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New Mexico Courts

Tribunales de Nuevo México

 

LIVE STREAM OF SUPREME COURT HEARING JAN. 13 IN PUBLIC HEALTH ORDER CASE

Oral arguments before the state Supreme Court will be live streamed Wednesday, Jan. 13, in a case concerning business claims for compensation because of losses from public health order restrictions on their operations. The hearing begins at 1:30 p.m., and New Mexico PBS, KNME-TV, will stream the arguments on its YouTube channel.  The case is State v. Wilson, S-1-SC-38510.

JURY TRIALS TO RESUME IN FEBRUARY 2021

Criminal and civil jury trials across New Mexico will resume in February 2021.

The Supreme Court suspended jury trials in November as a safeguard against the spread of COVID-19.

Under a Court order issued Dec. 14, courts can resume trials with jurors in February. 

“The Supreme Court and its Emergency Response Team constantly monitors public health conditions and will continue to take every step necessary to ensure courts safeguard New Mexicans needing access to the justice system,” said Chief Justice Michael E. Vigil.

“The right to a jury trial is a fundamental part of our democracy and we greatly appreciate the willingness of New Mexicans to carry out their civic duty as jurors,” said Chief Justice Vigil.

The Court also restored the ability of lawyers to excuse a judge from presiding over criminal and civil cases, effective with cases filed on or after Jan. 1, 2021. The peremptory excusal rules were suspended in March to allow courts to better manage their caseloads during the COVID-19 pandemic by distributing cases among all available judges.

New Mexico courts have remained open throughout the pandemic and judges have conducted non-jury trials and other civil and criminal proceedings through video and telephone conferencing. This allows courts to hear critical legal matters such as potential public health cases and the initial pleas of people charged with crimes, make constitutionally required pretrial decisions, and issue restraining orders to protect domestic violence victims.

The state’s public health emergency order does not require the closing of any court.

New Mexico’s appellate, district, magistrate and metropolitan courts operate with COVID-safe procedures, including requiring masks and health screening for everyone who enters a courthouse and strict enforcement of a minimum six-foot physical distancing by court staff and members of the public.

CUSTOMER SERVICE CALL CENTER

The Administrative Office of the Courts operates a centralized call center that can provide basic information in English and Spanish about court services, cases and how to comply with citations, summonses and warrants. The service is available 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.,  Monday through Friday. Call 855-court-4 or 855-268-7804.

EVICTIONS PAUSED FOR INABILITY TO PAY RENT

The state Supreme Court has paused evictions for New Mexicans who prove that they are unable to pay rent during the COVID-19 public health emergency. Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs) about eviction stay.

The Court issued an order on March 26 that temporarily postpones the carrying out of eviction orders against New Mexicans who provide a judge with evidence that they are unable to pay their rent on a mobile home lot. This action offers the same protections against the loss of housing during the public health emergency that the Court provided to tenants of apartments and certain other places of residence in an order issued March 24.

The governor has directed New Mexicans to stay at home, except under limited circumstances. Temporarily preventing evictions from being carried out because of a person’s inability to pay rent will help families and individuals follow the governor’s directive to remain in their homes to help guard against the spread of COVID-19.

If a landlord begins an eviction proceeding, the renter will receive a summons that notifies them of the lawsuit and explains that they can participate in a hearing before a judge. Court hearings are conducted by video or telephone during the public health emergency, unless the parties ask to appear in person. To stop an eviction, renters - whether of land in a mobile home park or an apartment - must participate in the hearing and provide the judge with evidence of their current inability to pay their rent. If sufficient evidence is provided by the tenant, judges will stay the execution of writs of restitution that property owners can obtain and give to law enforcement to force the removal of a tenant.

If you would like assistance with your eviction proceeding please contact:

  • New Mexico Legal Aid - 1-833-LGL-HELP (1-833-545-4357).
  • Senior Citizens Law Office - (505) 265-2300, (Serves residents of Bernalillo, Sandoval, Valencia and Torrance counties who are 60 or older.)
  • Legal Resources for the Elderly Program, 800-876-6657 statewide; 505-797-6005 in Albuquerque, (Statewide free legal helpline for NM residents 55 and older.)

The Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court offers a free mediation program for people involved in active landlord-tenant cases in that court. The program starts May 11. A trained facilitator will work with landlords and tenants to try to develop a business agreement beneficial to both sides. Click here for more details. People wishing to participate in the Landlord-Tenant Settlement Program should contact the Metro Court’s Mediation Division at (505) 841-8167.

 

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Media Contact Information

 

Administrative Office of the Courts

Barry Massey

Public Information Officer

Phone: 505-827-4805 office; 505-470-3436 cell

bmassey@nmcourts.gov

Beth Wojahn

Communications Officer

Phone: 505-827-4876 office; 505-469-5415 cell

bwojahn@nmcourts.gov

 

Second Judicial District Court

Sidney Hill

Public Information Officer

Phone: 505-841-7504

albdsxh@nmcourts.gov

 

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

Camille Baca

Public Information Officer

Phone: 505-401-6149

metrcrb@nmcourts.gov


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