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New Mexico Supreme Court

The New Mexico Supreme Court is the highest court of justice in New Mexico.  It is also considered the court of last resort when it comes to reviewing cases.  The Supreme Court exercises direct appellate jurisdiction over cases involving the death penalty or life imprisonment.  Otherwise, appellate jurisdiction is exercised on all other civil and criminal cases.[i]  The Supreme Court exercises original jurisdiction over writs such as mandamus, error, prohibition, habeas corpus, certiorari, injunction and all other writs necessary.  It can issue quo warranto and mandamus against state commissioners, boards, and officers.[ii]

The Supreme Court also enjoys some administrative and supervisory powers.  It determines the rules and regulations relating to all state court proceedings, and entrance to the Bar and members.  The Supreme Court can take disciplinary action against judges, and attorneys for professional misconduct.

There are at least five judges who sit on the Supreme Court.  The Chief Justice is selected out of these existing five judges.[iii]  The minimum qualifications for a Supreme Court judge are: 35 years minimum age, 10 years of law practice preceding the appointment, and three year as a resident of the state preceding the appointment.  Decisions are made in concurrence of the majority of judges.  A quorum is required for conducting the court sessions.[iv]

The court shall have one term every year.  The term shall commence on the second Wednesday of January all years.

New Mexico Supreme Court Website:

[i] N.M. Const. art. VI, § 2

[ii] N.M. Const. art. VI, § 3

[iii] N.M. Const. art. VI, § 4

[iv] N.M. Const. art. VI, § 4

Inside New Mexico Supreme Court