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Panel to evaluate magistrate judge’s performance

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DISTRICT Court for the NMI Magistrate Judge Heather L. Kennedy is up for a performance review before her current term of office expires on June 10, 2021.

In a public notice issued on Sept. 16, the court stated that it is required by law to establish a panel of citizens to consider the reappointment of Kennedy to a new four-year term. 

The court is soliciting written comments from members of the bar and the public  as to whether  magistrate judge should be recommended by the panel for reappointment by the court. Comments must be received by Oct. 30, 2020.

In June 2013, Kennedy was appointed by Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona to serve as the first magistrate judge for the district court.

In June 2017, after an evaluation process that included public comments and review by a selected panel, Kennedy was reappointed to serve another four-year term.

The duties of the magistrate judge of the district court include (1) conducting preliminary proceedings in criminal cases; (2) trying and disposing of misdemeanor cases; (3) conducting various pretrial matters and evidentiary proceedings delegated by the district judge; and (4) trying and disposing of civil cases upon consent of the litigants.

In addition to performing the duties of the magistrate judge, Kennedy also serves as the chief clerk of court, administering its non-judicial operations.

Before becoming the magistrate judge of the district court, Kennedy served as an equal employment opportunity officer of the CNMI Public School System.

She earned her juris doctor degree from Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri, and her bachelor of arts degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.

She is from Connecticut and was an assistant public defender in Charlotte, North Carolina before relocating to Saipan in 1999.

 

 

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