Last updated: October 16, 2013
Between the Rio Grande, the Sandia Mountains and the University of New Mexico, Albuquerque is an exciting place. With over 500,000 residents it is only natural that disputes and issues sometimes arise that require the involvement of the courts. Here is a guide to the key courthouses in The Duke City in case you need to visit one.
This court handles uncontested, informal proceedings involving wills, estate and probate. Specifically, it admits wills to probate, appoints personal representatives, and appoints special administrators. For additional information, the website includes a variety of probate informational brochures and checklists, including “Personal Representative Duties,” “Who Are The Heirs?” “Claims Against Probate Estates in New Mexico,” and “Real Property.” There is also a link to the forms you will need to file and complete a probate case.
This court hears civil cases under $10,000, felony first appearances, misdemeanors, DWI/DUIs, domestic violence matters and other traffic violations. Jurors at this court serve for 2 weeks, are paid New Mexico minimum wage and are reimbursed for mileage. For those who wish to represent themselves in small claims matters and landlord/tenant disputes, there is a Self-Help Center ((505) 841-9817) where staff can assist with procedures and forms, but cannot provide legal advice.
This court of general jurisdiction hears civil cases over $10,000, domestic relations (divorce, custody, etc.), juvenile matters, misdemeanors, felonies, appeals and more.
This appeals court has two offices – one in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque. It has 10 judges and hears approximately 900 cases per year. This court hears appeals from all district courts and some administrative agencies in all matters except “criminal cases involving sentences of death or life imprisonment, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, and cases involving habeas corpus.” For individuals who wish to represent themselves, the court’s website provides a pamphlet on How to Process an Appeal as well as information regarding appropriate forms to use in civil, criminal, administrative, and domestic relations appeals. Appeals from this court are heard at the New Mexico Supreme Court in Santa Fe.
This U.S. District Court handles only federal law matters. If you are called for jury service, you may be summoned for either a petit jury or a grand jury. You will be paid $40 per day and reimbursed for mileage. For a petit jury expect to be on call for 2 months. For a grand jury expect to serve once a month (1-3 days) for 12 months. Here are some Frequently Asked Questions and Answers regarding jury service.
This federal court handles only bankruptcy matters. If you are representing yourself, their website has an information section you may find helpful. In addition, there is a Self Help Center in the courthouse open Monday through Friday from 8:30 am to 4:30 pm. You may reach the Center at (505) 348-2500, option 8.