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What are New Mexico Criminal Court Records?
New Mexico Criminal Court Records contain details of legal actions taken before, during, and at the conclusion of criminal cases tried in the state. These records include dockets and case files containing sworn affidavits, witness testimonies, and trial transcripts as well motions, orders, warrants, and other documents issued by and filed with New Mexico criminal courts. In accordance with the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, most of these records are available to the public.
Understanding the New Mexico Criminal Court System
The New Mexico state court system comprises a Supreme Court, a Court of Appeals, 13 District Courts, one Metropolitan Court, 54 Magistrate Courts, one Probate Court and 81 Municipal Courts.
Criminal court cases are usually handled by district courts. The state supreme court is the court of last resort. It also has superintendent control over all the other courts as well as mandatory appellate jurisdiction over criminal matters punishable by life sentence or the death penalty.
What’s included in a New Mexico Criminal Court Record?
While the contents of criminal court records are similar, the amount of information available in these records may vary depending on case and court types. Criminal court records typically include the following information:
- Identities of the parties involved
- Details of criminal charges
- Court location, hearing dates, and name of the sitting judge
- Motions, orders, injunctions, and other court-mandated actions
- Final judgement
Obtaining New Mexico Criminal Court Records
The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Acts guarantees the citizens’ right to view, inspect, and copy criminal court records. The three ways of obtaining criminal court records in New Mexico are:
- in person
- through third-party websites
How Do I Access New Mexico Criminal Court Records in Person?
Parties who wish to obtain criminal court records in person may do so through the following steps:
Identify The Right Court
Criminal cases in the state of New Mexico are typically under the jurisdiction of district courts. However, as mentioned above, certain cases fall under the jurisdiction of the supreme court. Therefore, those looking for criminal court records must start their searches by identifying the courts that handled those cases. They can use the directory of New Mexico courts to find this information.
Provide Required Information
Court officials need the right information to locate and retrieve requested records. Information needed include the names of the defendant and/or plaintiff as well as the case file numbers.
Visit the Court Record Custodian
After the interested party has identified the right court, a request to inspect and/or copy the court records can be made in person at the office of the court clerk, who is responsible for maintaining records for the court.
Provide Identification and Required Fees
A party wishing to obtain copies of court records is required to provide a form of identification, usually a government-issued photo ID and pay a fee. This fee depends on the type of court records requested and the number of copies required.
Additionally, publicly available records are accessible from some third-party websites. These websites offer the benefit of not being limited by geographical record availability and can often serve as a starting point when researching a specific or multiple records. To find a record using the search engines on these sites, interested parties must provide:
- The name of someone involved providing it is a not a juvenile
- The assumed location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state name
Third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites, and record availability may differ from official channels.
How Do I Find New Mexico Criminal Court Records by Mail?
Start by sending a written request to the court where the record is located. Requirements for obtaining these records vary by court, but typically include details of the criminal court case, identity of the requestor, and payment (usually money orders or checks) to cover search fees and/or copies of records required, as well as a self-addressed envelope. For more information, contact the court to ask for additional requirements to requesting criminal court records by mail.
How to Find New Mexico Criminal Court Records Online
Citizens can access New Mexico criminal court records online by:
- Completing and submitting an Online Request Form. Parties who request for records through this method are advised to be as specific as possible when providing details of the records being requested
- Searching the New Mexico Courts Case Lookup portal. This portal allows interested parties to carry out either name, case number or DWI searches when accessing court records
- Using the Secured Odyssey Public Access. However, access to court records through this portal is restricted and is only available to registered users.
How to Find New Mexico Criminal Court Records Using Third-Party Aggregate Sites
A number of third-party websites provide access to New Mexico criminal court records. These websites offer interested parties the benefit of accessibility from remote locations. To search for records on these sites, interested parties are required to provide the following information:
- Name of one of the parties involved
- Location of the record in question such as a city, county, or state
These third-party sites are not government-sponsored websites and, as such, record availability may differ from official channels.
Are all New Mexico Criminal Court Records Public?
Most of these records are publicly available and accessible. However, access to some of these records is restricted to certain eligible parties. Confidential criminal court records include:
- Law enforcement records that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime
- Physical or mental health examination records
- Attorney-client privileged information
- Identities of minors
Can I Access Sealed New Mexico Criminal Court Records?
Sealed criminal court records are not available for inspection by members of the public in New Mexico. The parties involved in cases with sealed records can still access those records. A third party may access sealed court records in New Mexico if granted a court order authorizing access to those records.
Are all Juvenile Criminal Court Records open to the Public?
In New Mexico, juvenile criminal records are generally confidential records and thus not open to the public.
Are Trial Transcripts Open to the Public?
Trial transcripts are generally public records and copies of these records may be obtained (if available) by contacting the court where the case was heard. Court officials require requesters to pay copy fees before releasing trial transcripts.