This website cannot be viewed properly using this version of Internet Explorer.

To ensure your security while viewing this site, please use a modern browser such as Chrome or update to a newer version of Internet Explorer.

Download Chrome (Made by Google)
Update Internet Explorer (Made by Microsoft)

ADA ADA symbol

Second Judicial District Court

Tribunal del Segundo Distrito Judicial

English Español

Most Popular Pages

Páginas más visitadas

News Updates

The Second Judicial District Court hosted an annual Giving Tree Project for local charitable service organizations this holiday season. SJDC partnered with Court Appointed Special Advocates (CASA) and New Mexico Kids Matter, the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center, the APS Title I Homeless Project, and Animal Humane New Mexico. The Court’s aim was inspire those who work here and those who provide services to the public to give back to the community. SJDC giving trees were located in the fourth floor of the Bernalillo County Courthouse and at the Juvenile Justice Center during the month of December.

"This project seeks to bring a little extra joy to children, veterans, and our devoted companion animals during the season of giving," said James Noel, Court Executive Officer. SJDC staff demonstrated exceptional community service by helping meet the needs and wishes of others this holiday season. Some employees have made it an annual tradition to select a child, veteran, or animal in need and provide gifts requested by the charitable organizations. SJDC staff contributed several wish list items, ranging from toys, assorted toiletries, winter clothing items, shoes and pet needs. "The value of private donations made by members of the public, friends of the animal community, the District Attorney's Office, the Law Office of the Public Defender, civilian staff and officers of the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Detention Center, and SJDC staff and Judges is estimated to be over $5,000" said Noel.

A small ceremony was held on Friday, December 22, 2017 at 10:00 a.m. at the Bernalillo County Courthouse, Fourth Floor Atrium to present donations to the partner service organizations. The Court expressed its gratitude for the outstanding service these organizations provide to our community year-round as well as to its own court staff who generously supported the Giving Tree Project.

"The joy on their faces at the surprise gifts was priceless," commented Elinor Reiners, CEO and Program Director of the New Mexico Veterans Integration Center.

"The outpouring of community support from court staff and the public has been remarkable and humbling," said Chief Judge Nan Nash. "Thank you SJDC staff for coming together, investing in our community and making a truly meaningful impact for these charities throughout the year," said Chief Judge Nash.

The Second Judicial District Court has established designated public locations for nursing mothers to breastfeed their child in accordance with New Mexico law. The nursing rooms are available for mothers that may be at the downtown Courthouse or at the John E. Brown Juvenile Justice Center for jury service, hearings etc. The room at the downtown courthouse is located on the 5th Floor, Room 519. Childrens Court has established Room 238 for nursing mothers at the Juvenile Justice Center. Court employees also have a designated employee nursing room.

“The Second Judicial District Court welcomes the opportunity to provide a comfortable space for nursing mothers,” said Chief Judge Nan Nash. 

If you have a request to use the public nursing room at the downtown Courthouse, contact Court Administration at 841-7425 or Purchasing at 841-7458. Contact Court Administration at 841-7644 for use of the public nursing room at Children’s Court. Court staff will accompany the mother to the room to open the room for their use. Court administration has installed a lock that indicates whether the room is occupied and in use and maintains privacy.

Second Judicial District Court Human Resource staff (Eric Mitchell, Human Resources Administrator Sr. and Janet Van Why, Human Resources Administrative Assistant 2) attended a recent Career Fair at La Cueva High School on October 25, 2017.  The career fair allowed students to explore various careers and network with professionals in the community.  Several students expressed their interest in learning about internship and career opportunities at the Second Judicial District Court.  Most students had questions about what it would take to be a lawyer or Judge and were highly interested in the legal profession.  The Second Judicial District Court is a great place to learn about the judicial system.

For more information about career opportunities and internships, contact the Human Resource Division at 841-7432.  Minors must have parental permission.  Click on this link for Second Judicial District Court Volunteer/Intern application.

The Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee and the Volunteer Attorney Program (A Program of New Mexico Legal Aid) sponsor four Law-La-Palooza events each year aimed at helping low-income residents with their legal needs. The Law-La-Palooza events are free of charge and have helped over a thousand individuals get answers to their legal questions. 

The fourth Law-La-Palooza event for 2017 was held on October 19, 2017 at the Westside Community Center. Participants were able to speak with an attorney for thirty minutes about a variety of legal issues including name changes, consumer debt, immigration, and family law.  Volunteers are comprised of attorneys, judges, court staff, service providers, and law students.  Community service providers also staff tables to provide additional resources to attendees.  Volunteer attorneys were prepared to assist over 100 participants with various legal issues.  All participants were able to meet with an attorney with the greatest need for legal services were in family law and consumer debt cases.

The Second Judicial District Court Pro Bono Committee, along with the UNM School of Law Clinical Law Program and the Volunteer Attorney Program, will be sponsoring a REAL ID Legal Fair on November 4, 2017 from 10 AM until 2 PM at the UNM law school.  Bilingual attorneys and staff are available; there will be free parking.

The Second Judicial District Court Pretrial Services Division took part in the Albuquerque Celebrate Recovery event recently held on September 28, 2017 at the Convention Center in downtown Albuquerque. This is the Second Annual Celebrate Recovery event developed to acknowledge and promote National Recovery Month. The Court’s Pretrial Services Division provided the public with information on specialty courts.


Cassie & Judge WardOne of the most recognizable faces at the Bernalillo County Juvenile Justice Center belongs to Cassie, a 6-year-old Labrador retriever.

Cassie interacts with families, especially those with children, who need her friendship. When a girl is called to testify about traumatic abuse or neglect, Cassie might sit at her feet to provide solace. Or Cassie might stay with a sobbing boy who has just been separated from his parents after being placed into protective custody.

"Cassie provides great comfort in the courtroom and gets smiles from everyone she meets when she is in the building," Children’s Court Judge Marie Ward said.  "She is a silent companion who has a way of removing the edge from very difficult situations."

Cassie has been a presence at the Juvenile Justice Center since late 2013. She is a specially-trained Courthouse CASA dog, a name that is derived from the acronym for Court Appointed Special Advocates.

Cassie was purchased using a grant by New Mexico Kids Matter, the CASA program in Albuquerque. CASA believes that every child who has been abused, neglected or is in foster care deserves to have a dedicated volunteer advocate speaking up for them in court.

"We are very fortunate to have Cassie, both as a resource and as a friend," Judge Ward said.  "She brings a lift to everyone she meets and she is especially valuable to the children who need her most."

Cassie was trained by Assistance Dogs of the West, a Santa Fe-based accredited service dog organization that also provides service dogs for the Veterans Court program. Courthouse dogs have been used around the country since 2003.

For more information about CASA please visit

​Archived News

Data-Driven Tool To Help Judges Assess Defendants' Pretrial Risk

The Second Judicial District Court and the Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court have implemented a new data-driven  risk assessment tool known as the Public Safety Assessment, or PSA, to provide objective information for judges in determining conditions of release for criminal defendants awaiting trial.

Judges began using the PSA June 12 as part of a multi-year effort to strengthen the criminal justice system in the state’s largest county.

The PSA uses nine factors to produce two risk scores: one measuring the likelihood that an individual will commit a new crime if released pending trial and another evaluating the likelihood that he or she will fail to return for a future court hearing. The tool also flags defendants that present an elevated risk of committing a violent crime. Risk scores fall on a scale of one to six, with higher scores indicating a greater level of risk. The PSA does not require an interview with a defendant and is more up to date than the risk assessment that the courts have been using since 2015.

Even after the PSA has been implemented, judges will retain all of their authority and discretion. They will continue to make decisions on bail issues, including whether to require a bond, release defendants on their own recognizance, or impose certain restrictions.

"Implementing a cutting-edge risk assessment continues our team effort in Bernalillo County to ensure a fair and effective criminal justice system," said Second Judicial District Court Chief Judge Nan Nash. "Judges make difficult decisions each day as they follow the law in setting pretrial release conditions for defendants. The PSA will provide judges with reliable, objective information to consider in those decisions."

"In addition to identifying defendants who pose a threat to the community, the PSA will also help judges safeguard citizens' rights by preventing unfair jailing of defendants who don’t," said Metropolitan Court Chief Judge Edward L. Benavidez.

New Mexicans overwhelmingly approved a constitutional amendment last year to reform the state’s bail system. Voters reaffirmed the constitutional principle that people awaiting trial who are not dangerous or a flight risk will not be held in jail just because they cannot afford a money bond. Judges were also authorized to hold the most dangerous defendants in jail without bail pending trial, but that can occur only if the State requests the defendant be held and after an evidentiary hearing where the State proves that no release conditions will reasonably protect the safety of any other person or the community. A determination to hold a defendant in jail without bail does not solely rely on a defendant's risk assessment score.

"Our #1 priority is making our community safer. The Public Safety Assessment gives judges an evidence-based tool to help distinguish high-risk, potentially violent defendants from low-risk ones for critical pretrial decisions in the criminal justice system. We can achieve a win-win by increasing public safety while saving taxpayers the high costs of jailing defendants who pose little threat to the community," said Bernalillo County Commissioner Maggie Hart Stebbins.

The PSA initially will be used in felony cases, and will be implemented later for misdemeanor cases.

Created by the Laura and John Arnold Foundation (LJAF) in partnership with leading criminal justice researchers, the PSA was developed using the largest, most diverse set of pretrial records ever assembled—1.5 million cases from approximately 300 jurisdictions across the United States. Researchers analyzed the data and isolated factors that most often exist for defendants who commit a new crime, commit a violent crime, or fail to return to court if released before trial. The factors are:

  • Whether the current offense is violent;
  • Whether the person had a pending charge at the time of the current offense;
  • Whether the person has a prior misdemeanor conviction;
  • Whether the person has a prior felony conviction;
  • Whether the person has prior convictions for violent crimes;
  • The person’s age at the time of arrest;
  • Whether the person failed to appear at a pretrial hearing more than two years ago;
  • How many times the person failed to appear at a pretrial hearing in the last two years; and
  • Whether the person has previously been sentenced to incarceration.

The weight given to these factors and the formula used to calculate the risk scores is available on the LJAF website. It does not use information that is considered potentially discriminatory, such as a person’s ethnic background, income, level of education, employment status, neighborhood, or any demographic or personal information other than age.

The PSA is currently being used, or is in the process of being implemented, in approximately 35 jurisdictions across the country, including statewide in Arizona and several other states, as well as some of the nation’s largest cities. Initial results indicate that the tool is helping to protect public safety while reducing jail populations and freeing up funds for other government priorities. In Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, for example, the jail population dropped nearly 20%, with no increase in crime, in the year after the PSA implementation began in the spring of 2014. In Lucas County, Ohio, the percentage of pretrial defendants released by the court on their own recognizance has nearly doubled, pretrial crime is down, and the percentage of defendants who skipped their court date has been dramatically reduced since the county began using the PSA in January 2015.

LJAF is making the PSA available for free to Bernalillo County as well as the other jurisdictions that are implementing the risk assessment tool.

back to list

Disclaimer:  All efforts are made to ensure that information and links are accurate and current. However, users should not cite this information as an official or authoritative source and are advised to independently verify all information. Visitors to this site agree that the Second Judicial District Court of the State of New Mexico is not liable for errors or omissions of any of the information provided. Information contained on this web site should in no way be construed as legal advice. Users should contact an attorney if they require legal assistance or advice.