NM’s Court System consists of a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals, District Courts, Magistrate Courts, Municipal Courts, and Probate Courts.
The Supreme Court is located in the town of Santa Fe, NM, and is comprised of six justices. It is the court of last resort and the highest court in the state. The New Mexico Supreme Court has mandatory appellate jurisdiction over cases where the death penalty or life in prison is at stake. They also have mandatory jurisdiction over appeals from the Public Regulation Commission and “appeals from the granting of writs of habeas corpus, appeals in actions challenging nominations, and removal of public officials.”
NM Supreme Court has discretionary jurisdiction over appeals from lower courts such as petitions of writ of habeas corpus, petitions for writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals and other writ matters or from federal courts.
The Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court and handles the majority of appeals for the state. It has ten judges who sit in panels of three to decide the validity of previously decided court cases. The Court of Appeals is located in both Santa Fe and Albuquerque and has mandatory jurisdiction over “civil, non-capital criminal, juvenile cases; Discretionary jurisdiction in interlocutory decision cases and administrative agency appeals.”
Many court records in the state are readily available online to the general public. However, they have provided a list of the exceptions to files that are made public, they are:
- “Personal Identifying Information (PII), such as social security number and address information, is not available.
- Municipal court data is limited to criminal Domestic Violence and DWI historic convictions beginning September 1, 1991.
- Effective July 1, 2007, the NM Judiciary no longer displays juvenile criminal cases.
- Effective July 1, 2008, the NM Judiciary no longer displays Family Violence Protection Act Order of Protection cases.”
United States federal law also protects certain information from being revealed in public records.
The state of New Mexico’s Courts website (newmexico.gov) is packed with resources for self-represented litigants and the general public. They offer a full menu of e-filing services, including civil filings, criminal filings, and public access searches. They also have all the forms online for filing by mail or in person. They have resources for attorneys also. Additionally, there are a few locations on the website where users can find specific court locations, the address, directions, court rules, case types, information on the administrative office of the courts (AOC)and a phone number for further help. The forms section is split by court type and then common legal issues making it easy for patrons to find what they need to file their case.
Did you know you can use Infotracer to search for New Mexico court records quickly and easily? Infotracer provides access to hundreds of court cases throughout the state including Bernalillo County, Doña Ana County, and Santa Fe County. Thanks to NM Inspection of Public Records Act NMSA (1978) 14-2 et seq., public records companies can provide dockets, court orders, criminal records, civil cases, family court issues like divorce and bankruptcies and more.
Anyone can search NM records without a reason or permission from the parties involved. The only records that will not be available are those that are private or confidential by law, such as juvenile records.
Obtain instant free access to NM public records when you use the Infotracer search tool to lookup cases online. With a New Mexico state court records search by name; you can see court cases from district, magistrate, municipal, and probate courts in all 13 judicial districts.
In 2013, the New Mexico courts received 385,334 filings. In 2016, the number of filings decreased by 6.1% and counted 361,866 filings and had 425,318 outgoing cases
|Court Type||Incoming Caseloads|
Domestic relations caseload of New Mexico at year end of 2016 has increased by 7.3% compared to the last 4 years, in 2013 the number of incoming cases have been 40,628 but are higher than in 2015.
|Year||Domestic Relations Caseload||Total Statewide Caseload|
The number of criminal cases in New Mexico courts counts to 96,364, with 48,681 felony cases and 47,683 misdemeanors accordingly.
|Year||Criminal Caseload||Misdemeanor Caseload||Felony Caseload|
New Mexico’s District Courts are the general jurisdiction courts for the state and trial courts. The state is split into thirteen districts. These types of courts hold jury trials. The types of cases resolved by U.S. District Courts are real property cases, tort, contract disputes, mental health cases, estate matters, exclusive domestic relations cases, appeals from lower courts and administrative agencies, civil matters and misdemeanors. These courts also handle criminal appeals, and they have exclusive juvenile jurisdiction.
Magistrate Courts in New Mexico are the limited jurisdiction courts for the state. This state has 54 of these courts throughout the state with sixty-seven judges presiding. The types of cases heard in these courts are small claims of up to $10,000, tort cases, contract disputes, landlord/tenant disputes up to $10,000, felony preliminary hearings, misdemeanors, DWI/DUIs, and other traffic-related matters. Most cases brought to these courts are local, minor criminal issues and civil lawsuits. They can on occasion use a jury for trial, but a judge resolves most cases.
The New Mexico Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court is a one-of-a-kind type court that has only one location in Albuquerque, NM. It is a court of limited jurisdiction with nineteen judges serving the court. They do hold both jury trials and bench trials (where the judge makes the final decision). The types of cases handled by the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court are contract disputes, landlord/tenant issues of up to $10,000, small claims, preliminary felony hearings, some misdemeanors, DWI/DUIs, domestic violence, and other traffic-related infractions.
Municipal Courts in New Mexico are the people’s courts, and there are 81 of these courts in the state. They have 83 judges presiding and these are limited jurisdiction courts with no jury trials. A judge makes all final decisions. These courts handle petty misdemeanors, along with a slew of traffic violations including DWI/DUIs along with municipal ordinance violations. This state has automated much of this court system to provide efficiency and timeliness to court processing of minor issues.
New Mexico’s Probate Courts are also limited jurisdiction courts with a limited scope and area of specialty. They do not hold jury trials, but instead, a judge hears and decides all cases in Probate Court. There are thirty-three judges who preside over Probate Court in thirty-three counties. These courts handle matters of probate, including guardianships, conservatorships, wills, trusts, and estates. However, dedicated Probate Courts hear only “uncontested” probate cases. Any that include dissension and appeals will go to the higher courts.