Snow frosted mountains

First Judicial District Court

Explore Section

Division IV Schedule

Judge Sylvia LaMar

Last Updated: 1/14/2022

In-Person Hearings

Pursuant to the New Mexico Supreme Court Order No. 21-8500-015 effective 7/19/2021, Domestic Violence and Kinship Guardianship hearings must be conducted in person.  Trials may be conducted in person if approved by the Chief Judge.  

Judge LaMar conducts all other hearings by Google Meets. The court prefers counsel and parties to participate by video If it is not possible for you to participate by video, you may participate by calling 1-747-254-3940 and entering PIN: 179 671 321#. Please mute your device and connect to Google Meet 5 minutes prior to your hearing. Be aware that previous hearings may still be in process. You may unmute your device when requested by the court.

November 19, 2020

Dear Family Law Attorneys and Pro Se Litigants,

Governor Michelle Lujan Grisham has issued a two week stay at home order. The New Mexico Supreme Court has suspended jury trials. We are experiencing challenges related to increased numbers of employees required to self-isolate due to possible Covid-19 exposure. The Public Health Emergency also requires us to continually adapt our practice in Family Court in order to minimize risk to the families we serve, our employees, and the attorneys who practice in our court. We typically see an increase in emergency filings related to child custody during the holiday season and will need your help to conserve court resources to address only the most urgent matters.

The following information is provided as a supplement but not a replacement to our July 20, 2020, letter. It is intended to remain in effect until the majority of New Mexico is not in the “red” and gating numbers have reduced.

OUR DOCKETS. Although both judges and the hearing officer are able to work remotely, the Family Law division has only one portable recording device for three dockets. We have been directed to schedule remote work for our staff so as to limit their exposure at the courthouse. The only way to do that is to limit the number of hearings we hold. We are reviewing our docket to schedule 2 days each week without hearings for each judge and the hearing officer whenever possible. Only Domestic Violence cases will continue to be scheduled without modification. In the event the courthouse is closed, even the Domestic Violence hearings will be re-set as all filings for DV are in paper format and require on-site staff to file and arrange for service. While our telephones continue to be monitored by staff while working remotely, the best way to communicate on a short notice is through our proposed text email addresses.

CUSTODY / VISITATION / TRAVEL EMERGENCIES. When there is a question, we will err on the side of the children’s safety. We expect parents to strictly comply with the Governor’s current executive orders.

HOLIDAY CELEBRATIONS. No order will be issued allowing a child’s attendance at a gathering that violates the Governor’s shut down. Be as creative as you can here. Consider scheduling two small family gatherings for Thanksgiving and for Christmas, one parent celebrates the day of the holiday while the other parent celebrates the weekend following. Remember, no child objects to having two Christmas celebrations or two Thanksgiving meals.

SCHOOL ATTENDANCE. While the positivity rates remain high, if custodial parents cannot agree as to whether a child will attend by hybrid or remote, we will direct the continuation of remote schooling.

PARENTS WITH HIGH-RISK EMPLOYMENT. This is the most difficult issue we have encountered during the pandemic. We encourage parents to take ownership of this issue and put down their swords and shields and figure out how to maintain relationships for the children with both parents while at the same time addressing the safety of the children. When there is disagreement, a parent or kinship guardian having sole legal custody will make the decision. When the parents have joint legal custody, we expect both parents to follow safety protocol. The cases brought before us will be decided on a case by case basis, with heartbreak for all.

CHILD MUST QUARANTINE. If a child must quarantine, the last thing the parents need to be doing is arguing over where the child stays. If a parent has sole legal custody, they make the decision as to whether or not the child goes with the other parent. With joint legal custody, each parent makes the decision as to whether they can safely care for the child at their house following all of the health and safety requirements. Only in situations where the parties share legal custody, and they are unable to agree regarding safety protocols for the child, should there be a request for an emergency hearing.

DOMESTIC VIOLENCE CASES. Orders issued under the Family Violence Protection Act address immediate safety concerns. Petitions for Orders of Protection shall not be used as a shortcut to address child custody disputes

OUT OF STATE TRAVEL / TRAVEL INTO N.M. Absent exceptional circumstances, no order will be issued requiring a child to travel into or out of New Mexico. A parent traveling into New Mexico to exercise a period of responsibility must follow the quarantine requirements prior to spending time with the children—for the protection of the children and other parent’s household.

FAMILY COURT SERVICES. Due to the Public Health Emergency, no Advisory Consultations are being scheduled when one parent resides out of state. Because of the high positivity rates, all Advisory Consultations with both parents residing in New Mexico will be vacated. Advisory Consultations currently scheduled will be re-scheduled once jury trials are reinstated. Mediations and Priority Consultations are being conducted remotely until further notice.

HEARINGS AND EXHIBITS. All Family Law hearings are conducted remotely. Instruction for login to the Google Meet courtrooms is provided in the notice of hearing and on our website. (“View Calendar” link for each judge and the hearing officer). Expectations regarding timely submission of exhibits to the court and opposing party (at least 48 hours prior to hearings, longer for lengthy hearings and trials) are also on the website. When you are appearing remotely, please join the Google Meet at least 5 minutes prior to the hearing start time. Please follow all masking and social distance requirements if you, your clients, and/or witnesses are appearing from the same location.

All attorneys and pro se parties are expected to keep the Court apprised of current phone numbers and email addresses so that we can contact you should a hearing need to be rescheduled on short notice.

We expect every one of you to make every effort to reach agreements, even if only a temporary agreement. We expect you to carefully counsel your clients before filing an “urgent” or “emergency” motion.

We will periodically issue letters such as this until we are cleared for in-person hearings. Although we all share pandemic fatigue, please persevere and do your best to stay healthy in the next few months!

Sylvia LaMar and Shannon Bulman

Family Law Judges at the First Judicial District Court

July 20, 2020

Dear Family Law Attorneys and Pro Se Litigants,

As you know, the ongoing public health emergency has resulted in changes not only to our personal lives but also to how we conduct court hearings. In this letter we are providing direction regarding some common issues and questions that have arisen.

TRAVEL/ QUARANTINE. Joint legal custody presumes that both parents will make appropriate day to day decisions for the children while the children are in their care. This includes travel, enrollment in extracurricular and camp programs, care for an ill child, and appropriate social distancing and safety measures. Effective July 1, 2020, all New Mexicans who travel out of state must quarantine for 14 days upon their return to the state. This means that if a parent has traveled with their children out of state, or the parent lives in a different state, that parent is responsible for ensuring that the children return to New Mexico at least 14 days prior to the beginning of school if the child’s school is expected to open under a hybrid or in person model. If the children will be attending a school beginning under a fully remote model, they must return to New Mexico in enough time sufficient to be ready for school. The parent returning the children from out of state will be required to quarantine with the children for 14 days within their period of responsibility, unless the in-state parent is reasonably able to accommodate the quarantine (without impacting his or her ability to work or the health of other household members). The NM guidelines for mandatory self-quarantine provide an exception for individuals arriving to New Mexico pursuant to a court order. This does not include children traveling pursuant to a custody agreement or order. All children returning to NM from out of state MUST quarantine for the safety of the community. You can expect that travel for the children will be delayed/cancelled if the quarantine period cannot be accommodated.

EMERGENCY FILINGS. Prior to filing a motion that you label as an emergency or urgent matter, you must make every effort to see whether you can reach an agreement with the other parent. Attorneys must meet and confer on a substantive basis and attempt to creatively resolve the issue. For example, if a parent denies traveling out-of-state, consider having that parent agree to abstain from visitation for a 14 day period, followed by an immediate make-up of the lost time. Remember that court resources are stretched thin at this time. Only true emergencies will be addressed on an expedited basis.

PARENTING SCHEDULES. The schedules in place continue and are to be followed, with both parents expected to work with each other and with the children regarding distance-learning requirements and other issues as they arise. The school year schedule begins the first day of school, regardless of whether classes are conducted remotely.

OBJECTIONS TO PRIORITY CONSULTATION RECOMMENDATIONS. Parents and counsel must meet and confer to attempt to resolve Objections to Priority Consultation Recommendations. If counsel are directed to confer and report back to the judge by a date certain, your failure to respond may be treated by the judge as the withdrawal of your client’s objections. The judges will accommodate attorneys who request short extensions to finalize settlement discussions.

PACKAGE RULE. We follow LR1-201 D (“package rule”) and NMRA 1-007.1H (Notice of Completion of Briefing). Attorneys shall strictly comply with these rules. The judges do not know that you have filed a Notice of Completion of Briefing if it is not submitted by you to their proposed text email. As a part of the package, you may also submit a form of order in Word format. The judge will evaluate the pleadings and may issue an order without a hearing or schedule a hearing. Please do not send us motions when filed, unless they are of an urgent nature.

EXHIBITS. Exhibits are to be provided to the assigned judge’s proposed text (DV proposed text for DV hearings) at least 48 hours prior to a hearing in a DM case and at least 24 hours prior to a hearing in a DV case, unless a longer period is imposed by a scheduling order. The 24/48 hour periods do not include weekends and holidays. If the exhibits are lengthy, please deliver an exhibit notebook to the court. We need sufficient time for our staff to print the exhibits and deliver them if we are working remotely. Exhibits are to be simultaneously emailed to opposing counsel/party pro se. Counsel shall meet and confer to address the admissibility of exhibits prior to the hearing. Exhibits received late may or may not be allowed by the judge.

REMOTE HEARINGS. All hearings are being conducted through Google Meet. We prefer, and the NM Supreme Court encourages, that you appear by video whenever possible. Due to interruptions from feedback, do not expect to connect to hearings using multiple devices in the same room or close proximity. The New Mexico Supreme Court has prohibited in-person hearings and trials absent a finding that there is a compelling need. Prior to allowing an in-person hearing, the judge must receive approval from the Chief Judge. We anticipate that these approvals will be rarely granted to protect the health of the parties, counsel and court staff. See Supreme Court Order, 20- 8500- 025 and Emergency Court Protocol, July 6, 2020, which may be found on the First Judicial District Court website.

You may join court hearings for Judge Bulman by video here or dial-in: (US) +1 786-671-8522, PIN: 831 822 151#.

You may join court hearings for Judge LaMar by video here or dial-in: (US) +1 747-254-3940, PIN: 179 671 321#.

If you are new to using Google meet, please contact our offices a few days before and we will make every effort to have our court monitors help you with a dry run. You may also connect to a hearing the previous day to test your ability to participate fully. All hearings are open to the public with a few exceptions.

Thank you very much for working cooperatively with us during these challenging times.

Judge Sylvia LaMar

Judge Shannon Broderick Bulman

Weather Delays and Closures

In the event of a two-hour delay due to adverse weather, all matters scheduled in the delay period will be heard on a trailing docket basis commencing at the conclusion of the delay period. For example, if the first matter on the docket is scheduled at 8:30 a.m., it will be heard at 10 a.m. at the conclusion of a two-hour delay period and all matters will be heard on a trailing docket, but no earlier than their scheduled hearing time. If the Court is closed on the day you have a scheduled hearing, your hearing will be rescheduled and noticed by the Court.

Interpreter Scheduling

To avoid delay or the rescheduling of your hearing, you must notify the TCAA at 455-8150 within 5 days of your scheduled hearing that an interpreter is needed.

01/18/2022 8:00 AM Judge Sylvia F. LaMar General Calendar

8:05 AM D-101-DV-2020-00256 L. E. M. and O/B/O A. C .B., minor child,
J. F. C. B.

Petitioner: Atty: Payne, Gregory A.
Respondent: Atty: Davidson, Clifton L.

9:30 AM D-117-DV-2019-00144 A. S. and o/b/o A. and A. G., minor children,
L. G.

Petitioner: Atty: Pro Se
Respondent: Atty:

1:30 PM D-101-DM-2017-00776 Desarey Kavanaugh
HEARING Parentage
Petitioner: Kavanaugh, Desarey Atty: Pro Se
Respondent: SEGURA, DAVID Atty: Wiseman, Cyrus Joseph