New Mexico State Courts



Courts – State Courts – New Mexico

Highest Court

The highest court in New Mexico is the Supreme Court of New Mexico.  The Supreme Court consists of 5 justices. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, criminal administrative agency, disciplinary, original proceeding, and interlocutory decision cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in civil, non-capital criminal, administrative agency, juvenile, and certified questions from federal court cases.

Intermediate Courts

Court of  Appeals
The Court of Appeals consists of 10 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Mandatory jurisdiction in civil, non-capital criminal, administrative agency, and juvenile cases. (2) Discretionary jurisdiction in interlocutory decision cases.

General Courts

District Court
The District Courts consists of 72 judges.  It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, real property rights, estate, exclusive domestic realtions, mental health, civil appeals, and miscellaneous civil jurisdiction. (2) Misdemeanor, exclusive triable felony, and criminal appeals jurisdiction. (3) Exclusive juvenile jurisdiction.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Limited Courts

Magistrate Court
The Magistrate Court consists of 61 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, and real property rights. (2) Felony preliminary hearings. (3) Misdemeanor. (4) DWI and other traffic.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Probate Court
The Probate Court consists of 33 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Informal probate.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Municipal Court
The Municipal Court consists of 85 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Traffic and other municipal ordinance violations.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Bernallo County, Metropolitan Court
The Bernallo County Metropolitan Court consists of 16 judges. It has jurisdiction over (1) Tort, contract, and real property rights. (2) Felony preliminary hearings. (3) Misdemeanor. (4) DWI and other traffic.
No jury trials are overseen by this court.

Additional Information

Probate judge interested or disqualified; transfer to district court
The probate judge, being interested or disqualified from acting in a proceeding, may upon his own motion or that of an interested party enter an order transferring the proceeding to the district court of that county and direct the probate clerk to send a certified copy of the order with the original papers and records or certified copies of the originals to the office of the clerk of said district court. (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-7-9)

Judges may issue process and make rules
Probate court judges have the full power and authority to issue the processes necessary for the to efficiently carry out their duties, make and publish rules and order regulating the business an d practice of their several courts.  However, their rules and orders cannot be inconsistent with the laws of New Mexico.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-7-1)

Metropolitan court; established
A class A county with a population of more than two hundred thousand people shall have a “metropolitan court.”  The metropolitan district court shall be named as the county in which it is located.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-8A-1)

Metropolitan court; indigency standard; fee schedule; reimbursement.
The metropolitan court shall adopt from the public defender department: (1) the standard to determine the indigency of persons accused of crimes carrying a possible jail sentence (2) a fee schedule adopted by the public defender department when appointing attorneys to represent defendants who are financially unable to obtain private counsel.  The metropolitan court shall order reimbursement from each person who has received or desires to receive legal representation or another benefit under the Public Defender Act after a determination is made that he/she is not indigent according to the standard for indigency adopted by the public defender department.  Any amounts recovered pursuant to this section shall be paid to the state treasurer for credit to the general fund.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-8A-11)

Court automation fund created; administration; distribution
A Court Automation Fund is created in the state treasury that is to be administered by the administrative office of the court.  The fund is to be used for service contracts, purchases, lease-purchases, financing, refinancing, and maintenance of court automation systems.
(N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-9-10.

Judicial standards commission; director’s duties
The executive director of the judicial standards commission shall:  conduct all investigations requested by the commission or masters appointed by the commission, enter into contracts as may be necessary to carry out the responsibilities of the commission, employ other personnel as necessary for the duties, and perform other duties as assigned by commission. (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-10-4)

Judicial education fund created; administration; income to the fund
The Judicial Education Fund is created in the state treasure and administered by the Institute of Public Law at the University of New Mexico Law School.  The Judicial Education Fund may only be used at the appropriation of the legislature.  The judicial education fund consists of judicial education fees levied and collected pursuant to Sections 35-6-1, 35-7-4, 35-14-11, 66-8-116.3 and 66-8-119 NMSA 1978. (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-13-1)

Court fees; deposit in the domestic violence offender treatment fund
In addition to any other fees collected in the district court, metropolitan court and magistrate court, those courts shall assess and collect from a person convicted of a penalty assessment misdemeanor, traffic violation, petty misdemeanor, misdemeanor or felony offense a “domestic violence offender treatment fee” of five dollars ($5.00). Domestic violence offender treatment fees shall be deposited in the domestic violence offender treatment fund.  (N.M. Stat. Ann. 34-15-1)