The Sandoval Signpost

An Independent Monthly Newsmagazine Serving the Community since 1989


John Davis

John Davis

Davis appointed to judgeship

Governor Bill Richardson appointed John Davis, of Placitas, to serve as a judge on the Thirteenth Judicial District Court in Sandoval County. He was sworn in on August 19. This is a new judgeship created this year by the state legislature. Over half of its cases will focus on family issues like divorce, paternity, and child custody. The balance will be criminal cases, appeals from lower courts, probates, and civil cases.

“John Davis is known to have the intelligence, compassion and devotion to justice to make an excellent judge,” said Governor Richardson. “His work on the issues of domestic violence and DWI will serve him well on the bench.”

Davis is a graduate of Del Norte High School, in Albuquerque, the University of New Mexico, and the UNM School of Law. For the last three years he has served as a hearing officer in child support and domestic relations cases for the Thirteenth Judicial District Court. In this position Davis has served in effect as a judge in domestic violence cases, issuing orders of protection. He has also set and enforced child support payments, as well as adjudicated paternity, child-custody, and child-visitation issues.

From 1997 to 2003, Davis was in private practice. He is a director of Greater Albuquerque Habitat for Humanity and a mentor for Placitas Elementary School children with Big Brothers/Big Sisters.

Davis was one of three candidates recommended to Governor Richardson by the Judicial Nominating Commission.

Davis told the Signpost , “When Governor Richardson asked me why I wanted to be judge, I told him that my present job was all about families, children, and crisis. This new judgeship will address the needs of people going through the most difficult time of their lives. It’s a natural extension of the job I love and I want to do more of this important work.”

This position will be up for election in November 2006.

13th Judicial District Court announces new Web site

Need directions to the court? How much does it cost to file a complaint? Is the court open during the lunch hour? These questions and many others can be answered by logging on to the Thirteenth Judicial District Court's Web site, at

The site is designed to be a one-stop center for many needs. It is geared to inform and assist the public and the legal community as well.

For example, all the free legal forms and instructions (divorce, name change, motions, petition for order of protection, etc.) available in hard copy at the clerk's office are now on-line, where they can be filled out and printed for filing with the court.

Just as important are the resource pages. An individual can now find legal, domestic violence, or community-based assistance from a variety of resources.

Jurors will find information on whether to report for jury duty, as well as the jury handbooks for each county. Future plans include jury orientation by Web video.

If you wish to pursue mediation for divorce issues, the mediation-program portion tells you how to proceed. CASA programs and the drug-court programs in each county are also described in detail.

Chief Judge Louis McDonald is eager for the public to utilize the Web site, as it will reduce the number of telephone calls or visits users make to the court. “During the development stage we reviewed many court Web sites and assessed our users' needs. We are truly proud of the content of this Web site and its ease of use. It meets the court's goal to serve the communities of Cibola, Sandoval, and Valencia counties in the best possible way,” he said.

Bound for Success plans self-defense classes for women

Bound for Success, a not-for-profit organization, is sponsoring a four-week self-defense class for women of all ages. Times and location are still to be determined, but the classes will be in Bernalillo.

Daniel Sampson, a former Navy Seal, and Damon, a retired homicide detective who taught self-defense to law enforcement, combine over twenty years of experience to provide fitness and self-defense classes. Their self-defense classes train women to defend themselves in a variety of situations where their personal safety is at risk.

The cost of the class will be covered by Bound for Success for victims of domestic abuse. Other women in the community are encouraged to attend and to bring their friends and daughters. The four-week class meets twice a week and costs $40.

Navy Seal Instruction Training Classes in Bernalillo are also available for all interested parties. Classes run for twelve weeks, and enrollment is open so a person can start at any time.

Benefits of the fitness training include weight loss, increased stamina and cardiovascular strength, as well as enhanced self-esteem and better overall mental and physical health. Earn your Navy Seal PUP t-shirt at six weeks and upon completing twelve weeks, earn an NSI Graduate t-shirt.

For more information, call Daniel, at 712-7325.

Taos con man gets 117 years

Henry A. Rivera, a former Taos resident who defrauded more than fifty New Mexicans out of their life savings, was sentenced on July 27 to 117 years in prison. Rivera must serve thirty-seven years behind bars. The remaining sentence of eighty years was suspended by Judge Denise Barela Shepherd.

In April, Rivera was found guilty on twenty-five counts involving securities fraud. The prosecution of Rivera was a collaborative effort between the Attorney General’s Office and the Securities Division of the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department.

Rivera was previously indicted by the Office of the Attorney General on twenty-nine felony counts in connection with defrauding investors of more than $6 million. Of the twenty-nine counts Rivera was indicted on, only twenty-five counts went to the jury, since during the time between Rivera’s arrest and conviction, one of his victims passed away, which resulted in the dismissal of four counts.

Prior to Rivera’s indictment, he fled to Mexico, until his deportation in September of 2003. Rivera was arrested by FBI agents on a federal warrant for unlawful flight to avoid prosecution.



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