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The Honorable Kevin Sweazea Appointed as U.S. Magistrate Judge

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. – The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico announced the appointment of Kevin Sweazea as the District’s newest United States Magistrate Judge effective May 3, 2017. The appointment is located in Las Cruces, New Mexico.
In February, 2001, Judge Sweazea was appointed District Judge for the Seventh Judicial District of the State of New Mexico by Governor Gary E. Johnson. The Seventh Judicial District Court is composed of Torrance, Socorro, Sierra and Catron Counties, New Mexico. He then stood for election and was elected to the position of District Judge, without opposition, in November, 2002. Judge Sweazea subsequently stood for retention in elections held in 2008 and 2014, and was retained by the voters each time. During his term as New Mexico District Judge, he presided over thousands of criminal, civil, probate, domestic relations and children’s court cases in the Seventh Judicial District courts, as well as many cases in other counties throughout New Mexico pursuant to New Mexico Supreme Court appointments. In addition, he regularly accepted designations to preside over civil cases in various State District Courts in New Mexico by agreement of the litigants in those cases. From 2005 through 2015, Judge Sweazea served as Chief Judge of the Seventh Judicial District Court. His term as Seventh Judicial District Court Judge ended with his appointment as United States Magistrate Judge.
From October, 1988 until appointed as State District Court Judge, Judge Sweazea was in the private practice of law. His law practice, based first in Albuquerque, New Mexico and then in Los Lunas, New Mexico, involved the representation of farmers, ranchers, businesses and individuals throughout New Mexico in the litigation of civil disputes, and in real estate and business transactional matters.
Judge Sweazea also served as contract attorney for various municipalities and Boards of County Commission. He served on the New Mexico Environmental Improvement Board from 1997 through 2001, and on the Socorro County Land Use Commission from 1996 through January, 2000.
Judge Sweazea received a Bachelor of Accountancy degree from New Mexico State University in July, 1985. On May 12, 1988, he graduated from Baylor University Law School with a Juris Doctor degree.
The duties of a United States Magistrate Judge are demanding and wide-ranging in both civil and criminal cases. Magistrate Judges conduct preliminary proceedings 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.