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The Guide to New Mexico Court Records


The New Mexico trial court system consists of District Courts, Metropolitan Courts, Magistrate Courts, Probate Courts, and Municipal Courts.
 
District Courts have general jurisdiction over all types of civil and criminal cases, but generally only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts. Metropolitan Courts, Magistrate Courts, Probate Courts and Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of cases.

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Please select a New Mexico county below to view directory of all courts with links to court record resources for each court. Find New Mexico court pages by Town or Zip Code. Select a court record or online resource category below to view all resources at both the statewide and county level. Go to the court records pages for another state.
 


 
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New Mexico District Courts

District Courts have general jurisdiction over all civil and criminal cases, but usually only handle cases that are beyond the jurisdiction of other courts.

Criminal cases heard by District Courts include felonies and lesser-included offenses, some misdemeanors and preliminary hearings for all types of criminal cases.

Civil cases heard by District Courts include general civil claims with disputes for more than $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs. District Courts also handle domestic relations, domestic violence, juvenile delinquency, child protection, mental health, administrative agency appeals, disputes over the title or boundary to real estate, naturalization, guardianship, conservatorship, trusts and formal probate proceedings.

Each District Court has a Children's Court division that handle certain types of juvenile cases, including juvenile delinquency, child neglect, child abuse, adoption, and the emancipation of minors. The Children's Court division also has authority to enforce certain Tribal Court orders.

District Courts share original jurisdiction with Probate Courts over all informal probate matters, including the informal appointment of a personal representative and cases where there is no dispute whether a decedent left a valid will. District Courts handle all formal probate cases.

District Courts share jurisdiction over most misdemeanor criminal cases with Magistrate Courts and Metropolitan Courts, as well as Probate Courts if a Probate Court has jurisdiction over misdemeanor criminal cases.

District Courts share jurisdiction over preliminary hearings for all criminal cases with Metropolitan Court and Magistrate Court, as well as Probate Courts if a Probate Court has criminal jurisdiction.

If the competency of a defendant is raised in a criminal case in a Magistrate Court or Probate Court, the case is transferred to District Court. If a Metropolitan Court finds a defendant incompetent to stand trial, the case is transferred to District Court.

New Mexico Metropolitan Courts

Counties of a certain size are required to establish a Metropolitan Court with limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Metropolitan Courts have jurisdiction similar to Magistrate Courts, with some additional jurisdiction over certain types of cases.

Criminal cases heard by Metropolitan Courts include misdemeanors, DWI/DUI, traffic violations, most violations of county and municipal ordinances and preliminary hearings for all types of criminal cases.

Civil cases heard by Metropolitan Courts include most general civil claims for less than $10,000, exclusive of interest and costs, including landlord-tenant disputes, contracts, quasi-contracts and torts.

Metropolitan Courts do not have jurisdiction over certain types of cases, including domestic relations, certain types of civil cases, guardianships, most requests for injunctive relief and disputes over the title or boundary of real estate.

Metropolitan Courts share jurisdiction over preliminary hearings and most misdemeanor criminal cases with District Courts. If a Metropolitan Court finds a defendant incompetent to stand trial, the case is transferred to District Court.

A Metropolitan Court may have jurisdiction over contested cases involving violations of parking or vehicle operation rules for state educational institutions under certain circumstances.

New Mexico Magistrate Courts

Magistrate Courts have limited jurisdiction over certain types of civil and criminal cases.

Criminal cases heard by Magistrate Courts include preliminary hearings for all types of criminal cases, most misdemeanors, petty misdemeanors and county ordinance violations. Magistrate Courts may handle municipal ordinance violations under some circumstances.

Civil cases heard by Magistrate Courts include most general civil claims for less than $10,000, exclusive of interests and costs.

Magistrate Courts do not have jurisdiction to handle certain types of cases, including domestic relations, certain types of civil cases, guardianships, most requests for injunctive relief and disputes over the title or boundary of real estate.

Magistrate Courts share jurisdiction over most misdemeanor criminal cases with District Courts. If the competency of a defendant is raised in a criminal case in Magistrate Court, the case is transferred to District Court.

New Mexico Probate Courts

Probate Courts have limited jurisdiction over informal probate and informal estate matters. Contested probate and estate matters are heard by District Courts.

Probate Courts share original jurisdiction with District Courts over all informal probate matters, including the informal appointment of a personal representative and cases where there is no dispute whether a decedent left a valid will.

Probate Court have jurisdiction to determine heirship of real property in the informal administration of estates. Probate Courts may have additional jurisdiction to determine heirship of real property in other types of probate cases under some circumstances.

Probate Courts may have jurisdiction over contested civil cases under some circumstances. If civil jurisdiction exists, claims must be within financial limits and jurisdiction is limited to certain types of cases.

Probate Courts do not handle several types of cases, including malicious prosecution, slander, libel, specific performance of contracts for the sale of real estate, possession of land, most disputes involving the title or boundary to real property and requests for injunctive relief.

Probate Courts may exercise some jurisdiction over certain types of criminal cases. Under certain circumstances, Probate Courts share jurisdiction with District Courts, Metropolitan Courts and Magistrate Courts for preliminary hearings in all criminal cases and trials for misdemeanors punishable only by certain amounts of fines.

New Mexico Municipal Courts

Municipal Courts have limited jurisdiction over all violations of municipal ordinances, including driving under the influence of intoxicating liquor or drugs.

Municipal Courts do not offer jury trials, and cases with a right to a jury trial will be transferred to another court if a proper request is made.

A Municipal Court may handle contested cases involving violations of campus traffic regulations.

New Mexico Tribal Courts

In addition to the state trial court system, New Mexico has an independent Tribal Court system.

Where to find court cases in New Mexico

The chart below gives general information on the types of cases heard in each type of court in New Mexico.
 

Most Cases = Most or all cases.     Some Cases = Some cases.

Case Type Court Type
CivilDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
General Civil - Unlimited
 Most or all General Civil - Unlimited cases can be found in the District Courts
    
General Civil - Limited
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the District Courts
 Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Most or all General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 Some General Civil - Limited cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Small Claims 
 Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Most or all Small Claims cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 Some Small Claims cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Civil Equity
 Most or all Civil Equity cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Complex Commercial
 Most or all Complex Commercial cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Foreclosures and Liens
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Some Foreclosures and Liens cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
  
Real Estate Title and Boundary
 Most or all Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the District Courts
  
 Some Real Estate Title and Boundary cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Landlord / Tenant 
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Some Landlord / Tenant cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
  
Ordinance Violations 
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders
 Most or all Protection, No Contact, and Restraining Orders cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Administrative Agency Appeals
 Most or all Administrative Agency Appeals cases can be found in the District Courts
    
CriminalDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Felony
 Most or all Felony cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Felony Preliminary Hearings
 Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the District Courts
 Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Most or all Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 Some Felony Preliminary Hearings cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Misdemeanors
 Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the District Courts
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Most or all Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 Some Misdemeanors cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Ordinance Violations 
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 Some Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 Most or all Ordinance Violations cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Juvenile
 Most or all Juvenile cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Traffic and Infractions 
 Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
 Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Magistrate Courts
 
 Some Traffic and Infractions cases can be found in the Municipal Courts
Domestic RelationsDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Divorce
 Most or all Divorce cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Child Custody and Visitation
 Most or all Child Custody and Visitation cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Child Support
 Most or all Child Support cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Paternity
 Most or all Paternity cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Domestic Violence Protection Order
 Most or all Domestic Violence Protection Order cases can be found in the District Courts
    
JuvenileDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Adoptions
 Most or all Adoptions cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Juvenile Delinquency
 Most or all Juvenile Delinquency cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Child Abuse and Neglect
 Most or all Child Abuse and Neglect cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Termination of Parental Rights
 Most or all Termination of Parental Rights cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Children in Need of Supervision
 Most or all Children in Need of Supervision cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Mental HealthDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Involuntary Commitments
 Most or all Involuntary Commitments cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Other Mental Health Cases
 Most or all Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the District Courts
 Some Other Mental Health Cases cases can be found in the Metropolitan Courts
   
ProbateDistrict CourtsMetropolitan CourtsMagistrate CourtsProbate CourtsMunicipal Courts
Wills & Estates
 Some Wills & Estates cases can be found in the District Courts
  
 Some Wills & Estates cases can be found in the Probate Courts
 
Name Changes
 Most or all Name Changes cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Trusts
 Most or all Trusts cases can be found in the District Courts
    
Guardianships and Conservatorships
 Most or all Guardianships and Conservatorships cases can be found in the District Courts
    


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