New Mexico is divided up into thirteen judicial districts where District Courts are held. These are the general jurisdiction courts for the state. District Courts hold jury trials and have ninety-four judges presiding.
The types of cases handled by District Courts are tort cases, real property cases, probate, and estate cases, exclusive mental health and domestic relations cases, civil appeals, miscellaneous civil actions, felonies, misdemeanors, exclusive criminal appeals, and exclusive juvenile matters. These courts handle appeals from lower courts and administrative agencies.
The New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) supports and provides administrative functions for all the judicial offices, including District Courts. They serve by following their mission of:
- “Ensuring that the courts have adequate, equitably distributed resources.
- Ensuring that the courts have and use current technology.
- Providing a fair and equitable statewide human resources system.
- Developing and implementing improved court processes and supporting courts in their use.
- Collecting and providing information on and for the courts.
- Managing and accounting for the collection of revenue.
- Ensuring sound financial, budgeting, and procurement practices in the management of court resources.
- Providing administrative support for the magistrate courts.
- Maintaining liaison with the legislative and executive branches of state government.”
New Mexico’s Judicial Branch website has a lot of information for patrons of the District Court system including forms for download and filing, e-filing options, links to pay fines, fees, and tickets, help with divorce, domestic violence, guardianship, name changes, probate problems, and other common legal issues. The website also has court rules, public access to court records, contact information, language, and other accessibility resources along with attorney’s and judge’s information. Additionally, New Mexico has split further divisions into problem-solving courts like Drug Court that focuses on treatment and healing rather than just punishment.