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Local judge completes National Computer Forensics Institute training

Press release

Judge Kaydee N. Snipes Ruiz, Twelfth Judicial District Court Judge for Hill, Chouteau, and Liberty counties, from Jan. 9-13 successfully completed the National Computer Forensic Institute's Digital Evidence for Judges five-day training course in Hoover, Alabama.

"Digital evidence is an evolving area of criminal law," Snipes Ruiz said. "What an opportunity to meet, train, and network with experts in this field. Bringing back this information will assist the Twelfth Judicial District Court in legally-sound digital evidence decisions and analyzing search warrants as they arise in the future. 

"It was an honor to represent the Montana Hi-Line at this training," she added

Snipes Ruiz was one of 24 judges chosen across the United States to attend this training through NCFI. The National Computer Forensics Institute is a partnership between the United States Secret Service, Department of Homeland Security, State of Alabama and the Alabama District Attorney's Association to train state and local law enforcement, judges and prosecutors in digital evidence, network intrusion, and computer/mobile device forensic issues.

This specialized training is paid for through federal funding with no cost to state or local government. Judge Snipes Ruiz was the only judge to attend from Montana this session.

There is digital component to nearly every crime. Today's judge should understand and have insight into technology used in criminal cases involving digital evidence from computers, mobile devices, the cloud, and other sources. 

The five-day course focused on cybercrime and computer forensics, computer hardware, operating systems and their respective forensic artifacts and processing, data concepts, search and seizure of digital evidence, the Electronic Communications Privacy Act and authorizing the collection of digital evidence from third party providers, social media, evaluating expert testimony, fifth amendment, encryption and passwords.

Snipes Ruiz began her legal career as an attorney in Havre in 2011. She was appointed to the Twelfth Judicial District Court in January 2019 by Gov. Steve Bullock and was retained by voters in 2020. She anticipates she will run for reelection in 2024.


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