New Mexico’s Court of Appeals it the intermediate appellate court for the state. The Court of Appeals has jurisdiction over the entire state for all appeals of lower courts and administrative agencies except criminal cases where the death penalty or life imprisonment is on the table. In those cases, they will go directly to the Supreme Court. This court also handles appeals from the “Public Regulation Commission, and cases involving habeas corpus.” The Court of Appeals sees about 900 cases per year.
New Mexico’s Court of Appeals has ten judges that serve the court. Each judge is assigned two law clerks to help with their caseload. Judges sit in panels of three to review cases and determine whether or not any errors were made during the original trial. Only two of the three must agree to form a majority. Seventeen attorneys staff the Court of Appeals along with an administrative assistant. The clerk’s office has an additional staff of nine employees. The Albuquerque office has an appellate mediation program also. This court is located in Albuquerque and Santa Fe with multiple chambers.
The New Mexico Judicial Branch website includes a lot of detailed information about the Court of Appeals including full bios of each judge, court calendars, programs, attorney resources, links for self-represented individuals, rules of the court, filing, and fees, formal opinions are posted on the website along with FAQs, related links and recent news. The Court of Appeals allows only attorneys to e-file paperwork for appeal cases.
The Court of Appeals holds regular oral arguments, and they are open to the public and posted on the court calendar if anyone wants to attend. The Court of Appeals is supported by the Supreme Court and Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC).