a student who made outstanding contributions to the law school community.

She worked as a Public Defender representing juveniles and adults in District and Appellate courts. When she went into private practice in 2013, she found her calling in her work with Native families in the abuse and neglect arena.

She is the Chair of the Children’s Court Rules Committee, a member of the NM Partners, and a board member of Casa Q.

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.
Name: Alma C. Roberson
Division VII
TCAA: Natasha Gonzales
Phone: 505-841-7311

Biography: Judge Alma Cristina Roberson was born in the border town of El Paso, Texas to immigrant parents from Mexico.  She moved to Albuquerque in 2009 to attend the University of New Mexico School of Law.  She graduated in 2012 and started soon after as an attorney in the Metro Division of the Law Offices of the Public Defender.  In 2015, she moved to the Juvenile Division of LOPD where she found her true passion, working with children and their families.

As part of her advocacy, Judge Roberson served as a board member for Bernalillo County’s Reducing Racism and Ethnic Disparities Committee for two years.  Currently, Judge Roberson serves on the Juvenile Drug Treatment Court National Project Advisory Board for the National Association of Drug Court Professionals and the National Council of Juvenile and Family Court Judges.

Name: Marie Ward – Presiding Children’s Court Judge
Division XIV
TCAA: Amy Martino
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.