New Mexico Supreme Court Decisions

The New Mexico Supreme Court meets in the Supreme Court Building in Santa Fe, which is on the National Register of Historic Places. It holds direct jurisdiction over appeals of convictions involving sentences of life imprisonment, and it may hear direct appeals regarding writs of habeas corpus. The Court also reviews appeals of cases involving challenges to elections and appeals of decisions by the Public Regulation Commission. In addition, the Court has the discretion to issue certain types of writs, such as writs of mandamus, prohibition, and certiorari.

Five justices comprise the New Mexico Supreme Court, including a Chief Justice. To serve on the Supreme Court, a candidate must be at least 35 years old and must have been a resident of New Mexico for at least three years. A candidate also must have practiced law for at least 10 years. New Mexico uses a combination of gubernatorial selection and partisan elections in selecting justices for the Supreme Court. When a vacancy arises, a commission will compile a list of candidates for the Governor of New Mexico to review. The Governor will appoint one of the candidates, but then the justice must run in the next partisan election to retain their seat. While the election is partisan, the ballot on which the justice appears is non-partisan, so their party affiliation is not revealed. They must receive at least 57 percent of the vote to retain their seat.

Each justice serves a term of eight years. A justice may face removal before the end of their term if they are impeached by the New Mexico House of Representatives and then convicted by the New Mexico Senate. Alternatively, the New Mexico Supreme Court may remove a justice if the judicial standards commission recommends their removal.

Browse Opinions From the New Mexico Supreme Court

Recent Decisions From the New Mexico Supreme Court
State v. Muhammad (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: October 19, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37364
New Mexico v. Price (Published Opinion)  
Date: August 3, 2020
Citation: 2020-NMSC-014
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37373

Justia Opinion Summary: The district court suppressed records that police officers obtained from Defendant Jaycob Price’s cell phone provider pursuant to a search warrant. Under the authority of the search warrant, the officers obtained: (1) su...

Jones v. N.M. Dep't of Public Safety (Published Opinion)  
Date: July 14, 2020
Citation: 2020-NMSC-013
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37094

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Andrew Jones appealed the grant of summary judgment to the Department of Public Safety (DPS), dismissing Jones’s Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) enforcement action. Jones argued the district court misco...

Morper v. Oliver (Published Opinion)  
Date: July 14, 2020
Citation: 2020-NMSC-012
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38173

Justia Opinion Summary: Anastacia Morper sought preprimary designation as a candidate for the office of United States Representative from New Mexico’s Third Congressional District at the 2020 Republican Party Pre-Primary Convention. The Secreta...

State v. Johnson (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: July 2, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37285
New Mexico v. Montano (Published Opinion)  
Date: June 11, 2020
Citation: 2020-NMSC-009
Docket Numbers: S-1-SC-37021, S-1-SC-37098

Justia Opinion Summary: Cases consolidated for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review shared a common issue and an opportunity to define “uniformed law enforcement officer” and “appropriately marked law enforcement vehicle” under NMSA 1978, Sect...

State v. Ortiz-Parra (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37093
State v. Ortiz-Parra (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: May 28, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37109
State v. Nowicki (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: April 20, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37388
State v. Thompkins (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: April 6, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37220
New Mexico v. Widmer (Published Opinion)  
Date: March 19, 2020
Citation: 2020-NMSC-007
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36966

Justia Opinion Summary: Officers from the Albuquerque Police Department (APD) approached Defendant Ronald Widmer in a Walgreens parking lot in the late evening. Defendant, accompanied by a woman, was trying to start a motor scooter. APD had rec...

State v. Vigil (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: March 12, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37110
State v. Vargas (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: March 2, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36773
State v. York (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: February 20, 2020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36782
The opinions published on Justia State Caselaw are sourced from individual state court sites. These court opinions may not be the official published versions, and you should check your local court rules before citing to them. We make no warranties or guarantees about the accuracy, completeness, or adequacy of the information contained on this site, or the information linked to on the state site.