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Courtesy Photo/Muleshoe City Council

Muleshoe City Council hosted a reception for Juana Shelburne on Dec. 22. Shelburne retired after 17 years as a Muleshoe Municipal Court judge.

Juana Shelburne, the Muleshoe municipal judge since 2004, announced her retirement at a city council meeting on Nov. 8. Her retirement became effective on Dec. 31.

Appointed by the city council, the municipal court judge is trained through the city. The court deals with Class C misdemeanors including traffic violations, moving violations and city code enforcement, such as animal control and weed control.

“Muleshoe is a small court,” Shelburne said. “I was the court, the clerk and the judge. Larger courts have clerks, but since I was the only one in the court, I handled it all.”

The position required Shelburne to keep on top of constant changes and updates to the laws.

 “It kept me on my toes,” she said. “When something new came in, something I hadn’t dealt with before, I had to study. It was always a challenge.”

A native of Turkey, Texas, Shelburne moved to Muleshoe 36 years ago. She and her husband Curtis, pastor of 16th and D Church of Christ, raised four children. All of them went through the Muleshoe school system.

Before she was appointed municipal judge, Shelburne worked as a stay-at-home mom and substitute teacher and for local TV station Channel 6. At this time, she looks forward to fulfilling her role as a stay-at-home grandmother and pastor’s wife.

To her successor, Municipal Judge Santana Loya, Shelburne says, “It’s a new experience every day. You need to be flexible, to take care of each new item and learn something every day.

“I’d like to thank the city council for having confidence in me to perform the tasks of the judge. Municipal court is in City Hall, and my co-workers there helped to make it a pleasant work atmosphere.”


Muleshoe Journal Correspondent


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