In a forum in Anthony last night, Judge Kent Wingenroth was unable to answer the question, "what is a Metro court?" except to say that it represented a "metrolizing" of the county. Perhaps because he is unclear about what a Metro court is, he was also unable to answer a direct question as to whether he is in favor of a Metro court for Dona Ana county or not. At one point he said he was an "advocate" of the magistrate court system, but at another point he suggested a Metro court would be "OK."
A Metro court, according to New Mexico statutes, is an option counties may choose when they reach a population of 200,000. This entails merging county and municipal courts into one court system and under existing statutes this would also require that judges in Metro court be attorneys and that the court become a court of record. The only county with a Metro court in New Mexico is Bernalillo county, which has had a Metro court for nearly 30 years. It is anticipated that in the 2010 census Dona Ana county will record a population surpassing 200,000. The League of Women Voters has been quietly advocating for a Metro Court for some time.