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New Mexico Judicial System

by Keren P.

New Mexico Judicial System, Judicial System

New Mexico Judicial System and Court System: How does it Work?

The judicial and court system of New Mexico constitutes of courts at various levels. Follow this article to know in detail:

Supreme Court of New Mexico

New Mexico’s Supreme Court comprises of 5 justices. Situated in Santa F, it is the last resort for getting justice and has control over all the state’s lower courts, as well as, attorneys having licenses in the state.

The court enjoys compulsory jurisdiction over various criminal issues wherein the earlier sentence given was life imprisonment, appeals that challenge nominations, removing officials from their public positions, appeals made by the Public Regulation Commission, and so on.

New Mexico Court of Appeals

The court has 10 judges with an office in Albuquerque and Santa Fe. Court of Appeals has mandatory jurisdiction over juvenile and non-capital criminal cases, administrative agency appeals, and discretionary jurisdiction.

District Courts in New Mexico

The state has 13 different districts and these courts have general jurisdiction to hold jury trials. A District Court can hear the following kinds of cases:

  • Estate, property rights on real estate, contract, and Tort
  • Mental health and exclusive domestic relations
  • Exclusive juvenile jurisdiction
  • Jurisdiction on exclusive criminal appeals
  • Misdemeanor
  • Miscellaneous civil jurisdiction
  • Appeals from lower courts and administrative agencies
New Mexico Judicial System

New Mexico Magistrate Court

Such courts with limited jurisdiction also conduct jury trials. A magistrate court can hear the following case types:

  • Felony preliminary hearings
  • Contract, Tort, tenant/landlord rights (0 USD to 10,000 USD)
  • DWI/DUI & other traffic violations
  • Misdemeanor

New Mexico County Level Probate Court

Such courts have limited jurisdiction, which does not conduct jury trials in New Mexico. The kinds of cases heard by a Probate Court include the following:

  • Estate pertaining to uncontested cases as the district court hears contested cases
  • Informal probate estate that deals with uncontested cases because the contested cases are sent to the district court for a hearing

New Mexico Municipal Court

In New Mexico, Municipal Courts also have limited jurisdiction and do not conduct jury trials. Such a court can hear the following kind of cases listed below”

  • Traffic violations & other violations of a municipal ordinance
  • Petty misdemeanors
Judicial System

New Mexico Public Defender Department

Situated in Santa Fe, New Mexico, the Public Defender Department can represent the following:

  • A person who does not have adequate financial means to hire counsel but has been accused of a crime and can carry an imprisonment term as a sentence
  • Can confer with any individual whom a council does not represent and is being detained forcibly
  • An individual who does not have the necessary finance to procure a legal counsel in any of the states after the conviction proceeding takes place

New Mexico Judicial Standards Commission

Its function is to make recommendations to the state’s Supreme Court for the retirement, removal, or discipline of any magistrate, judge, or justice if the commission finds justified cause to do so.

New Mexico Administrative Office of the Courts

Its existence is to allow New Mexico’s court to achieve its mission through the following:

  • Offering an equitable and fair human resource system throughout the state
  • Making sure that the courts are equipped with equitably distributed and adequate resources
  • Offering administrative support to a magistrate court
  • Ensuring availability of the most recent technology with the courts and them using it
  • Implementing and developing enhanced court processes, as well as providing support to the courts to use them
  • Gathering, as well as, furnishing information for and on the courts
  • Account management for collecting revenues
  • Keeping liaison with the state government’s executive and legislative branches


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