Eviction Process in New Mexico
If you are being evicted in the state of New Mexico, you may not know how to proceed. Learning about the eviction process in New Mexico can help you understand your rights and options under the law. After reading this guide, you will understand the steps involved in the eviction process in New Mexico and how long each step will take.
Before the eviction process in New Mexico can begin in the court system, your landlord needs to give you proper notice. The length of time this notice will be depends on why you are being evicted. If you have failed to pay rent, you will be given only a three-day notice. The only other circumstance in which a 3 day notice is allowed in the eviction process in New Mexico is when the tenant has knowingly violated the law in a substantial way.
If you have violated your lease in some other way, you will be given a seven-day notice that specifies what you have done wrong and gives you an opportunity to correct it. If you have received two seven-day notices within six months, your landlord is not obligated to allow you to correct the issue, but otherwise you will be shown how to cure the breach in the notice (for instance, by re-homing an unauthorized pet).
Court Filings and Hearings
If you do not vacate the property, pay late rent, or otherwise follow the instructions in the notice you are given, the eviction process in New Mexico allows your landlord to file an eviction suit at this time. The landlord will go to the court clerk's office and file a copy of a Petition by Owner for Restitution as well as other documents showing your failure to comply with the notice given.
You will be served with a copy of the petition as well as notification of your court date in a packet of information called a Service Packet. Typically, you will be served by the sheriff's office or a process server; your landlord is not allowed to serve you with the paperwork personally.
You are not required to attend the eviction hearing in court, but if you do not appear, your landlord will win the eviction suit automatically and the eviction process in New Mexico will continue. You may be able to successfully fight an eviction lawsuit if your landlord has breached your lease or is retaliating or discriminating against you. Talking to a lawyer with experience with the eviction process in New Mexico can help you understand your legal rights and options.
Judgment for Restitution
If you lose at the hearing, the judge will issue a judgment for restitution, which is the eviction order at the conclusion of the eviction process in New Mexico. You will be told how many days you have to vacate the property, and if you fail to do so, your landlord can obtain a writ of restitution that allows the sheriff's department to remove you forcibly from the property.
Your landlord cannot at any time (even after a writ of restitution has been issued) change your locks or shut down your utilities to force you to leave. This is called “self-help” and is illegal in the eviction process in New Mexico. The only people allowed to force you to move out are the sheriff's department personnel sent to the premises if a writ of restitution is ordered.