The Ninth Judicial District Court announced on Thursday May 5th, that the Honorable Judge Donna Mowrer will take over the chief judge duties from the Honorable Judge Drew Tatum, effective May 15th. The chief judge has the administrative responsibility for all district and magistrate courts located within the district.
Judge Tatum, who has served as the Chief Judge of the Ninth Judicial District since July 2013 stated “It has been my greatest honor to represent our district as Chief Judge. We, as a team, have accomplished many feats, and, we as a team, have endured and overcome many obstacles and too many tragedies. Throughout it all, I have been extremely proud to be a part of this district in my role as Chief Judge, and with the utmost respect and gratitude, want to thank our entire staff for their hard work during my tenure and making the Ninth Judicial District a model for the entire New Mexico judiciary. I feel the time has arrived to pass the torch to Judge Mowrer, and I have no doubt she will be an outstanding Chief Judge”.
Judge Mowrer was appointed to the bench in August, 2011 and assumed the position September 2, 2011. She currently handles criminal, domestic, delinquency, civil and abuse and neglect proceedings. Judge Mowrer was the first woman appointed and elected as a District Court Judge in the Ninth Judicial District.
“It is an honor to be elected to serve as Chief Judge for the Ninth Judicial District. Judge Drew Tatum has done an outstanding job over the past nine years, and especially through the pandemic. We have absolutely the best judges in this District, both at the Magistrate and District Court levels, and I look forward to working with them all. This District has a reputation for being innovative thinkers, receptive to the needs of others and being visible, active members of our communities. It is my hope as Chief Judge to build on the strengths of this judiciary and continue to provide justice for the people of our counties,” said Judge Mowrer.
Judge Mowrer chairs the Rural Justice Initiative Committee for the New Mexico Supreme Court. She also serves on the Rural Justice Collaborative Advisory Board for the National Center of State Courts. She has spent the past five years serving on the Budget Committee of the Chief Judges Council and previously chaired both the Innovation Team for the New Mexico Supreme Court and Ad Hoc Committee for the Recruitment and Retention of Attorneys for Rural New Mexico. Since 2007, she has been active in the Ninth Judicial District’s Pro Bono Committee, becoming chair in 2011.
Judge Mowrer is a 1987 graduate of Eastern New Mexico University and graduated from the University of New Mexico School of Law in 2001. Prior to assuming the bench, Judge Mowrer was a Deputy District Attorney for the Ninth Judicial District. She was a Juvenile Probation/Parole Supervisor with the Children, Youth and Families Department before going to law school.
A ceremonial investiture of Judge Mowrer as Chief Judge will take place Friday, May 6th at 1:30 at the Curry County Courthouse.