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First Judicial District Court

Tribunal del Primer Distrito Judicial

English Español
Coming soon!

Attorneys, Pro Se Litigants, Grand Jurors, and Public:

The First Judicial District Court will remain open with regular business hours, 8:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m., Monday through Friday.  The Court Clerk’s office does close at 4:00 p.m. daily, but is open during the noon hour.

  • NOTICE ON REMOTE ACCESS TO COURT PROCEEDINGS
    Members of the press and public who wish to remotely observe a proceeding conducted by telephone or video during the current public health emergency, SHALL OBTAIN THE TELEPHONE OR VIDEO CONFERENCE CALL-IN PHONE NUMBER and PIN from the specific Judge's CALENDAR webpage or DISTRICT COURT JUDGES Division Page (on the left sidebar). 

  • Please use the Judiciary’s online “case lookup” to check the status of civil and criminal cases, including whether a hearing is scheduled in a particular case.

  • Individuals answering “Yes” to any of the following questions should avoid coming to the courthouse:

              1. Over the past two weeks, have you developed flu-like symptoms such as a cough, a fever, or shortness of breath?

              2. Have you traveled outside the U.S. within the last 30 days or a high-risk area as identified by the NM Department of Health?  https://cv.nmhealth.org/travel-recommendations/

              3. Have you been diagnosed with, or in contact with anyone who has been diagnosed with the COVID-19 infection?

                4. Have your or a household member traveled out-of-state within the last 14 days?

              If you have answered “Yes” to any of these questions, and have court business, please contact the following as applicable:

If you are a juror, contact the Jury Division at (505) 455-8225;

For other District Court matters contact the Court Clerk’s office at (505) 455-8268 or (505) 455-8200;

If you are scheduled to appear in court before a judge contact the judge’s office directly.

(Contact information may be found to the left under “District Court Judges.”)

  • When in the courthouse you must observe six feet of social distancing between you and any other person.

  • Gathering of individuals is limited to fifteen (15) people (see below for persons included).

  • Pro se parties in a case, and cases for which e-filing is not yet accepted (sequestered cases) may use the following emailed address to e-file: sfedfilings@nmcourts.gov

  • Civil jury trials are suspended until further Order of the NM Supreme Court.

  • Criminal jury trials are suspended until May 29, 2020 (see below for exception).

  • During a grand jurors designated term, all grand juror are on an “on-call” basis. Therefore, each grand juror must call in each Friday after 5:00 p.m. to (505) 455-8306 and check the Jury Schedule web-page: https//firstdistrictcourt.nmcourts.gov/jury-schedule.aspx to find out if a GJ session is scheduled for following week.  If a juror cannot attend, he/she must contact the jury division by email at sfedjury@nmcourts.gov or by phone at (505) 455-8225 no later than 10:00 a.m. the day of the GJ session and indicate why he/she is not able to attend. Santa Fe grand jury is held on Tuesdays and Thursdays, Rio Arriba grand jury is held on Wednesdays.


People Entering New Mexico Courthouses Required to Wear a Face Covering  

SANTA FE – Effective Saturday, May 16, 2020, any person entering a courthouse or judicial building must wear a mask or other face covering to help control the spread of COVID-19, the state Supreme Court has ordered.  

Courts will be prepared to provide masks to people without one when they need to enter a court facility.

The Supreme Court last week directed court staff and judicial officers in appellate, district, magistrate, metropolitan, municipal and probate courts and the Administrative Office of the Courts to wear masks in the workplace effective today.

“State health officials have made it abundantly clear that if each of us wears a mask in public we can help slow the spread of COVID-19 and save lives,” said Chief Justice Judith K. Nakamura. “Our courts provide essential services to the public so we continue to take all steps necessary to safeguard the health and well-being of people who work in or need to visit a courthouse.”

Judges have the discretion to remove their face mask when speaking during a court hearing to ensure a clear record is kept of the proceeding.

The Supreme Court has previously ordered other precautionary measures in courts during the COVID-19 pandemic, including requiring judges to conduct audio and video teleconferencing for hearings, except when an emergency requires in-person appearances. Courts also limit the number of people in courtrooms and other locations inside a courthouse to promote physical distancing recommended by health officials.

Under a state public health emergency order, New Mexicans must wear face coverings in public places starting Saturday, except when eating, drinking, exercising or because of a medical instruction. People can request a mask from the state through the New Mexico Department of Health’s website, which also provides instructions on how to make a mask.

IN THE SUPREME COURT OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO

May 15, 2020 

NO. 20-8500-017

IN THE MATTER OF THE USE OF PROTECTIVE FACE COVERINGS IN NEW MEXICO COURTS DURING THE COVID-19 PUBLIC HEALTH EMERGENCY ORDER 

WHEREAS, this matter having come before the Court upon recommendation to require the use of protective face coverings during the COVID- 19

public health emergency, and the Court having considered the recommendation and being sufficiently advised;

IT IS ORDERED that, effective May 16, 2020, the use of a mask or other protective face covering that covers the nose and mouth shall be required

by anyone entering and while in a courthouse, judicial building, or other physical space used, occupied, or operated by the New Mexico Judiciary,

provided that this order shall not apply to the following individuals:

(1) young children who are unable to remove the face covering without assistance; 

(2) anyone who has trouble breathing;

(3) anyone who is unconscious, incapacitated, or otherwise unable to remove a face covering without assistance; 

IT IS FURTHER ORDERED that this order shall remain in effect until amended or withdrawn by future order of this Court.  


On April 17, 2020, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-013.  It provides in relevant part:

The provisions of this order shall replace the provisions contained in Order No. 20-8500-002 and Order No.5 20-8500-006, effectively immediately;

  • The suspension of civil and criminal jury trials previously ordered by this Court until April 30, 2020, shall be extended to May 29, 2020, subject to the individual discretion of the judges presiding in such cases to go forward with a jury trial, upon motion of a party, to avoid serious harm to the interests of the litigants or for other exceptional circumstances. A judge may go forward with a criminal jury trial on the judge’s own initiative and without motion of a party to avoid serious harm to the interests of the litigants or for other exceptional circumstances upon approval of the chief judge and in consultation with the Chief Justice;

  • The calculation of any deadlines in Rules 5-604, 6-506, 7-506, 8-506, and LR2-308 NMRA for all cases pending or filed on  or after the date of this order shall not include any period of time-delay caused by the current public health emergency. But to exclude a period of time from the calculation of deadlines under the terms of this order, a judge must enter specific findings of fact demonstrating that the period of delay was caused by the current public health emergency;

  • In light of the potential for higher than usual absenteeism and to facilitate case management processes required during the current public health emergency, the temporary suspension of the exercise of peremptory excusals under Rules 1-088.1, 2-106, 3-106, 5-106, 6-106, 7-106, 10-162, and LR2-308(E) NMRA shall remain in place until further order of this Court;

  • All New Mexico state courts shall continue to remain open and operating under regular business hours to ensure that the courts fulfill their constitutional and statutory responsibilities to all New Mexicans;

  • There shall be no blanket cancellation of cases or types of proceedings by New Mexico courts, except to the extent ordered by this Court;

  • All court proceedings shall continue to be conducted in accordance with the following protective measures to minimize public health risks:

  1. All trials that are not required to be suspended under the terms of this order, all hearings, and other court-organized gatherings of any type and at any location shall be held in a manner that limits the gathering of individuals in a single, connected location within a courthouse or other building to no more than fifteen (15) people — which includes judges, court personnel, jurors, attorneys, litigants, the press, and the general public — to facilitate appropriate social distancing as recommended by public health authorities. The chief judge of the district may extend a gathering of individuals in a courthouse to a maximum of twenty-five (25) if there is an emergency need to do so;

  2. All judges shall use telephonic or audio-visual attendance for court appearances by attorneys, litigants, witnesses, and the press unless there is an emergency need for an in-person appearance upon motion of a party. A judge may also require an in-person appearance on the judge’s own initiative, without a motion by a party, provided that the judge shall confer with the parties and the chief judge of the district before proceeding with an in-person appearance. Judges may continue to take other protective measures, including the granting of continuances upon motion of any party or the judge’s own motion, in appropriate cases when remote appearances are not feasible but an emergency need for an in person appearance does not exist. Any criminal procedure rules requiring the presence of the defendant may be accomplished through remote, audio-visual appearance in the discretion of the judge, provided that confidential communication between the defendant and defense counsel is made available;

  3. To address additional processes that facilitate the limitations on the gathering of groups of people in the courthouse and other protective measures already directed by this Court, the chief judge in each judicial district is encouraged to continue consulting with the criminal justice coordinating council in that district as the need arises; and

  4. During the current public health emergency and until further order of the Court, courts shall not use Court Call or other similar services that require the parties to pay for the service if the telephonic or audio-visual proceeding is a public health proceeding or is a proceeding in which a party is a self-represented litigant, a governmental entity, represented by a civil legal services organization, or represented by an attorney providing pro bono legal services;

  • All courts shall screen visitors to courthouses and deny access to any juror, witness, attorney, litigant, or other person (1) who reports a fever, cough, shortness of breath or other symptoms that have developed in the past fourteen (14) days that are identified by public health authorities as indicative of a possible COVID-19 infection, (2) who reports out-of state travel in the past fourteen (14) days or who resides with a household member who has engaged in such out-of-state travel, or (3) who reports a diagnosis, or close contact with anyone who has a diagnosis, of a COVID-19 infection;


On April 10, 2020, the New Mexico Supreme Court issued Supreme Court Order No. 20-8500-012.  It provides in relevant part:

  • For all proceedings and case types, if a party plans to offer documentary exhibits for admission at the hearing, the offering party shall submit the proffered exhibits to the court, with a copy to the opposing party, no later than forty-eight (48) hours before the start of the hearing, unless otherwise directed by the court, along with an exhibit list that indicates whether the parties stipulate or object to the admission of each proffered exhibit and the grounds for any objections. If it appears that one or more proffered exhibits will be opposed, the presiding judge may hold an evidentiary hearing prior to the hearing at which the exhibits are sought to be admitted in order to resolve objections to the admission of exhibits. The admission of exhibits opposed on foundational or authentication grounds may be conditionally admitted pending witness testimony, but purely legal objections to the admission of an exhibit may be resolved before the hearing for which the exhibits are sought to be admitted; and

  • If a party anticipates challenging the identification of a defendant at a hearing to be held by telephonic or audio-video connection, that party shall notify the court and opposing counsel at least forty-eight (48) hours before the hearing so that the court and opposing counsel have adequate time to prepare and make arrangements for conducting the hearing in a manner conducive to addressing and resolving a challenge to the identity of the defendant;

  • The deadline for filing a motion to reduce a sentence under Rule 5-801(A) NMRA may be waived by the court upon a showing of an extraordinary change in circumstances caused by the current public health emergency.


Contact Information for the First Judicial District Magistrate Courts is as follows:

Santa Fe Magistate Court (505) 984-9914 ext. 131

Espanola Magistrate Court (505) 753-2532 ext. 0

Chama Magistrate Court (505) 756-2278

Los Alamos Magistrate Court (505) 662-2727 


*Please see the Division calendar pages for Guidelines, Protocols and information specific to Civil, Criminal and Family Courts.  

Los Alamos County Courthouse

Los Alamos County Courthouse
The Center was designed by WH Pacific, a national architecture and engineering firm which specializes in developing designs which are sensitive to the natural environment and the community. Utilizing energy-efficient systems such as a heat-reflecting roof and high-efficiency mechanical systems, the Los Alamos County Justice Center has achieved a LEED Gold certification through the United States Green Building Council (USGBC).

Rio Arriba County Courthouse

Rio Arriba County Courthouse
When Tierra Amarilla was designated as the county seat the villagers set about building a courthouse. This structure was demolished to make way for the present one, which was built in 1917 and gained notoriety fifty years later when it was the location of a gunfight between land rights activists and authorities. The neoclassical design by Isaac Rapp is now on the National Register of Historic Places.

Santa Fe County Judicial Complex

Santa Fe County Judicial Complex
The new Steve Herrera Judicial Complex building includes courtroom and office space housed in the three levels above grade as well as below grade parking and detention cells. The grand entrance is a two story atrium with pillars and stone floors. The courtrooms include custom millwork. The project achieved LEED Gold Certification.

First Judicial District Criminal Justice Coordinating Council

The Local Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils were originally created by Supreme Court Order. In 2019, the New Mexico Legislature passed HB 267 which created these Local Criminal Justice Coordinating Councils per statute. Under this bill, the Council meets once monthly. The Council for the First Judicial District meets every fourth Tuesday of the month at 3:45 pm in Chief Judge Mary Marlowe-Sommer's courtroom.  

Coming soon!

The Santa Fe County Courthouse for the First Judicial District Court follows the Santa Fe Public School snow day and closure policy, [https://www.sfps.info] specifically including a delay of two hours or three hours, or a full closure as the case may be, as posted to the media by the Santa Fe Public Schools.

In the event there is a "delay," please read the directions posted on the First Judicial District Court website regarding the particular judge's docket for which your hearing is scheduled.[https://firstdistrictcourt.nmcourts.gov/district-court-judges.aspx] For many judges, in the event of a snow delay, dockets will generally begin at 10:00 a.m. for a two hour delay and 11:00 a.m. for a three hour delay. In this event, attorneys, parties, witnesses, etc., with hearings set earlier than these two times should be present at 10:00 a.m. for a two hour delay or 11:00 a.m. for a three hour delay. Attorneys and parties whose hearings were set at either 10:00 a.m. or 11:00 a.m. should report at those originally scheduled times.

However, some judges simply reschedule the cases set in the 8:00-10:00 a.m. time period (in the event of a two hour delay) or the 8:00-11:00 a.m. time period (in the event of a three hour delay) to another part of the day or to another day entirely. In this event, please carefully read that portion of the District's website which relates to the particular judge on whose docket your case is scheduled and follow that information.

For the Rio Arriba County Courthouse in Tierra Amarilla, the District follows both the Chama Valley Schools as well as the Española Public Schools delay and closure schedule. [http://www.chamaschools.org ] [ http://www.k12espanola.org ] For the Los Alamos County Courthouse, the District follows the Los Alamos Public Schools delay and closure schedule [http://www.laschools.net ]. In the event of a snow delay for either of these courthouses, please carefully read the directions posted on the First Judicial District Court website regarding the particular Judge's docket for which your hearing is scheduled.

For all courthouses, in the event of a "closure," all hearings set that for that particular day will be reset by the judge, with notice to all parties and counsel.