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What you should know about State Courts

State Courts derive from Article VI of the New Mexico Constitution, which establishes various levels of State Courts.  These include the Supreme Court, the Court of Appeals, the District Courts, the Probate Courts, Magistrate Courts, and other courts inferior to the district courts established by law.  The Constitution also contains provisions relating to jurisdiction, terms and qualifications for office, compensation, staff, fees, writs, the Judicial Standards Commission, retention or rejection at general elections, vacancies and nominating commissions.
 
State laws in Chapter 34 (NMSA 1978) provide further details for some of the constitutional provisions.  For example, the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court is created in State law.  Similarly, the Administrative Office of the Courts, the Judicial Education Center, and other agencies are created.  State law also assigns the 33 counties to thirteen judicial districts for district court’s jurisdictional areas.

First (Los Alamos, Rio Arriba,  Santa Fe)

  • Pueblos
    • Ohkay Owingeh
    • Nambé, Pojoaque
    • San Ildefonso
    • Santa Clara
    • Tesuque
  • ​Tribes
    • Jicarilla Apache

Second (Bernalillo)

  • Pueblos
    • Isleta
  • ​Tribes
    • Navajo – TóHajiilee

Third (Doña Ana)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • None

Fourth (Guadalupe, Mora, San Miguel)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • None

Fifth (Chaves, Eddy, Lea)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • None

Sixth (Grant, Hidalgo, Luna)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • Fort Sill Apache

Seventh (Catron, Sierra, Socorro, Torrance)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • Navajo – Alamo

Eighth (Colfax, Taos & Union)

  • Pueblos
    • Picuris
    •  Taos

Ninth (Curry & Roosevelt)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • None

Tenth (De Baca, Harding & Quay)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • None

Eleventh (McKinley & San Juan)

  • Pueblos
    • Zuni
  • Tribes
    • Navajo

Twelfth (Lincoln & Otero)

  • Pueblos
    • None
  • Tribes
    • Mescalero Apache

Thirteenth (Cibola, Sandoval & Valencia)

  • Pueblos
    • Acoma
    • Cochiti
    • Isleta
    • Jemez
    • Kewa (formerly Santo Domingo)
    • Laguna
    • Sandia
    • San Felipe
    • Santa Ana
    • Zia
  • ​Tribes
    • Navajo – Ramah and TóHajiilee

Magistrate Courts

Sixty-six judges preside in 54 magistrate courts. These are courts of limited jurisdiction, and jury trials are available in criminal cases. This court will hear these types of cases: Tort, contract, landlord/tenant rights ($0-10,000); felony preliminary hearings; misdemeanor, DWI/DUI and other traffic violations.

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

Nineteen judges preside for cases in the Albuquerque metro area. This is a court of limited jurisdiction, and jury trials are available in criminal cases. This court will hear these types of cases: tort, contract, landlord/tenant rights ($0-10,000); felony first appearances; misdemeanor, DWI/DUI, domestic violence and other traffic violations.

Municipal Courts

Eighty-two judges preside, in eighty municipal courts. These are courts of limited jurisdiction; no jury trials are available. This court will hear these types of cases: petty misdemeanors, DWI/DUI, traffic violations and other municipal ordinance violations.

Probate Court

Thirty-three judges in the thirty-three counties. These are courts of limited jurisdiction, and no jury trials are available. This court will hear these types of cases: informal probate; estate (hears uncontested cases. contested cases go to district court).