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Court-Appointed Attorneys


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Court Appointed Attorney Program (CAAP)

The New Mexico Judiciary, through the Court Appointed Attorney Program (CAAP) is committed to providing quality legal representation for indigent parties in civil proceedings when the law requires the court appoint an attorney.  Among the clients served are children and parents in abuse and neglect cases, parentage, mental health and disabilities, eligible adults in fostering connection cases, and guardianship cases.
The Administrative Office of the Courts (AOC) provides fiscal oversight, ensures compliance with contractual obligations by attorneys, and works collaboratively with the Children’s Court Improvement Commission, the New Mexico Family Advocacy Program, the Family Representation Commission, the Southwest Region National Child Protection Training Center (NMSU-SWRTC), and the Corinne Wolfe Center for Child and Family Justice (UNM-CWC) to offer attorneys free or reduced cost continuing education and trial skills training.

Court Appointed Attorney Fund (CAAF)

The Administrative Office of the Courts receives a limited amount of state general fund monies to provide court-appointed legal representation to indigent clients in Children’s Code and Mental Health proceedings.  Any remaining funds are available to pay non-contract attorneys appointed by the district courts in these cases on a case-by-case basis.  Please note that this program does not appoint attorneys but instead works with those lawyers who are court appointed when the case qualifies for payment under the program.  This fund does not provide pro bono attorneys for domestic relations, criminal or other matters. If you have questions about the Court Appointed Attorney Fee Fund (CAAFF), please contact Twila Hoon at .

Court Appointed Attorney Assignment Process

The Administrative Office of the Courts, via the Court Appointed Attorney Program (CAAP) contracts with attorneys around the state in order to provide each judicial district with a list of attorneys who can be appointed to provide legal representation to indigent clients, children and youth in Children’s Code matters as well as in Mental Health proceedings.  Attorneys are sought to fulfill this role through a Request For Proposal process (RFP) which is generally published in April or May of each year.

Each district court has in internal procedure for collecting financial qualification information for an indigency determination and for handling the appointment of attorneys in their district. In situations where there are insufficient contract attorneys the court may appoint non-contract counsel who can apply for payment utilizing forms located on the non-contract attorney’s page.

If you have questions about the Court Appointed Attorney Program (CAAP) or if you are interested in a contract please contact Twila Hoon at .