2021 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 40 - Domestic Affairs
Article 4B - Child Support Hearing Officers
Section 40-4B-4 - Child support hearing officers; appointment; terms; qualifications; compensation.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 40-4B-4 (2021)

A. Child support hearing officers shall be appointed by and serve at the pleasure of the judges of the judicial districts determined pursuant to Subsection D of this section. Each hearing officer shall be selected by a majority of the district court judges in the judicial district to which he is assigned. The child support hearing officers shall be paid pursuant to a cooperative agreement between the human services department and the judicial districts.

B. Child support hearing officers shall be lawyers who are licensed to practice law in this state and who have a minimum of five years experience in the practice of law, with at least twenty percent of that practice having been in family law or domestic relations matters. Child support hearing officers shall devote full time to their duties under the Child Support Hearing Officer Act and shall not engage in the private practice of law or in any employment, occupation or business interfering with or inconsistent with the discharge of their duties as a full-time child support hearing officer.

C. A child support hearing officer is required to conform to Canons 21-100 through 21-500 and 21-700 of the Code of Judicial Conduct as adopted by the supreme court. Violation of any such canon shall be grounds for dismissal of any child support hearing officer. Child support hearing officers shall be employees of the judicial branch of government and shall not be subject to the Personnel Act [Chapter 10, Article 9 NMSA 1978]. Their compensation shall be set by the judges who appoint them, but such compensation shall not exceed eighty percent of the current salary for district court judges.

D. Child support hearing officers shall serve in such judicial districts as the secretary deems appropriate considering the case loads and case needs of the state's Title IV D program.

History: Laws 1988, ch. 127, § 4; 1993, ch. 124, § 1.


Compiler's notes. — The phrase "Title IV D program" means a state program adopted pursuant to Title IV D, 42 U.S.C. § 651 et seq., of the federal Social Security Act, requiring a state plan and program to enforce child support obligations.

The 1993 amendment, effective June 18, 1993, in Subsection A, deleted "Five" at the beginning of the subsection and made a minor stylistic change.

Hearing officers distinguished. — Rule 1-053.2 NMRA and the Child Support Hearing Officer Act describe both material similarities and material differences between a domestic relations hearing officer and a child support hearing officer. Buffington v. McGorty, 2004-NMCA-092, 136 N.M. 226, 96 P.3d 787.

Review of report and recommendations. — The Child Support Hearing Officer Act did not preclude the district court from reviewing the report and recommendations of the hearing officer. Buffington v. McGorty, 2004-NMCA-092, 136 N.M. 226, 97 P.3d 787.

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