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State v. Ortiz (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: August 15, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37127
New Mexico v. Baca (Published Opinion)  
Date: July 18, 2019
Citation: 2019-NMSC-014
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36859

Justia Opinion Summary: The State charged Defendant Manuel Baca with an open count of murder by criminal complaint. The district court found by clear and convincing evidence that Defendant committed first-degree murder and determined that he wa...

State v. Villalobos (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: June 24, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37103
State v. Semino (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: June 3, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36275
State v. Burrows (Unpublished Opinion)
Date: June 3, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36475
New Mexico v. Comitz (Published Opinion)  
Date: May 23, 2019
Citation: 2019-NMSC-011
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36060

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jason Comitz was convicted of first-degree felony murder (by shooting at a dwelling) and second-degree murder for the death of the same person, four counts of aggravated battery of two other victims, two counts...

Public Serv. Co. of N.M. v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n (Published Opinion)  
Date: May 16, 2019
Citation: 2019-NMSC-012
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36115

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arose from the final order of the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (Commission) granting part, but not all, of the increase in retail electric rates sought by the Public Service Company of New Mexico (...

In re Salazar (Published Opinion)
Date: May 16, 2019
Citation: 2019-NMSC-010
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37306
State v. Ordonez
Date: April 11, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36123
State v. Gallegos
Date: March 21, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36110
State v. Ortiz
Date: March 4, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36788
Unite New Mexico v. Oliver  
Date: February 7, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37227

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Secretary of State sought to reinstate straight-ticket voting in the November 2018 general election. A coalition of voters, political parties, and political organizations (Petitioners) sought mandamus rel...

New Mexico v. Yazzie  
Date: January 24, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36508

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Nathaniel Yazzie entered a conditional plea of no contest to attempt to commit negligent child abuse following the district court’s denial of his motion to suppress. Defendant moved to suppress all of the evide...

In re Dixon
Date: January 17, 2019
Docket Number: S-1-SC-37204
New Mexico v. Romero  
Date: December 27, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36229

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Andrew Romero appealed his convictions arising from the shooting death of Rio Rancho Police Officer Gregg Nigel Benner during a traffic stop. Defendant was convicted of first-degree murder; two counts of tamper...

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.