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Eighth Judicial District Court

Tribunal del Octavo Distrito Judicial

Court Executive Officer


​Barbara E. Arnold serves as the Court Executive Officer and works to lead and assist the staff of the Court to deliver effective and efficient service. Together, Court staff provide technical, logistical, and clerical support to the judges and the public we serve. Ms. Arnold is a 25-year resident of Northern New Mexico and has a bachelor’s degree from the University of California and a master’s degree from New Mexico Highlands University. Before joining the Eighth Judicial District Court in 2014, she held leadership roles in elementary and higher education and worked for a decade with the New Mexico Department of Health in community health promotion. Ms. Arnold was the manager for the adult and juvenile drug court programs in our district for two years and is honored to continue to serve the public as the court administrator.

Mission Statement

The purpose of the Eighth Judicial District Court, statutorily created in Taos, Colfax, and Union counties, is to provide access to justice, resolve disputes justly and timely, and maintain accurate records of legal proceedings that affect rights and legal status of the parties in order to independently protect the rights and liberties guaranteed by the constitution of New Mexico and the United States.


About the Courts

Map of the New Mexico State Courts

Supreme Court

The Supreme Court  consists of five Justices and is located in Santa Fe. This is the court of last resort and has superintending control over all inferior courts and attorneys licensed in the state. This court has mandatory appellate jurisdiction over:  criminal matters in which the sentence imposed is life in prison or the death penalty, appeals from the Public Regulation Commission, appeals from the granting of writs of habeas corpus, appeals in actions challenging nominations, and removal of public officials.

Discretionary jurisdiction

Denials of petitions for writ of habeas corpus, petitions for writ of certiorari to the Court of Appeals, other extraordinary writ matters, and certified questions either from the Court of Appeals or federal courts.

Court of Appeals

Ten judges preside, sitting in panels of three. The court has offices in Santa Fe and Albuquerque. This court has mandatory jurisdiction in: civil, non-capital criminal, juvenile cases; Discretionary jurisdiction in interlocutory decision cases and administrative agency appeals.

District Court

Eighty-nine judges preside. There are thirteen different districts. These are courts of general jurisdiction which hold jury trials. This court will hear these types of cases: Tort, contract, real property rights, estate. Exclusive domestic relations, mental health, appeals for administrative agencies and lower courts, miscellaneous civil jurisdiction; Misdemeanor. Exclusive criminal appeals jurisdiction; Exclusive juvenile jurisdiction.

Magistrate Court

Sixty-six judges preside. There are 54 magistrate courts. These are courts of limited jurisdiction. Jury trials. This court will hear these types of cases: Tort, contract, landlord/tenant rights ($0-10,000); Felony preliminary hearings; Misdemeanor, DWI/DUI and other traffic violations.

Bernalillo County Metropolitan Court

Nineteen judges preside. This is a court of limited jurisdiction. Jury trials. This court will hear these types of cases: Tort, contract, landlord/tenant rights ($0-10,000); Felony first appearances; Misdemeanor, DWI/DUI, Domestic Violence and other traffic violations.

Municipal Court

Eighty-two judges preside. There are eighty municipal courts. These are courts of limited jurisdiction. No jury trials. This court will hear these types of cases: Petty misdemeanors, DWI/DUI, traffic violations and other municipal ordinance violations.

Probate Court

Thirty-three judges. There are thirty-three counties. These are courts of limited jurisdiction. No jury trials. This court will hear these types of cases: Informal probate; Estate (Hears uncontested cases. Contested cases go to district court).