Heather L. Kennedy Re-Appointed as Federal Magistrate Judge


Heather L. Kennedy has been re-appointed as Part-Time U.S. Magistrate Judge in the U.S. District Court for the Northern Mariana Islands. She has held this appointment since 2013, and is the court’s first Magistrate Judge.  Chief Judge Ramona V. Manglona re-appointed Magistrate Judge Kennedy to a new four-year term commencing June 11, 2021, after an evaluation process including public comments and review by a Merit Selection Panel.

Heather L. Kennedy serves as Clerk of Court, administering non-judicial operation of the court, in addition to her part-time appointment as Magistrate Judge.

Federal Magistrate Judges are authorized to perform a range of judicial functions including issuing arrest and search warrants, and presiding over preliminary criminal proceedings such as initial appearances and detention hearings. For civil cases, Magistrate Judges handle preliminary matters, including discovery and settlement conferences, as well as try and dispose of cases with consent of the parties.

Heather L. Kennedy, an attorney with more than 25 years’ experience, is a J.D. graduate of Washington University School of Law in St. Louis, Missouri.  She received a B.A. degree from Guilford College in Greensboro, North Carolina.  Prior to her service at the federal court, Heather served agencies of the CNMI Government, was a litigation associate in St. Louis, Missouri, and acted as an Assistant Public Defender in Charlotte, North Carolina.  She was born in New York and raised in Connecticut.

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