First Judicial District Court
The Court’s Self Help Center is located on the ground floor of the Courthouse, next to the Court Clerk’s Office.
The Center’s phone number is 505-455-8146.
The email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Center is staffed from 8 a.m.-12 p.m. and 1p.m.-5 p.m. Monday – Friday (excluding holidays) by a Court employee who can provide some forms and procedural information. There is also space to sit down and fill out the forms.
Please be aware that the Self Help Center may not have forms for every purpose.
The Self Help Center also has two public access computers that have software to produce the Child Support Worksheets that must be attached to all cases that involve children under the age of 18. The computers may ONLY be used for the Child Support Worksheets. They do not have any other software, and do not have Internet access.
Court staff CANNOT give legal advice. “Legal advice” is explaining the law to you, explaining how the law may apply to your case, telling you what form you need to file, or telling you what to do in your case. “Legal advice” also includes telling you what to put in the blanks of pleading forms. Court staff CANNOT fill out the forms for you or tell you how to fill out the forms. They can explain what information the forms are asking for, but you must fill in the forms in your own words. Court staff cannot tell you what you should do in a given situation. Asking, “what would you do if you were me” is asking for legal advice!
PLEASE DO NOT ASK COURT STAFF FOR LEGAL ADVICE.
Free Family Law Orientation
The free Family Law Orientation for Self-Represented Litigants provides general information about the law and procedures for filing and completing divorce and parentage cases. The Orientation is offered once a month by the First Judicial District Court and private attorneys who volunteer their time to try to help people who can’t afford a lawyer.
The Orientations are offered in English and Spanish once a month on a Saturday morning at 9 a.m. at the Santa Fe Community College. The presentations start promptly at 9 a.m. Plan to spend a minimum of 2 hours, up to a maximum of 4 hours at the Orientation. You can get the date and room number of each month’s Orientation at the Self Help Center, and on-line here.
DO NOT bring children with you to the Orientation – there’s nowhere for them to play safely by themselves, and you cannot leave them unattended.
A free half hour consultation with an attorney is also available by voucher only. You can obtain a voucher by attending the entire Orientation and asking for a voucher afterward. Call Court Constituent Services at 505-455-8145 or go to the Self Help Center between 8 a.m.-4 p.m. Monday through Thursday to obtain a voucher. Vouchers are only good for 90 days after they are issued, so don’t ask for one until you know what you need to ask the attorney about. Attorneys are assigned on a random list; you cannot request a voucher for a particular lawyer.
When you receive the voucher, you call the attorney’s office to make an appointment. The attorney you see can give you advice about your particular situation. Bring the voucher with you to give to the attorney. If the attorney is unable to see you, call Court Constituent Services at 505-455-8145 to make arrangements to return the voucher you have and obtain one for a different attorney. Please remember to be courteous to the attorneys providing free services.
The Court has an Alternative Dispute Resolution (ADR) Program that offers settlement facilitation, which is similar to mediation, in which a neutral third party helps all the parties to a lawsuit come to an agreement on their own.
Settlement facilitators are attorneys with at least 5 years of experience in the subject matter of the case, plus mediation training and experience.
Settlement facilitators are not judges, and do not make decisions for you. They also do not represent or give legal advice to either party. They can share legal information with both parties to help you make your own decisions to settle your case.
You can get all the forms and instructions for how to use the program at the Court’s Self Help Center or by clicking on Forms, Alternative Dispute Resolution.
The information on this website is not intended as legal advice, and does not substitute for seeking independent legal advice regarding the handling of a lawsuit or related legal matters.