State Revenue and Appropriations
Funding Principles for Judicial Administration
Steps Taken to Address Tough Economic Times
Staffing Levels: Over the past four years, the number of judges has increased by 1%, the number of central office staff persons has increased 3% and the number of trial court staff persons has decreased 8%. The FY13 budget increase has permitted hiring staff in positions left vacant for several years. In FY13, trial court operating expenses will increase 3%.
Compensation: Over the past four years, salaries of judges and court staff have been frozen and reduced. Judges’ salaries are frozen again in FY13.
Efficiency Measures: The New Mexico courts have implemented and will continue to implement e-filing, an electronic document management system, an enhanced case management system, and electronic workflow. In the coming year they will implement e-citations by law enforcement agencies and e-payment of fines and fees.
Restructuring: The New Mexico courts have consolidated courthouses, consolidated clerk management positions, and reallocated staff. They will continue to reallocate staff.
Business Processes: The New Mexico courts have implemented and will continue to enhance their caseflow management program, “in-court updating” for docket entries and sentencing orders, videoconferencing of incarcerated defendants and remote videoconferencing of interpreters for persons with limited English proficiency. They have transitioned to digital recording of court proceedings.
Outsourcing: The New Mexico courts have outsourced the collection of fines.
Centralization: The New Mexico courts have centralized jury qualification and summoning.
The New Mexico courts are in a better position than in FY09 to provide access and timely justice. Technology improvements have been about 75% implemented since 2009 and appropriations have begun to rebound, from continued reductions in 2009 to a 4% increase this year. If the budget situation continues to improve, the New Mexico Judiciary will use the increase funding to implement technology improvements and likely not hire to the same employee strength as before 2009. The courts will improve pay for the fewer remaining employees.
Reports and Articles
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