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State revamps administration of magistrate, district courts

SANTA FE, N.M. — New Mexico is consolidating administration of most magistrate and district courts across the state.

The state Administrative Office of the Courts said the reorganization means the office no longer will manage the dozens of magistrate courts statewide and that those courts’ hiring and staffing decisions instead will be instead by overseen locally by judicial districts that already administer district courts.

Officials say the transition allows sharing of employees and jury pools and was completed with the new fiscal year’s July 1 start.

It applies statewide except Bernalillo County. The Metropolitan Court and District Court systems for the Albuquerque area will continue to be administered separately.

The Administrative Office of the Courts will continue to conduct oversight and support functions for magistrate courts, such as audits and building leases.