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Judge Price announces retirement from bench
Former prosecutor was elected to judgeship in 2004
FARMINGTON — District Judge Sandra Price is looking forward to retirement at the end of the year after serving 12 years on the bench.
Price, the Division 3 district judge for the 11th Judicial District, said she will retire from the bench on Dec. 31 with her last day in court set for Dec. 19.
"I'm excited to move onto something different," Price said during a telephone interview Friday. "I'm ready for a change."
She earned a law degree from the University of New Mexico School of Law.
Price worked at the San Juan County District Attorney's Office for 15 years as a prosecutor.
In 1996, she was the first women elected as San Juan County district attorney and served in the position from 1997 to 2001, according to The Daily Times archives.
Price, running as the Democratic candidate, was elected to the bench during the Nov. 2, 2004, general election, when she defeated Republican candidate Arlon Stoker.
She was elected to a five-year term following the Nov. 4, 2014, general election.
Price said working with families and children provided her with her best experiences as a judge. Some of the dockets Price worked included adoptions, which she enjoyed handling.
"I enjoyed helping families work through a hard time," Price said.
As a district judge, Price said she has been able to get a closer look at the issues in the community. She highlighted substance abuse as one of the issues that often show up while handling court cases involving children.
One of Price's goals was to try and listen to all parties in a case, and she believes she has accomplished that.
"I worked hard on the bench to listen to both sides," Price said.
Price hopes the group in charge of finding her successor moves quickly so cases won't be left hanging. She advises applicants for the job to listen to all parties in a case, and strive to be fair and impartial.
Beverly Akin of the Judicial Selection Office said a Judicial Nomination Commission has not been formed to interview applicants to fill Price's position.
The commission is made up of state residents, attorneys and judges, and is chaired by the dean of the UNM School of Law.
Akin is working to finalize a date in January to hold a meeting to interview applicants in Farmington.
Information on the application process and updates can be found at lawschool.unm.edu/judsel/index.php.
Joshua Kellogg covers crime, courts and social issues for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627.