People that choose to represent themselves in court are referred to as pro se parties. There are multiple things to keep in mind when deciding to represent yourself as your own attorney. Pursuant to the New Mexico statutes and rules of procedure, pro se petitioners or defendants are to be held accountable to the same standards and practices of an actual practicing attorney.
Pro se litigants have a couple of options when they are preparing court documents. They can either search the internet for family law forms or they can review public records in order to get samples of family law forms. When searching the internet for forms, it is very important that the forms conform to New Mexico law and not to another state.
Pro se litigants should be careful to read, research and review the New Mexico family law code, 40-1-1 NMSA et seq. and the rules of civil procedure. In addition to the family law code and civil procedure rules, New Mexico has local district rules that all attorneys and pro se litigants must adhere too as well. Once you familiarize yourself with the language of the various statutes, it is often best to review any case law that interprets the statutes, and you can develop arguments from there for your own respective cases.
Once your documents are drafted and ready to file, you can file in person at the courthouse, or you can E-file through the court’s efiling system. The efiling system comes with its own set of rules, regulations and standards, so the pro se litigant must get to know these rules as well while representing their respective cases.