Earlier this week, Chamber President and CEO Terri Cole joined New Mexico Supreme Court Chief Justice Judith Nakamura to announce the launch of a new online dispute resolution tool that could substantially ease the backlog of civil cases in the state’s court system.
Launching in counties across the state — Bernalillo County and Metro Courts, as well as Grant, Hidalgo, Luna, Curry, and Roosevelt Counties — the program allows parties to civil court cases 24-hour-a-day access to an online tool that allows for the submission of complaints, takes responses from all involved, and can include the involvement of a mediator at no charge. If the complaint can be resolved within 30 days using this process, no courtroom appearance is required, reducing backlog and freeing up the court system to address more complex and serious cases.
“New Mexico can benefit economically from courts implementing programs like Online Dispute Resolution to better manage caseloads and redirect resources,” said Ms. Cole, calling the program “a wonderful example of sensibility and increasing efficiency in the judicial system.”
Backed by a $450,000 legislative appropriation, the system should substantially reduce the 30,000+ annual “debt and money due” lawsuits that end up in a courtroom every year in New Mexico.