New Mexico’s Municipal Courts are limited jurisdiction courts. There are 81 of them and eighty-three judges presiding. These courts do not use jury trials; a judge decides all matters.
Municipal Courts are the lowest trial courts for the state of New Mexico. Municipal Courts are located in each town, city, and village throughout New Mexico. They were established to provide speedy and efficient justice at the lowest level. The law states that any town or Municipality with 1,500 or more people must have a Municipal Court. These courts specialize in local ordinance violations. They also hear cases of petty misdemeanors, DWI/DUIs, traffic violations, and parking tickets.
The New Mexico Judicial Branch website makes it easy for patrons to pay parking tickets or other small fines online, so they do not need to show up in court. They have a specific area of the website where they can search for their case and enter credit card information to pay online.
Additionally, the website has a section for Municipal Court visitors where they can download forms including a guide about the Municipal Court system. They have a list of every Municipal Court in the state along with a search feature so someone can find their local courthouse. They show contact information and special links for things like the DMV, state legal resources, municipal and justice links, other court features, and programs along with technology and accessibility services. Since many of the cases heard in Municipal Court are traffic-related, they offer helpful resources and guides to promote better driving and following the road rules for the state.
Since 1994, New Mexico has been in the process of automating many of the regular actions of the Municipal Courts to make them more efficient. They are funded solely by their Municipality.