Camacho takes oath for second term on the bench


Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph James Norita Camacho takes his oath for his second six-year term on the bench before Gov. Ralph DLG Torres during a brief ceremony at a garden of the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan on Friday noon. Also in the photo are Camacho’s wife, Viola Alepuyo, their son Ulen, and Alepuyo’s mother, Delgadina. (Ferdie de la Torre)

Superior Court Associate Judge Joseph James Norita Camacho took his oath for a second six-year term on the bench in a garden ceremony at the Fiesta Resort & Spa Saipan on Friday at noon.

“It is an honor and a privilege to serve as a judge. I humbly extend my gratitude to the people of the CNMI for their overwhelming support,” Camacho said.

A total of 80 percent of CNMI voters voted “yes” to Camacho’s retention on the bench during the November 2016 election.

He was nominated and confirmed in November 2011. His first term expired last Friday.

At the brief ceremony last Friday, Gov. Ralph DLG Torres administered Camacho’s oath. The judge’s wife, Viola Alepuyo, their son Ulen, and Alepuyo’s mother, Delgadina, were present.

Camacho said that judges take an oath to follow the constitution and the law.

“To give each case the attention it deserves, and decide the case on the law and the facts presented in the courtroom, to be fair and impartial and not be swayed by improper public pressure, passion, sympathy, prejudice or bias,” Camacho said.

In his first term, Camacho presided over 30 jury trials and 64 bench trials, for a total of 94 trials for crimes ranging from murder to sexual assault and abuse, robbery, kidnapping, assault with a dangerous weapon, burglary, theft, and trafficking illegal drugs.

Camacho also sat as a justice pro-tem in a total of 19 appellate hearings before the CNMI and Guam supreme courts.

In the six-year period, he presided over several thousands of hearings involving criminal, civil, traffic, probate, juvenile, family court, and adoptions.

He issued 112 published opinions.

Camacho claims credit for streamlining court proceedings and removing unnecessary delays.

“Most cases are resolved in a few months instead of years. Court orders and opinions are issued quickly,” he said. “I make myself available to law enforcement officers to review arrest and search warrants any time—day or night.”

He has taught college-level constitutional law courses at the fire academy, volunteers for the “Judges in the Classroom” program, and talks to students about legal concepts and issues.

Off the bench, Camacho has been part of the high school and junior high school mock trial programs in the CNMI for over 15 years now.

Press Release
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