bronze court seal State of New Mexico Second District Court

Court Alternatives

Bernalillo County Courthouse                                                                              Telephone: (505) 841-7412
400 Lomas Blvd. NW                                                                                              Hours:  Monday - Friday 
Room 628 (6th Floor)                                                                                                    8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m
Albuquerque, NM 87102                                                                                     Closed on  Court Holidays


OVERVIEW

Court Alternatives provides Alternative Methods of Dispute Resolution(ADR). The purpose of court-annexed ADR programs is the early, fair, efficient, cost-effective and informal resolution of disputes. These services are provided by court order for pending cases. The primary ADR programs are:

* Settlement Facilitation
* Arbitration

Information for each program is provided below. Information for the Domestic Violence Program and the Judge Brazil Program is provided at the bottom of the page.

CIVIL COURT MEDIATION

Mediation at Court Alternatives is intended for Civil and Family Courts. The first stage of development is in Family Court. Civil cases are being individually considered. A more comprehensive Civil Court program is under development.

CIVIL COURT & FAMILY COURT SETTLEMENT FACILITATION

Settlement facilitation is an opportunity to achieve a voluntary resolution of the dispute. The parties meet with a neutral facilitator(s), together with their counsel or as self-represented litigants. During the conference, each party’s position and interests are heard, the nature of the case is discussed, and possible solutions are considered. Settlement facilitation is confidential.

Settlement facilitation is available for civil and family cases. Facilitators include, retired and sitting judges, attorneys, counselors, accountants, and other qualified professionals. A fee is generally charged by the facilitators.

Settlement facilitation is generally a single half day or full day session. The facilitator(s) focus on the legal issues before the court, evaluate the case, and address more narrow issues. In a private session with each side, a settlement facilitator may address the strengths and weaknesses of that party’s position.

For more information, see the materials in our Information Section.

MEDIATION OR SETTLEMENT FACILITATION?

Both programs are similar: a neutral meets with the parties, legal advice is not given, the process is confidential, and the parties determine their own resolution.

Settlement facilitation is generally a single session, where the facilitator(s) focuses on the legal issues before the court, evaluates the case, and addresses more narrow issues.

Mediation is generally a more comprehensive process, where the mediator(s) focuses on problem solving by the parties of the issues presented in the court case as well as any underlying or related issues.

COURT-ANNEXED CIVIL ARBITRATION

A court appointed arbitrator issues an award after each party has had an opportunity to present their case. The decision is non-binding. Either party may appeal. On appeal, the assigned district court judge hears the case de novo, which means from the beginning. 87% of the cases are solved without an appeal.

Arbitration is available for civil cases. Arbitration is required for all civil cases where only money is at issue and where no party seeks an amount in excess of $25,000.00, exclusive of punitive damages, interest, costs and attorney fees.

Arbitrators are assigned to a case by the court. Arbitrators are attorneys with at least five years experience who reside or have an office in Bernalillo County. Arbitrators are paid $100 by the Court. There is no charge to the parties. However, if the parties select their own arbitrator, then the parties may be required to pay a fee to the arbitrator.

For more information, see the materials in our Information Section.

WHO IS COURT ALTERNATIVES?

David Levin, Director
Nadine Pohl, Janyl Mooney, and Tammy Nunez, Paralegals

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE PROGRAM, SEPTEMBER 2008

Download the articles for the Domestic Violence program here.

JUDGE BRAZIL PROGRAM, JUNE 2008

Download the articles for the Judge Brazil program here.