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COURT CLOSURE NOTIFICATION: All Offices and Divisions of the Second Judicial District Court will be closed Monday, July 4, 2022 in observance of the Independence Day Holiday.
SJDC Children’s Court Judge Catherine Begaye named “Reunification Hero”
Second Judicial District Presiding Children’s Court Judge Catherine Begaye has been designated a 2022 “Reunification Hero” by the American Bar Association’s Center on Children and the Law. Learn More
New limits for cases referred to arbitration take effect June 1, 2022
Starting June 1, 2022, the dollar limit for cases referred to arbitration in the Second Judicial District Court will increase from $25,000 to $50,000. Learn More
The Second Judicial District Children’s Court has a new Presiding Judge
The Honorable Catherine A. Begaye is the new Presiding Judge of the Children’s Court Division of the Second Judicial District Court. Learn More
Court employees celebrated for providing outstanding public service during 2021
The Family Court Clinic topped a list of divisions and individuals honored for outstanding service to the public during 2021 at the Second Judicial District Court’s annual Employee Appreciation Celebration.Learn More
Children’s Court christened new families on National Adoption Day
After more than two years of being their foster parents, Leslie & Matthew McDonough recently were legally deemed mom and dad to soon-to-be three-year-old twin girls Selena Grace and Teresa Joy. Learn More
The Hon. Marie Ward named Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District Court
Albuquerque, New Mexico, September 10, 2021 — The Honorable Marie Ward has been elected Chief Judge of the Second Judicial District Court. Judge Ward will succeed the Honorable Stan Whitaker, who recently announced his intention to step down after serving as Chief Judge since October 2018. Learn More
The New Mexico Supreme Court adopts new rules to help New Mexicans facing foreclosure and consumer debt issues
Elaine P. Lujan is SJDC’s Newest Civil Court Judge
The Second Judicial District Court’s newest judge is a familiar face to many who work in the downtown courthouse. Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham announced Elaine P. Lujan’s appointment to the court’s Civil Division bench on June 30, 2021. Learn More
Family Court seeks volunteer attorneys to serve as settlement facilitators
The Family Law Judges at the Second Judicial District Court identified a segment of the population in need: parties who could clearly benefit from settlement facilitation, but could not afford it. Learn More
Children’s Court gets new courtroom, clerk’s office
There has been a lot of construction at the Juvenile Justice Center this year, resulting in a new courtroom and a new home for the JJC Clerk’s Office. Learn More
Family Court Issues Guidance for Following Parenting Plans During the Pandemic
In an effort to address common questions that are arising from parents trying to follow public health orders and their parenting plan and attorneys’ concerns about court procedure, we are providing direction in this letter. Learn More
Treatment Court teams taking extra steps to support clients during the pandemic
The COVID-19 pandemic has been a life-altering experience for everyone. But for some people—including some clients in the SJDC’s Treatment Courts—it has been almost life-shattering. Learn More
Domestic Violence Division Issues Notice of Submitting Exhibits
Please be advised that if you intend to submit exhibits for your upcoming hearing they must be submitted at least 48 hours prior to your scheduled hearing. Learn More
Second Judicial District Court suspends requirement to have “free process” applications notarized
During the COVID-19 crisis, the Second Judicial Court will not require notary public certifications on applications to waive fees for filing a legal action, when those applications are based on the individual’s inability to pay. Learn More
Public Access to Court Hearings
Due to COVID-19 restrictions, the manner in which members of the public gain access to hearings has changed. If you would like access to a hearing held in the Second Judicial District Court, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org at least 24 hours before the scheduled hearing time.
Video for Jurors
Click here to watch the video for Jurors from the New Mexico Courts Emergency Response Team
Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Screening Procedures at the Second Judicial District Court During the COVID-19 Pandemic
Q: Why is screening taking place?
A: The Second Judicial District Court (SJDC) is committed to taking precautions to safeguard our employees and members of the public. In accordance with CDC guidelines and recommendations, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued Order No. 20-85-00023 which requires screening at the entrances to our courthouses. This screening process offers the best way to minimize risk of exposure and infection for our employees and members of the public.
Q: Who is being screened at the SJDC?
A: Every visitor and employee will be screened at all SJDC locations (400 Lomas Blvd. NW, 5100 Second St. NW).
Q: Why am I required to wear a face mask?
All individuals entering the SJDC are required to wear a face mask in accordance with the New Mexico Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-017. If you do not have a face mask one will be provided to you at no charge. Face masks can slow the spread of the virus and help people who may have the virus and do not know it from transmitting it to others. This is part of our continued effort to protect our employees and visitors from exposure to COVID-19.
If you refuse to wear a face mask you will be denied entry to the courthouse.
Q: Are you unable to wear a mask due to a medical condition?
Generally the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) prohibits places of public accommodation having restrictions that would limit access to an individual with a disability. However, the ADA does allow restrictions when an individual would pose a direct threat to the health or safety of others. COVID-19 is currently considered a direct threat. If you are unable to wear a face mask due to a medical condition, please contact the SJDC’s Title II ADA Coordinator, Lisa Y. Schatz-Vance, at 505-841-7615.
Q: What happens if I screen positive for symptoms of COVID-19?
A: At the point of screening, visitors and employees who have a fever (100.4 degrees) or respiratory symptoms, or responses to screening questions that indicate an increased risk of exposure to COVID-19, will be denied entry to the courthouse.
Q: How often will I need to be screened?
A: Court visitors and employees will be screened every time you enter the courthouse.
Q: Is social distancing being practiced in the screening lines?
A: The screening site has quite a bit of room to encourage social distancing while visitors and employees are waiting to be screened.
Q: Who can see the information that I am submitting through the screening process? With whom will it be shared?
Information submitted through the screening questions will be treated as confidential information.
Q: How long will the daily screenings be in effect?
The daily screening requirement will be in effect until further notice.
If you have questions about the screening procedures taking place at the SJDC, please contact Court Administration at 505-841-7425.
Conducting hearings via teleconference among the new measures to keep the court open during the COVID-19 crisis
The Courts are among the essential services that are exempt from shutting down under Michelle Lujan Grisham’s shelter-in-place order. That does not mean courts are not taking steps to protect the public from the spread of the COVID-19 virus.
New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith K. Nakamura issued an order on March 23, 2020 directing all New Mexico Courts to:
- Conduct all civil and criminal proceedings by video and audio teleconferencing, unless an emergency requires in-person appearances.
- Limit the number of people in any hearing or meeting inside a courthouse to no more than 15 people and adhere to the six-foot social distancing protocol during such hearings or meetings
The Second Judicial District Court is complying with these directives, in addition to its previously announced safeguards, which include:
- Postponing civil and criminal jury trials
- Implementing courthouse entrance screening procedures to prevent individuals who have contracted, or been exposed to, the COVID-19 virus from entering the building.
“The judges and administration of the Second Judicial District Court are committed to the safety of the court’s employees, as well as all those individuals who are unable to avoid being in court during this public health crisis,” said Second Judicial District Court Chief Judge Stan Whitaker. “We will continue to work to give the public access to the legal system in ways that minimize the threat to public health and safety.”
For more information on the Second Judicial District Court’s response to COVID-19, visit the court’s website, or follow the court’s Twitter feed @SJDCNEWMEXICO.
Second Judicial Court Administrative Orders should help guard against COVID-19 virus
Second Judicial District Court Chief Judge Stan Whitaker has issued two administrative orders to help the court better service the public during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.
The first order relates to precautionary measures the court is taking to continue conducting essential business during this crisis.
The second order outlines screening procedures put in place at the courthouse entrance to ensure that individuals who may have contracted the COVID-19 virus to not enter the courthouse.
To review the precautionary measures order click here.
The screening procedures order is available here.
Filing Expungement Petitions
To make the process of filing for the expungement of criminal records easier for all parties, the Second Judicial District Court has created specific forms for filing expungement petitions. The use of these forms is mandatory for filing expungement petitions in the Second Judicial District Court. For more information on the Court’s reasons for adopting the use of these forms, please read the Court’s Order. The forms for filing expungement petitions are available here.
The Second Judicial District Court will make all reasonable accommodations and reasonable modifications to policies and programs to ensure that people with disabilities have an equal opportunity to enjoy all of is programs, services and activities. Anyone who requires an auxiliary aid or service for effective communication or a modification of policies or procedures to participate in a service, program, or activity of the Second Judicial District Court should contact its ADA Coordinator, Alison Orona, at (505) 841-7425 or by email: email@example.com as soon as possible but no later than 48 hours before the scheduled event.
Request for Accommodation for a Court Hearing at SJDC: Counsel or self-represented litigants may notify the Clerk of the Court of the nature of the disability at least five (5) business days before any hearing so appropriate accommodations may be made. The ADA Accommodations Request Form can be found here.
For more information, see SJDC’s Notice of Non-Discrimination and SJDC’s Grievance Procedure under the Americans with Disabilities Act.
Courthouse Access Policy
The Second Judicial District Court is dedicated to serving the community by providing equal access to justice through the fair, timely and efficient resolution of all cases. This policy is to establish guidelines for Courthouse access, which respects the dignity of the courtroom and the proceedings occurring the Courthouse. Click here to read the policy.