THE HONORABLE JOHN F. ROBBENHAAR APPOINTED UNITED STATES MAGISTRATE JUDGE FOR THE DISTRICT OF NEW MEXICO
ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico announced the appointment of John F. Robbenhaar as the District’s newest United States Magistrate Judge effective May 1, 2019. The appointment is located in Albuquerque, New Mexico.
The Honorable John F. Robbenhaar was an Assistant Federal Public Defender in Albuquerque, New Mexico from December 2008 to April 30, 2019. Prior to federal service, he was in private practice in Albuquerque with a focus on criminal defense in both state and federal courts. He is a graduate of Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut and was a visiting student at King’s College, London. He received his Juris Doctor from the University of New Mexico School of Law, which he combined with a Masters of Arts in Latin American Studies. During his years in private practice and while at the Federal Defender’s Office, he represented hundreds of individuals accused of violations of the federal and state criminal law. Over the course of his career, Judge Robbenhaar has enjoyed memberships in H. Vearle Payne Inn of Court, the Albuquerque Bar Association, the New Mexico Criminal Defense Lawyer’s Association, and the Albuquerque Lawyers Club. He has volunteered his time with the New Mexico State Bar’s Equal Access to Justice program, as well as with the American Youth Soccer Association and the Duke City Soccer Club. For many years, Judge Robbenhaar and his family spent time at The Ghost Ranch in Abiquiu. Judge Robbenhaar is married and has two daughters.
The duties of a United States Magistrate Judge are demanding and wide-ranging in both civil and criminal cases. Magistrate Judges conduct preliminary hearings in criminal cases, trials and dispositions of misdemeanor actions, discovery, and various other pretrial hearings in civil cases. They also preside over trials, civil cases upon consent of the litigants and other matters as may be assigned. The basic authority of a United States Magistrate Judge is specified in 28 U.S.C. § 636. Magistrate Judges are appointed for a term of eight years and can be reappointed to additional terms.