New Mexico Small Claims Forms - Small Claims Court New Mexico

New Mexico Small Claims Court FAQ New Mexico Small Claims Court Fees

Who hears the claims in small claims court?

In small claims court, the trial is an informal hearing before a judge. There is no jury and the plaintiff presents his or her evidence and witnesses. The defendant is also responsible for presenting his or her witnesses. After hearing both sides of the dispute, the judge will render a verdict based on the law and the facts presented.

Who may file a claim in small claims court?  An individual, partnership or corporation (or LLC) may file a claim against another individual(s), partnership or corporation (LLC) in small claims court, if jurisdiction exists to hear the claim, if the amount of the claim does not exceed the statutory limits.

What must I do before I file a claim?  Before you file a claim, get the facts straight so you can complete the forms correctly and answer any questions court personnel may need to know. Be sure to obtain the correct legal name of the defendant, correct address and place/address of employment. If the defendant is a corporation or LLC you would use the legal corporate or LLC name as the defendant. 

How do I file a claim?  The plaintiff or the plaintiff's attorney should go to the small claims division of the district court in the particular county where the person or business to be sued has an office or is domiciled and file a Statement of  Claim Form. The plaintiff is responsible for furnishing the court with the correct and complete address of the defendant. The clerk will assign the plaintiff a case number and this number must be used whenever contacting the court concerning the particular case. A filing fee is required at the time the claim is filed. If the plaintiff cannot afford to prepay the fee at the time of the filing, he or she can submit an Affidavit of Substantial Hardship and request that the judge delay the payment. 

Who serves the defendant with summons or process and how is the defendant served?  The clerk of the court will issue a summons ordering the defendant to appear in court. The summons and the complaint must be served on the defendant. The summons and the complaint may be served by certified or registered mail. If the court provides this service, there may be an additional fee. If the defendant cannot be served using these methods, the precinct constable or any registered private process server will serve the summons and complaint for a fee. 

How are hearings scheduled? The clerk of the court will provide you with the procedure to set the case for trial or hearing at the time you file your claim. 

May I subpoena witnesses? If witnesses are required, but unwilling to attend the hearing unless they are subpoenaed, you may obtain a subpoena issued by the court clerk for service on the witness. The subpoena is an order for the witness to appear at the hearing to testify. Some employer may require that an employee be subpoenaed in order to be excused from work. 

What are the trial procedures? The trial procedure is generally more informal than other courts. The case will usually be called in open court and you will respond that you are present and ready to proceed. You will then be advised when to present your claim. Be prepared to present your claim in your own words. Be prepared to question witnesses if witnesses are needed. 

What happens if the defendant does not appear at trial?  If the defendant does not appear at trial, a default judgment will be entered in the plaintiff's favor for the amount of the claim or other relief. After judgment is obtained and the appeal time has expired, the plaintiff may seek to collect the judgment by acceptable means of collection. 

What are the common forms used in small claims court?  Common forms used in small claims court are:

  • Claim Statement/Complaint
  • Summons
  • Return of Summons
  • Answer
  • Subpoena
  • Abstract of Judgment

What Is a Small Claims Court?

A Small Claims Court is a special type of court where people can resolve minor legal disputes in a simple and efficient manner. In New Mexico, the Small Claims Court helps people settle issues like unpaid rent, damage to property, or personal injury claims involving small amounts of money. It is designed to be less formal compared to other courts and allows individuals to represent themselves without the need for a lawyer. The process involves filing a complaint, attending a hearing, and presenting evidence to support their claim. The goal of Small Claims Court in New Mexico is to provide a fair and accessible way for people to resolve smaller legal matters without the need for expensive and lengthy legal proceedings.

Why File a Small Claims Case?

Filing a small claims case in New Mexico can help you resolve a dispute in a simple and straightforward way. If you have a disagreement with another person or business, going to small claims court can be a cost-effective option. You can use small claims in New Mexico to seek compensation for damages, unpaid debts, or other financial disputes. It's a useful tool if you want to handle the issue on your own without hiring a lawyer or going through a complex legal process. Plus, it allows you to present your case using everyday language and straightforward evidence, making it accessible for people from all walks of life. So, if you find yourself involved in a small disagreement, don't hesitate to consider filing a small claims case in New Mexico to find a fair resolution.

Small Claims Court Limits for Each State

Each state in the United States has their own small claims court limits, which determine the maximum amount of money that can be disputed in a small claims case. In New Mexico, the limit is $10,000. This means that if someone has a legal claim against another person or business and the amount of money involved is $10,000 or less, they can file a lawsuit in the small claims court to seek resolution. It's important to be aware of these limits as they vary from state to state and can affect the outcome of your case.

Small Claims Demand Letter Example

A small claims demand letter is a way to ask someone for money owed to you in New Mexico. It's like sending a written notice to someone who owes you money, asking them to pay up. Small claims demand letters can be helpful when you want to resolve a dispute without going to court. It's important to use clear and simple language in the letter, so the other person understands your point of view and the amount of money you expect them to pay.

Filing a Small Claims Case in 5 Steps

Filing a small claims case in New Mexico involves a straightforward process that can be broken down into five simple steps. First, gather all relevant information and evidence related to your case, such as receipts, contracts, or photos. Next, visit the local small claims court and get the necessary forms, ensuring you accurately fill them out with clear and concise information about your claim. Then, you must pay the filing fee, which varies depending on the amount you are claiming. After that, serve the defendant with a copy of the complaint and summons, notifying them about the lawsuit. Finally, attend the hearing and present your case, including any supporting documents, to the judge. If successful, the court will issue a judgment in your favor, and you can proceed with collecting the awarded amount.