New Mexico Court Records
Court records are required for numerous reasons, including providing a statute of law history when filing a new case, personal law research and education, as well as a useful resource for tracking vital and genealogical records. Increasing use of the Internet and capabilities of online storage has opened up a world of availability for the public and law professionals alike to access court records with ease from their computers. This takes out the legwork of acquiring individual documents in person at state and local courthouses and law libraries.
In New Mexico there are multiple levels in the judiciary system all producing important court records including the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, 13 District Courts, Magistrate Courts, Metropolitan Court, Municipal Court, and Probate Court.
History of New Mexico Court Records
New Mexico achieved statehood in 1912, and in that same year the Supreme Court was established with three justices. Seventeen years later the court grew to five justices which is the number still today. In 1966 legislation passed to establish the New Mexico Court of Appeals to ease the caseload of the Supreme Court. Both judicial entities have expanded since their creation; with the Court of Appeals growing from seven justices to ten to continually handle to influx of appellate cases by presiding over multiple cases with a few justices per panel to sentence more efficiently.
New Mexico Court Records Availability
The New Mexico Supreme Court is located in the historic Supreme Court Building downtown Santa Fe, the same location also houses one of the largest law libraries in the state with records filed annually since 1912. With a rich history in Native American culture, the New Mexico law library uniquely features a Tribal Law division organized by tribe, topic, and treaties where additional court records and references can be studied.
Additionally, criminal and civil court records are available in person and online from the Supreme Court, Court of Appeals, and District Courts. Internet searches can also produce court records from New Mexican courts with smaller jurisdictions such as the Magistrate, Probate, and Municipal Courts.
Main Court Information
The jurisdiction of the Supreme Court is to hear cases dealing with the interpretation of the state and federal constitution, direct appeals for cases with life sentencing, and as an authority to provide disciplinary action towards New Mexico judges and attorneys.
The Court of Appeals of New Mexico has two locations, one in Santa Fe and a satellite location in Albuquerque. The justices of this court work in panels of three and must have a ruling of two thirds to provide a motion for each case. The Court of Appeals jurisdiction covers civil, non-capital criminal and juvenile cases.
There are 33 counties of New Mexico grouped together into 13 judicial districts. The state’s District Courts have jurisdiction over their assigned districts and many have judicial complexes to house a courtroom, offices and detention cells.
The Supreme Court of New Mexico had a caseload of 562 filings and 533 dispositions for the fiscal year of 2014. The Court of Appeals handles an average of 900 court cases annually.