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State v. Kramer (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: September 9, 2021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37807
State v. Tafoya (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: September 2, 2021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37872
State v. Ortiz (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: July 15, 2021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37673
New Mexico v. Smith (Published Opinion)  
Date: June 30, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-025
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38093

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Charles Smith was convicted of battery against a household member. He appealed his conviction, arguing to both the district and Court of Appeals that, based on the evidence presented at trial, the metropolitan...

Pirtle v. Legis. Council (Published Opinion)  
Date: June 30, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-026
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38356

Justia Opinion Summary: The parties’ pleadings centered on a single issue: the constitutionality of a June 9, 2020, directive promulgated by the New Mexico Legislative Council (the Council). The directive, among other things, banned in-person a...

State v. Azamar-Nolasco (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: June 24, 2021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37760
State v. Wheeler (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: June 10, 2021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37709
In re Ferguson (Published Opinion)
Date: June 10, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-024
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38741
New Mexico v. Wilson (Published Opinion)  
Date: June 7, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-022
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38510

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review centered on whether the State’s public health orders (PHOs) could support a claim for just compensation under either Article II, Section 20 of the New Mexico...

New Mexico v. Vest (Published Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-020
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37210

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Sean Vest was convicted of aggravated fleeing a law enforcement officer after he led an officer on a high-speed chase through rain-slicked streets during the early morning hours. Defendant’s case regarding a po...

New Mexico v. Lymon (Published Opinion)  
Date: May 27, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-021
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37729

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Davon Lymon shot Albuquerque Police Department (APD) Officer Daniel Webster six times during a traffic stop in 2015. Defendant was charged with, and convicted of: first-degree murder, two counts of tampering wi...

New Mexico ex rel. Riddle v. Toulouse Oliver (Published Opinion)  
Date: May 6, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-38228

Justia Opinion Summary: Twenty-seven New Mexico county clerks sought an emergency writ to compel Respondent, Secretary of State Maggie Toulouse Oliver, to mail absentee ballots directly to all registered voters in lieu of conducting in-person v...

New Mexico v. Chavez (Published Opinion)  
Date: April 12, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-017
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37978

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, defendant Robert Chavez and co-conspirators beat and shot Richard Valdez. The victim’s body was found burned in a 2006 Suzuki station wagon. After a joint trial, Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder, c...

Russ v. Russ (Published Opinion)  
Date: April 1, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-014
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37962

Justia Opinion Summary: When Angela Russ (Spouse) and Jeffery Russ (Veteran) divorced, they agreed to divide Veteran’s military retirement pay as part of the community property. Nonetheless, about eight years after their divorce, Veteran waived...

New Mexico v. Quintana (Published Opinion)  
Date: March 25, 2021
Citation: 2021-NMSC-013
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37570

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2003, the decedent’s body was discovered lying on the living room floor of Defendant Ricky Quintana’s residence. The decedent had been stabbed multiple times, and his body had been subjected to mutilation, both before...

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.