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White Sands

Twelfth Judicial District Court

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FAQ

Do I need an attorney to represent me in District Court?

Attorney representation is required only for companies/corporations. Individuals may choose to represent themselves. Self-representation requires that you prepare all necessary paperwork, and that you know and follow the law and legal procedure.

If you decide to represent yourself, a limited number of forms are available for download or purchase from the Court; the Court may not be able to provide you all the required forms. Court staff cannot advise or assist you in filling out forms or other paperwork, and cannot provide any legal advice. For legal advice, consult a licensed New Mexico attorney.

Will a public defender be appointed to my case?

A Public Defender may be appointed to represent a defendant in a criminal case if certain criteria are met, such as income. Apply for representation at the Public Defender’s Office.

How do I speak with the Judge?

Do not try to talk to the judge or hearing officer in private! He or she cannot talk to one party without the other party and a court monitor being present. All your interactions with the judge or hearing officer will be in the formal setting of a courtroom, in “hearings”, which are governed by the Rules of Civil Procedure and Rules of Evidence.

How soon will I get a hearing?

The Judge’s office schedules hearings after they receive a Request for Hearing form.

How will I know when to appear in court?

A notice of hearing will be sent to you when a hearing is scheduled. You may receive a mailed notice from the Judge’s office. You also may receive a summons or subpoena that tells you when to appear in court. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will inform you about court dates. Information also is available from the Clerk’s office and from the New Mexico State Courts Web site online case lookup.

How do I fill out forms?

It is recommended that you contact an attorney if you have specific questions about forms. We have a self-help center that can provide some assistance with filling out forms, but cannot fill out the forms for you, answer any legal questions, or give you advice.

Can I look at court files?

A notice of hearing will be sent to you when a hearing is scheduled. You may receive a mailed notice from the Judge’s office. You also may receive a summons or subpoena that tells you when to appear in court. If you are represented by an attorney, your attorney will inform you about court dates. Information also is available from the Clerk’s office and from the New Mexico State Courts Web site online case lookup.

Court files that have not been sealed are available for public viewing. Court case files cannot be removed from the Court, and must be viewed in the presence of Court staff. Files older than five years may be on microfilm.

You may request copies of case pleadings and microfilm documents. A copy fee will be charged in accordance with the current Court fee schedule

How do I get a copy of my hearing tape?

You must submit a Request for Tapes/Copies form to the Clerk’s office. There is a charge for copies in accordance with the current Court fee schedule.

When and how do I get my bond money back?

Cash bonds may be returned to the individual who posted the bond, after the defendant has appeared at all required hearings. The person who posted the bond must file both a Motion and an Order with the Court to release bond monies. Once the Order has been approved, the Court Financial Department will process the bond refund.

How do I get my driver's license restored?

The Clerk’s office can provide a copy of the driver’s license restoration packet. There will be a per page copy charge for the documents and a filing fee in accordance with the current Court fee schedule. The Judge’s office will schedule a hearing, and the Judge will determine if restoration will be granted.

How do I get a copy of my divorce decree or other document?

Submit a Request for Tapes/Copies to the Clerk’s office either in person, by mail or by facsimile. The request should include:

  1. the exact full names of one or both parties;
  2. if known, the case number; and
  3. the approximate filing date of the action.

The Clerk’s office will notify you of the amount due. Payment must be received before your request will be processed. You can pick up the copies in person, or send a stamped, self-addressed envelope.

Why can't you answer my questions?

Court clerks are prohibited from giving legal advice in any manner.