New Mexico Legal Overview: Las Cruces
The Las Cruces metropolitan area in New Mexico is defined by the Census Bureau as covering Doña Ana County. New Mexico has 13 judicial districts, with each one serving one or more counties. Doña Ana County is served by the Third Judicial District. The Third District Court in Las Cruces is the county’s main trial court with general jurisdiction. The county additionally has probate courts and limited jurisdiction municipal and magistrate courts in the big cities. The main cities and towns in the Las Cruces metro area are listed below.
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1. The Doña Ana County District Court, located in Las Cruces, is the main trial court for the county. The court’s criminal division handles all felony prosecutions. The civil division has original jurisdiction over everything from malpractice claims and personal injury lawsuits to evictions and student loans. The Las Cruces Municipal Court has limited jurisdiction over DWI, traffic tickets, petty misdemeanor offenses and city ordinance violations. Other cities in the county that have municipal courts include Mesilla, Hatch and Sunland Park.
Trending Legal Topics: Las Cruces also has a probate court and magistrate court with limited jurisdiction. The county has two more magistrate courts in Hatch and Anthony. Appeals against verdicts obtained in the municipal or magistrate courts may be filed with the district court. District court appeals must be filed with the New Mexico Court of Appeals. The New Mexico Supreme Court is the court of last resort. Federal cases in the county must be filed with the Las Cruces Division of the U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico.