bronze court seal State of New Mexico Second District Court

Frequently Asked Questions

Children's Court

How do I report child abuse?
Call the statewide Child Abuse and Neglect Hotline at 1-855-333-SAFE [7233] or #SAFE from a cell phone.
As a parent in an abuse and neglect proceeding, can I see my file?
Matters involving abuse and/or neglect proceedings are confidential and not open to the public. A party may obtain information through the attorney who represented them in the proceeding. In pending matters, respondents are encouraged to obtain counsel, or, if unable to afford an attorney, to apply through the Children's Court Administration Office. The Human Services Division of the Children, Youth and Families Department can provide limited information to respondents.
How can my spouse adopt my child?
Stepparent adoption information and forms are available through the Children's Court Legal Assistant. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
How do I obtain a copy of my adoption records?
Adoption records, except for adult adoptions, are confidential. The Children's Code provides for the adopted child or biological parent to petition the Court for access.

Most older adoption records do not contain a consent to release identifying information by either the biological parent or the adopted child, as this was not required in adoptions during that time.

Without a consent to release information, the Court can only release non-identifying information. This is limited to health and medical history of the adopted child's biological parents, health and medical history of the adopted child and the adopted child's general family background (including ancestral information, without name references or geographical designations).

If the adopted child is a Native American, the following information may be provided: tribal information; physical descriptions of the adopted child and the child's biological parents; and the length of time the adopted child was in the care and custody of any person other than the adoptive parents.

Submitting a written request to the Central Adoptions Unit of the Children, Youth and Families Department requires no fee for obtaining non-identifying information by the adopted child or biological parent.
My employer performed a record search and my juvenile record came up. Why?
Juvenile delinquent cases or referrals of a delinquent act are not automatically sealed upon attaining legal age. To seal proceedings, an order must be submitted to the Court for approval. refer to the Children's Code for specifics in the time frame to seal a record. The initiating party is responsible for serving a copy of the filed order to the agencies involved. Forms are available through the Children's Court Legal Assistant. No filing fee is required.
How can I emancipate myself? How can I, as a parent, emancipate my child?
An emancipation proceeding is initiated by the minor, age sixteen or older. Refer to the Children's Code for details. Information and forms are available through the Children's Court Legal Assistant. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
How do I enroll a child in school or obtain medical treatment when I take care of the child but I am not a parent?
Fill out a Caregiver's Authorization Affidavit available through the Children's Court Legal Assistant. To establish more extensive legal and parental rights, you might file for kinship guardianship.
I want to gain custody of my children. My ex does not let me see my children.
Child custody and child support matters relating to divorce, separation or living arrangement are addressed through the Domestic Relations Division, not through Children's Court.
Is there a filing fee?
Yes, a filing fee is normally required, except for proceedings filed by the state. For information on filing fees, refer to the Fee Schedule.
How much time is involved to be a CASA volunteer?
5-10 hours monthly.
Will it be required that I know about courts and abuse and neglect cases?
No, the program trains you initially and provides for ongoing instruction.
If I work full time can I volunteer?
Yes, some flexibility is helpful. Court hearings are held 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m.
How are clients referred to YFC?
Juveniles and families are referred through the agencies of the juvenile justice system. Court ordered clients have priority.
Does YFC accept referrals from APS or other agencies outside the court?
Referrals from APS and other agencies are considered on a case by case basis.
What does YFC charge for services?
YFC services are free of charge. Families should be referred through the Juvenile Probation Office, and or court ordered through the Children's Court and the Family Court Division to be eligible for services.
Do YFC clients have to be Medicaid eligible?
The agency does not require Medicaid.
Can you get school credit for completing the Literacy Program?
No.
Is referral to the program by court order only?
No.
How does a client get referred to the PEG Program?
A client can be referred to the PEG Program by the judge, her probation officer or her counselor. She has to have been adjudicated and have a history of exposure to domestic violence and/or have a domestic violence charge against her before the program can assess her.
What if the client's parents refuse to participate in the program?
Parent participation is mandatory in the PEG Program, although an exception can be made in special circumstances if the client is 18 and parent participation would be detrimental to the client's progress. The parents are made party to the petition and can receive consequences, including incarceration, if they fail to participate.
Do you do any extra activities with the PEG clients?
The PEG clients are required to participate in at least two service learning projects per session and are given community service hours as a sanction. The PEG clients may also be required to attend field trips, conferences and any other activities the PEG team decides would be beneficial.
How often must the girls and their parents attend Court?
The client and their parents are required to attend court once a week to report on problems and successes. They are also required to attend group, family and individual counseling weekly or bi-weekly.
Can parents refer their children to SNAP?
No, only court related agencies can make referrals.
Is there a fee to participate?
No.
Is SNAP court open to the public?
Yes, every Wednesday, 4:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
How does a client get referred to the Children's Court DWI/Drug Court Program?
Referrals are received through the Juvenile Probation Office, treatment providers, attorneys, or may be court ordered.
What are the criteria for participation in the Children's Court DWI/Drug Court Program?
How does a client get referred to the Family Dependency Drug Court Program?
Referrals are initiated by the Court.

Civil Court

Do I need an attorney to represent me in the District Court?
Attorney representation is only required for companies/corporations. Individuals who choose to appear on their own behalf (pro se) may do so, however, they must prepare all necessary paperwork. The forms available are limited. As stated above, the court staff cannot provide legal information. Parties appearing on their own behalf are expected to know and follow the laws, Rules of Procedure, and Local Rules as they apply to their case.
How soon will I get a hearing?
In the Civil Division, all hearings are set by the Judge's office upon formal request. If you require a hearing you must submit the following: an original Request for Hearing and two copies, one copy is provided to the Judge; an original Notice of Hearing and copies for all parties entitled to notice; stamped envelopes addressed to all parties entitled to notice, including yourself. Samples of these documents are in Motions Packet which is available in the Civil Division.
How do I fill out the forms?
If pro se parties are unable to fill out the forms, they must contact an attorney; the judicial specialists are unable to provide assistance to parties with regards to filling out forms.
How do I view a case file?
Any individual needing to view a civil file, must request viewing at the Civil Division Records Retrieval window.  All files except for 1990, 1991 and TX cases may be accessed immediately upon request.  1990, 1991 and TX cases are located offsite. Requests for these files are taken and party is contacted when file is available.
How do I get my name changed?
The Civil Division does have forms available for $10.00 for individuals who want a name change.  Individuals must completely fill out all forms, prior to filing.  A hearing date is scheduled approximately one month from date of filing.  Judge's office provides exact date of hearing.  After initiation of case, prior to hearing, notice of the name change must be published in a newspaper.  Judge will determine whether or not name change will be granted during the hearing.  The filing fee is $122.00.
How do I get my driver's license restored?
The Civil Division does provide a form packet at no charge.  Upon expiration of revocation period, the individual needing a license restoration may pick up and fill out forms.  Hearing date will be set by the judge's office.  The judge will determine whether or not restoration of license is to be granted at time of hearing.  The filing fee is $122.00.

Court Clinic

How do I get into the Court Clinic for mediation or advisory consultation?
A party must file a “domestic matters” case and then file a request for a Court Clinic Referral Order. If the parties have been in the Clinic previously, the Judge must sign a new Order to return.
How much does it cost to go to the Court Clinic?
There is no charge for a Priority Consultation or Mediation. If the parties are ordered for an Advisory Consultation or Settlement Facilitation, the cost is based on a sliding scale and is calculated using both parties’ income.
If someone is not following a Court-Ordered Parenting Plan, what do I do?
Only the Judge can issue or enforce Orders. Therefore, if someone is not following an Order, it must be brought back before the Court to have the Judge decide how to proceed.
Do I need an attorney to use the Clinic?
No, any party may be referred to the Court Clinic by Court order.
What issues does the Clinic address?
As stated above, the Clinic only deals with child-related issues. It does not assess child support or deal with any financial or property issues.

Court Monitors

How do I get a copy of the tape or CD containing my hearing?
All Tapes and CD's are filed with Special Services by the Court Monitor. The requesting party must have the date of the hearing and the name of the judge or hearing officer in order to obtain a copy of the proceedings. Transcripts are not provided in hearings recorded by the monitors; the tape is the official record.
How long does it take to get a copy of the tape?
Under normal conditions, it takes less than three working days. Proceedings involving a large number of tapes could take longer.
Is there a written log or legend that accompanies each tape?
Yes, the requesting party, upon request, will receive a computer generated log prepared by the Court Monitor which accompanies the tape. This log highlights certain portions of the proceedings and is meant to supplement the tape in terms of following what happened during the hearing or motion.

Court Reporter

How do I order a transcript?
A transcript request should be faxed to (505) 841-6766. Please include the following information: date of hearing, name of Judge, cause number including case type, caption, such as State of NM vs. John Doe, any deadline by which the transcript is needed, name and telephone number for a contact person. You will then receive the name and telephone number of the reporter.
How much does a transcript cost?
Page rates are set by statute depending on the type of case and whether it is an appeal or non-appeal transcript. The Court Reporter will provide an estimated cost. The requesting party pays the Court Reporter directly for civil proceedings and non-indigent criminal cases. In certain instances, the transcript fee may be waived by Court order.
What happens to exhibits admitted into evidence?
The Court Reporter files all exhibits admitted into evidence in the Special Services Division of the District Court. Please contact Special Services for copies or further information.

Criminal

What information do I need when I request information about a case?
The case number if you know it; if not, the defendant’s name, social security number and date of birth.
How do I view a case file?
The case file can be viewed at the Criminal Division of District Court upon request. Information regarding documents filed in any particular case can be viewed at www.nmcourts.gov
How do I obtain case records?
Copies of documents are available at 35 cents per page.
Will a Public Defender be appointed to my case?
Public Defenders may be appointed to represent a defendant if certain criteria are met such as income.  Applications for Public Defender representation should be made at the Public Defender's office. Phone (505) 841-5100 for more information.
When and how do I get my bond money back?
Cash bonds posted by individuals may be returned to the individual who posted the bond after the defendant has appeared at all required hearings; call the Criminal Division for details. Bonds posted by licensed bail bondsmen are not refundable by the Court.
How will I know when to appear in court?
Your attorney should keep you informed of any court date.  You may also call the Judge or the Criminal Division to request information.
How do I pay my fine?
Fines and fees due to the Court must be paid at the Criminal Division.
What if I cannot pay my fine on the day of my court hearing?
The Court will generally allow defendants a period of time to pay any fines or fees imposed by the Court.  The defense attorney may be able to make arrangements with the Court for the defendant to make payments on time.

Family Court

Why can’t you help me with my question?
Court clerks are prohibited from dispensing legal advice in any manner. Certain forms and limited assistance in procedures are available from the Self Help or Domestic Violence Divisions.
Do I have to hire an attorney?
It is in your best interest to work with a licensed attorney. However, if your case is simple, you may wish to do the research and prepare your own paperwork, download certain forms or purchase certain forms from the Court. Please understand, however, that the clerks and Judge’s staff, by law, are not permitted to dispense legal advice or analysis. For legal advice, always consult a licensed N.M. attorney.
How do I get a copy of my divorce decree or other document?
It is usually best to come to the Domestic Relations Division office. (Please see our address and hours at the top of the page.) However, if you need something basic, such as a certified Marital Settlement Agreement and Final Decree, you may mail your request with the following:
Do you take checks, debit cards, or credit cards?
Payments allowed are cash, money order, or cashier’s check made payable to the Clerk of the Court.
What is the difference between a DR and a DM case?
There is no difference. All DR cases were converted to DM in 1997 to allow consistent reporting throughout the state.
What is the best time to go to Domestic Relations?
Generally, mornings and midweek are less busy. However, the Domestic Relations Division does stay open through the lunch hour for your convenience.

Jury

I do not have a form two, only a form one and three. What is form two?
Form two is at the bottom of form one (on the same page).
Can we take notes?
It is a decision made by the trial judge and the circumstances of the case.
Can a juror serve on more than one trial during the course of his/her jury duty?
Yes, it is possible for a juror to serve on two or three trials while serving on jury duty.
What are the chances on being sequestered?
There has not been a trial in this district in the last two decades that has been sequestered. Many of our high profile trials have been semi-sequestered in the sense that the impaneled jurors have been kept together during the lunch hour but that is the extent of it.