State District Judge Raymond Ortiz of Santa Fe, who has presided over civil cases in the First Judicial District since 2005, plans to retire at the end of this year, creating a vacancy for Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham to fill by appointment.
Ortiz, whose current term extends through next year, was named to the bench in 2005 by Gov. Bill Richardson and retained by voters in subsequent elections.
A judicial nominating commission announcement Thursday said the deadline for applications to be considered for the post is Dec. 2, and the panel plans to evaluate applicants during a Dec. 12 public session at the judicial complex in Santa Fe.
The commission will then recommend nominees for consideration by the governor, who can either choose from the list or request more names.
A judge appointed to serve out the term of a retiring district judge must stand for election to remain on the bench, as well as seek retention by voters every six years.
Ortiz, 66, was a general practice attorney in Santa Fe and served as president of the New Mexico Hispanic Bar Association before he became a judge.
The Santa Fe native graduated from St. Michael’s High School and the University of Notre Dame before earning a law degree from the University of California, Berkeley.