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About the Court

The Court of Appeals is the intermediate appellate court in the State of New Mexico.

It sits between district courts and certain administrative agencies, which are below it, and the New Mexico Supreme Court, which is above it. Its jurisdiction covers the entire State. The Court of Appeals currently reviews appeals in all cases, except criminal cases involving sentences of death or life imprisonment, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, and cases involving habeas corpus. The Court’s caseload is about 900 cases per year.

The Court has ten judges. Each judge has two law clerks. By law, the judges act in panels of three on all appellate opinions, and agreement of two judges is required. Motions may be ruled on by one judge unless the motion goes to the merits of the case, in which it is decided by a two- or three-judge panel. In addition, the Court has a permanent staff of attorneys, which consists of seventeen employees—a chief staff attorney, two senior staff attorneys, thirteen staff attorneys, and an administrative assistant. The clerk’s office has a staff of nine employees—an attorney/chief clerk, a court manager, a financial specialist, two administrative assistants, an appellate court judicial specialist senior, and three appellate court judicial specialists. 

The Court has two offices, one in Santa Fe and one in Albuquerque. At this time, three chambers are located in Santa Fe and seven chambers are located in Albuquerque. The Santa Fe office is in the Supreme Court building, and the Albuquerque office is located adjacent to the University of New Mexico School of Law.