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The Court's Response to COVID-19
The Judiciary's New Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program
NM Courts Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program
State courts will phase in an Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program statewide in April and in stages lift a moratorium on evictions of people unable to pay their rent during the COVID-19 pandemic.
The program helps tenants access money available through the state Department of Finance and Administration for unpaid rent and utilities, temporary housing at a motel or hotel, and the initial costs of moving into new permanent housing. The court-based also provides trained facilitators to assist landlords and tenants in negotiating a possible settlement of their rental disputes.
Starting April 1 in the Second (Bernalillo County), Fifth (Chaves, Eddy and Lea counties), Tenth (DeBaca, Harding and Quay counties) and Twelfth (Lincoln and Otero counties) Judicial Districts.
Effective May 1 in the Third (Doña Ana County), Sixth (Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties) and Seventh (Catron, Sierra, Socorro and Torrance counties) Judicial Districts.
Starting June 1 in the First (Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe counties), Fourth (Mora, Guadalupe and San Miguel counties), and Eighth (Colfax, Taos and Union counties) Judicial Districts.
Effective July 1 in the Eleventh (McKinley and San Juan counties) and Thirteen (Cibola, Sandoval and Valencia counties) Judicial Districts.
At the start of a hearing or trial in an eviction case, judges will advise the tenant and landlord about the Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program and the availability of federally funded emergency rental assistance administered by the state’s Department of Finance and Administration.
If the parties agree to participate in the program, the case will be put on hold for a minimum of 60 days while negotiations are underway with a court-appointed settlement facilitator. If needed, a court can grant up to 30 additional days for negotiations. The court will dismiss the case if a settlement is reached. The case will proceed if there is no settlement and a judge can issue an eviction order, known as a writ of restitution. If evicted, tenants may access rehousing assistance through the Eviction Prevention and Diversion Program.
CORONAVIRUS & THE COURTS: UPDATE
New Mexico courts have implemented measures to minimize public health risks from coronavirus (COVID-19) for those who visit or work in courthouses.
On March 11, Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith K. Nakamura announced that state courts – district, magistrate, metropolitan and appellate courts – will remain open for business to ensure courts fulfill their constitutional and statutory duties.
“The Judiciary’s responsibility to ensure constitutional protections are available to those who need them has been especially important during difficult times in our history. We are working closely with state and local governments and taking steps to ensure that courthouses are safe for jurors, litigants, lawyers, judicial employees, judges and all members of the public.” Chief Justice Nakamura said.
For additional information, please click here.
Detailed New Mexico Courts – Coronavirus (COVID-19) Information can be found here.
New Mexico Judiciary – We’re Working to Keep You Safe in Courthouses – Video
Sixth Judicial District Court Reopening Plan
Click on reopening plan for more information: Reopening Plan.
District and Magistrate Courts in Grant, Hidalgo and Luna Counties to Resume Jury Trials
Click on press release for more information: Press Release.
Access to the Court
Courthouses in the Sixth Judicial District will remain open during regular court business hours. However, individuals will be required to answer the following screening questions to determine if entry to court facilities will be allowed:
If your business with the court is not urgent, please contact the department you were planning to visit by telephone. If you have a scheduled appointment or are otherwise required to appear at one of the courthouses, please contact the appropriate party prior to your scheduled appointment:
- If you are represented by an attorney, please contact your attorney.
- If you are not represented by an attorney and are required to appear in court, please contact the Judge’s chambers to make arrangements to appear telephonically (contact information may be found under the Judges section to the left).
- If you are an attorney and are scheduled to appear in court before a judge, please contact the Judge’s chambers to make arrangements to appear telephonically (contact information may be found under the Judges section to the left).
- If you are a juror, please contact the Jury Division (contact information for the respective Court may be found under Court Location, Business Hours & Contact Information section to the left).
- For other Court matters, please contact the Clerk’s Office (contact information for the respective Court may be found under Court Location, Business Hours & Contact Information section to the left).
For the latest information on the Coronavirus, visit the New Mexico Department of Health’s website at https://cv.nmhealth.org/ or the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s website at https://www.cdc.gov.
Protective Face Coverings Required in NM Courthouses
Beginning March 21, 2022, members of the public, including but not limited to jurors, attorneys, litigants, transport personnel, and law enforcement are required to wear a mask while in a courtroom or jury assembly area until modified by the NM Supreme Court.
Notice – Emailing and faxing of documents by self-represented litigants and attorneys
In response to the Coronavirus public health emergency, the Sixth Judicial District will be implementing an interim procedure for allowing the filing of documents by email or fax to reduce the requirement of self-represented litigants and attorneys to enter the courthouse to file documents. Self-represented litigants and attorneys are permitted to file documents via email or fax in those case types that are not eligible for electronic filing through File and Serve that meet the criteria listed in the notices linked below.
Helpful Information for Appearing by Video
New Bilingual/Spanish Guardianship and Conservatorship Forms
Language Access has announced the availability of bilingual Guardianship and Conservatorship Forms in Spanish that will be available for use effective August 1, 2021. To access the forms beginning August 1, 2021, please click here.
New Court Rules Encourage Mortgage Servicers to Work with Borrowers to Try to Prevent Foreclosures
For more information, please click on the press release.
Video Orientation Program for Guardians and Conservators!
The State has created a video origination program for proposed guardians and conservators, who under a newly approved judicial rule must view the series of educational videos before their appointment by a judge.
It is a series of 10 videos that cover topics from completing reports required of guardians and conservators to procedures for filing a grievance and how to identify and report potential abuse of vulnerable New Mexicans. The videos that that range from about five minutes to 12 minutes in length can be viewed online on the New Mexico Courts webpage.
Effective January 3, 2022, credit cards and debit cards will be accepted at the counter or online
Cards accepted: Visa, Mastercard or Discover credit card, a debit card with a Visa or Mastercard logo, or Apple, Google and Samsung Pay. A non-refundable service fee of 2.4% will be charged on all credit/debit card transactions.
Counter Payment of Fees and Fines in District Court Cases
Effective January 3, 2022, members of the public may use a credit card or debit card at the counter for payment of fees and fines in district court cases only in the Sixth Judicial District of Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties. The following costs may be paid at the counter: Filing fees for new or reopened cases, court-ordered fines and fees, fees for mediation services, supervised visitation, jury demand as well as fees for copies of court case records.
Online Payment of Fees and Fines in District Court Cases
Members of the public may use a new online portal system for district courts cases only in the Sixth Judicial District of Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties beginning January 3, 2022. Among the court costs that can be paid with the online system: Court-ordered fines, fees and restitution, fees for mediation services, supervised visitation, jury demand in a civil case and fees for copies of court case records.
- New Mexico Fines and Fees (District Courts): http://finesandfees.nmcourts.gov
Counter Payment of Fees and Fines in Magistrate Court Cases
Effective January 3, 2022, members of the public may use a credit card or debit card at the counter for payment of fees and fines in magistrate court cases in the Sixth Judicial District of Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties. The following costs may be paid at the counter: Filing fees for civil cases, court-ordered criminal fines and fees, fees to request a jury trial in a civil case and fees for copies of court case records.
Online Payment of Fees and Fines in Magistrate Court Criminal Cases Only
Members of the public may use a credit card or debit card for online payments of fees and fines in magistrate court Criminal cases in the Sixth Judicial District of Grant, Hidalgo and Luna counties. Among the court costs that can be paid with the online system: court-ordered criminal fines and fees only.
- New Mexico Public Access Online Payments (Magistrate Courts): https://publicaccess.nmcourts.gov