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District Court Judges
Name: The Honorable Mercedes C. Murphy – Chief Judge
Division: Division I Judge
Background: In 1909, legislation created the Seventh Judicial District with one Judgeship, later labeled Division I. From 1909 until 1973, seven different individuals served as Division I judge. The Honorable Mercedes C. Murphy was appointed to the bench in September 2014. She is the first female Judge in the Seventh Judicial District.
Judge Murphy’s primary office is in Socorro County.
Experience & Education: Judge Murphy was appointed District Court Judge in September 2014. Before serving the Seventh Judicial District as the judge in Division I, Judge Murphy worked in the District Attorney’s Office from August, 2002 to September, 2014, and was assigned primarily to the Sierra County office. She graduated from Socorro High School. She received a degree in political science and criminology from the University of New Mexico. She then attended law school at Oklahoma City University, where she received a Juris Doctor in 2002.
Name: The Honorable Roscoe A. Woods
Division: Division II Judge
Background: In July 1977 the Legislature added a second Judgeship to the Seventh Judicial District, creating Division II. From 1977 until 2005, three individuals served as Division II judge. The Honorable Roscoe A. Woods was appointed to the bench in May 2021 and is the Division II judge.
Judge Woods’ primary office is in Sierra County.
Experience & Education:
Judge Woods was raised in Socorro County, New Mexico. He attended New Mexico Military Institute (NMMI) for four (4) years of high school whereby he graduated with honors. He credits NMMI for preparing him for life’s demands and for fostering his character traits of honor, discipline and integrity. Judge Woods earned an athletic scholarship from New Mexico State University where he obtained a Bachelor of Science in biology with a minor in chemistry. Judge Woods received his Juris Doctorate and graduated, Cum Laude, from Thomas M. Cooley School of Law, Western Michigan University, Lansing, Michigan.
Upon completion of law school, Judge Woods clerked with the New Mexico Court of Appeals (COA) for two (2) years. While at the COA, he researched and drafted legal opinions. His experience at the COA enabled him to jump into the general practice of law.
As a general practitioner for The Woods Law Firm, he practiced with his law partner and wife, Janice K. Woods, throughout the state of New Mexico but primarily in the Seventh Judicial District. He represented clients dealing with civil, corporate, criminal, appellate, real estate, estate planning, administrative and domestic matters. Judge Woods previously served as a Court appointed Guardian Ad Litem and mediator for the Seventh Judicial District Court.
Judge Woods also served as a Domestic Violence Hearing Officer for the Seventh Judicial District Court, State of New Mexico. He presided over domestic violence cases as enumerated under the Family Violence Protection Act. He also served as a Hearing Officer for the New Mexico Racing Commission (NMRC), State of New Mexico, whereby he, inter alia, adjudicated and conducted evidentiary hearings as assigned by the NMRC.
Moreover, Judge Woods had the honor of serving as an Assistant Attorney General and Director of the Open Government Division for the New Mexico Office of the Attorney General.
Judge Woods is happily married to Janice K. Woods and they have one daughter, Kailyn Roe.
Name: The Honorable Shannon Murdock
Division: Division III Judge
Background: In 1996, the Legislature established a third Judgeship in the Seventh Judicial District as Division III. From 1996 until late 2000, the Honorable Neil Mertz served as Division III judge. The Honorable Kevin Sweazea was appointed to the bench in March 2001. In June 2017 Governor Martinez appointed Judge Murdock.
Judge Murdock’s primary office is in Torrance County.
Experience & Education: Judge Murdock was appointed in 2017. Prior to being appointed Judge Murdock has worked for the Bernalillo County District Attorney’s Office, the New Mexico State Livestock Board, The New Mexico Attorney General’s Office, as well as the 7th Judicial District Attorney’s Office as a Deputy District Attorney. Judge Murdock received undergraduate degrees in economics and political science from UNM. She graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2003.