New Mexico Supreme Court Decisions 2015

Clark v. Mitchell  
Date: December 21, 2015
Docket Number: 35,075

Justia Opinion Summary: There was only one judge on the Tenth Judicial District Court which had jurisdiction over the counties of Quay, DeBaca, and Harding. In 2008, Albert J. Mitchell, Jr. won a contested election for Tenth Judicial District…

Moses v. Skandera
Date: December 17, 2015
Docket Number: 34,974
Madrid v. Brinker Rest. Corp.  
Date: December 10, 2015
Docket Number: 34,146

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Mary Ann Madrid appealed the grant of summary judgment in favor of Brinker Restaurant Corporation and its employee Randi Russell on the issue of causation. This case arose out of a tragic motorcycle accident…

New Mexico v. Surratt  
Date: December 10, 2015
Docket Number: 35,049

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a second trial, Defendant Danny Surratt was convicted of criminal sexual penetration of a minor. Defendant appealed his conviction, claiming the district attorney serving as special prosecutor at the second…

N.M. Dep't of Workforce Solutions v. Garduno  
Date: November 19, 2015
Docket Number: 34,546

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Nancy Garduno was ineligible for unemployment benefits because her employer terminated her for misconduct connected with her employment. The Cabinet Secretary of the New Mexico Department of Workforce…

New Mexico v. Nichols  
Date: November 19, 2015
Docket Number: 34,549

Justia Opinion Summary: A jury convicted Jeremy Nichols of child abuse resulting in death or great bodily harm, finding him guilty on a theory of negligently permitting medical neglect of his six-month-old son Kaden Nichols that allegedly…

New Mexico v. Serros  
Date: November 12, 2015
Docket Number: 34,637

Justia Opinion Summary: Four years and three months after Defendant Mark Serros was arrested and charged with sexually abusing his nephew, the district court dismissed his case, concluding that his right to a speedy trial under the Sixth…

Moses v. Skandera  
Date: November 12, 2015
Docket Number: 34,974

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Department of Public Education’s (Department) Instructional Material Bureau purchases non-religious instructional materials selected by public or private schools, with funds appropriated by the Legislature…

State v. Stanfield
Date: November 9, 2015
Docket Number: 34,817
Robinson v. Bd. of Comm'rs of the Cty. of Eddy  
Date: October 30, 2015
Docket Number: 35,160

Justia Opinion Summary: The County Assessor for Eddy County sought to use money in a county property valuation fund (as established by the Legislature in 1986) to contract with a private company for technical assistance in locating and valuing…

New Mexico v. Davis  
Date: October 19, 2015
Docket Number: 34,548

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Norman Davis was convicted of possession of marijuana after New Mexico State Police consensually searched his greenhouse and seized 14 marijuana plants. That search was the result of “Operation Yerba Buena…

New Mexico v. DeAngelo M.  
Date: October 15, 2015
Docket Number: 34,995

Justia Opinion Summary: DeAngelo M. (Child) was thirteen years and eight days old when, during a custodial interrogation by three law enforcement officers, he made inculpatory statements regarding a burglary, which connected him to a murder.…

N.M. Att'y. Gen. v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n  
Date: September 28, 2015
Docket Number: 34,768

Justia Opinion Summary: The Public Regulation Commission (PRC) granted Southwestern Public Service Company’s (SPS) application to: (1) include a prepaid pension asset in its rate base in order for SPS to earn a return on this asset; and (2)…

State v. Pagan-Rivera
Date: September 17, 2015
Docket Number: 34,832
Badilla v. Wal-Mart Stores East Inc.  
Date: September 10, 2015
Docket Number: 34,085

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Kenneth Badilla bought a pair of work boots at Wal-Mart. He claimed the soles of the boots came unglued, causing him to trip and injure his back. More than three years later, he sued Wal-Mart and its store…

New Mexico v. King  
Date: September 10, 2015
Citation: 2015-NMSC-030
Docket Number: 34,311

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant was charged with and convicted of first-degree murder, conspiracy to commit first-degree murder, armed robbery, conspiracy to commit armed robbery, and tampering with evidence. The district court sentenced…

New Mexico v. King  
Date: September 10, 2015
Docket Number: 34,411

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Donovan King and Justin Mark arrived at Kevin Lossiah’s apartment the morning of May 29, 2011. Initially, Lossiah’s neighbors saw Defendant and Mark outside the apartment. The neighbor later heard banging…

New Mexico v. Paananen  
Date: September 10, 2015
Docket Number: 34,526

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, police officers made their arrest for shoplifting at the scene of the crime, without any prior opportunity to secure a warrant. Surveillance cameras at Sportsman’s Warehouse in Albuquerque caught defendant…

King v. Raphaelson  
Date: August 20, 2015
Docket Number: 34,985

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, the Governor appointed District Judge Sheri Raphaelson to fill a vacancy in Division V of the First Judicial District Court created when then-District Judge Tim Garcia was appointed to the New Mexico Court of…

Kane v. City of Albuquerque  
Date: August 13, 2015
Docket Number: 34,811

Justia Opinion Summary: Appellee Emily Kane ran for elective office while she was employed at the Albuquerque Fire Department (the AFD) as a captain. Article X, Section 3 of the Charter of the City of Albuquerque (1989), and the City of…

Snow v. Warren Power & Mach., Inc.  
Date: August 10, 2015
Docket Number: 34,501

Justia Opinion Summary: Ken Snow worked as an operator for the Navajo Refinery. During a procedure called a "turn-around" at the refinery, a hose assembly came loose and struck Snow, causing "serious, life-changing injuries." Snow and his wife…

Hem v. Toyota Motor Corp.  
Date: June 25, 2015
Docket Number: 33,775

Justia Opinion Summary: In March 2007, Plaintiff Dara Hem brought suit in a Texas federal court after he was seriously injured in an accident. Hem was traveling through northern New Mexico when his Toyota truck separated from the U-Haul trailer…

New Mexico ex rel. Foy v. Austin Capital Mgmt., Ltd.  
Date: June 25, 2015
Docket Number: 34,013

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal centered on the second of two qui tam actions filed by former New Mexico Education Retirement Board ("ERB") Chief Investment Officer Frank Foy and his wife Suzanne ("Foys"), attacking the management of the…

New Mexico v. Steven B.  
Date: June 25, 2015
Docket Numbers: 34,122, 34,142

Justia Opinion Summary: In a consolidated appeal, Respondents Steven B. and Ernie Begaye were both enrolled members of the Navajo Nation who were accused of offenses committed on Parcel Three of Fort Wingate (Parcel Three). The question this…

State v. Antonio T.
Date: June 22, 2015
Docket Numbers: 33,997, 33,999
Miller v. Bank of America  
Date: June 15, 2015
Docket Number: 34,554

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2007, the remainder beneficiaries of two testamentary trusts sued defendant Bank of America for its actions as trustee from 1991 through 2003. The beneficiaries alleged that the Bank had invested trust assets in an…

N.M. Bldg. and Constr. Trades Council v. Dean  
Date: June 15, 2015
Docket Number: 34,719

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review centered on whether the Director of the Labor Relations Division of the New Mexico Department of Workforce Solutions (DWS) was in violation of the Public Works…

New Mexico v. Gutierrez  
Date: May 28, 2015
Docket Number: 34,516

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant-respondent Aide Sanchez was at the Santa Teresa port of entry attempting to enter the United States from Mexico, when Border Patrol agents seized marijuana from her van. In "New Mexico v. Cardenas-Alvarez," (25…

Loya v. Gutierrez  
Date: May 11, 2015
Docket Number: 34,447

Justia Opinion Summary: Officer Glen Gutierrez, on duty as a full-time salaried police officer of the Pueblo of Pojoaque and also commissioned as a Santa Fe County deputy sheriff, was patrolling a portion of U.S. Highway 84/285 located within…

New Mexico v. Cabezuela  
Date: May 7, 2015
Docket Number: 33,781

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Supreme Court previously issued an opinion after defendant Adriana Cabezuela's first trial in which a jury convicted her of intentional child abuse resulting in the death of her eight-month-old daughter…

New Mexico v. Baca  
Date: May 4, 2015
Docket Number: 34,120

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Abraham Baca was arrested by Sergeant Martin Trujillo for aggravated DWI and driving left of center of a roadway. The State filed a criminal complaint against Defendant in Magistrate Court. While the magistrate…

State v. Anaya
Date: May 4, 2015
Docket Number: 34,279
Dominguez v. New Mexico  
Date: April 16, 2015
Docket Number: 34,295

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Rodrigo Dominguez was convicted for voluntary manslaughter and shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in the death of one person, and the aggravated battery and shooting at or from a motor vehicle…

State v. Mark
Date: April 13, 2015
Docket Number: 34,025
Tri-State Generation & Transmission Ass'n v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n  
Date: April 6, 2015
Docket Number: 34,182

Justia Opinion Summary: In a matter of first impression for the New Mexico Supreme Court, the issues this case presented related to the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission's authority and procedures in regulating utility rates of a…

Lucero v. Northland Ins. Co.  
Date: March 26, 2015
Docket Number: 34,607

Justia Opinion Summary: A trucking company purchased a liability insurance policy covering its tractors and trailers. The policy stipulated that liability coverage would be limited to "$1,000,000 each ‘accident.’" A tractor-trailer rig insured…

State v. Marquez
Date: March 23, 2015
Docket Number: 33,548
New Mexico v. Montoya  
Date: March 12, 2015
Docket Number: 33,967

Justia Opinion Summary: Baby Breandra Pena (seventeen months old) died while in the care of defendant Nathan Montoya. Defendant was convicted of intentional child abuse resulting in the death of a child under twelve and sentenced to life…

Farber v. King  
Date: March 12, 2015
Docket Number: 34,204

Justia Opinion Summary: Attorney Daniel Faber filed a federal lawsuit on behalf of three assistant attorneys who alleged alleging gender discrimination in connection with their salaries. The Attorney General filed a motion to stay litigation…

New Mexico v. Strauch  
Date: March 9, 2015
Docket Number: 34,435

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jason Strauch allegedly revealed to his wife that he had been sexually abusing their minor daughter. Defendant moved out of the family home for a time and began attending counseling with a private-practice…

Perez v. N.M. Dep't of Workforce Solutions  
Date: March 9, 2015
Docket Numbers: 34,499, 34,880

Justia Opinion Summary: Three former New Mexico State employees were denied unemployment compensation benefits by the Department of Workforce Solutions because they were in positions designated as "a major nontenured policy-making or advisory…

State v. Ferran
Date: March 5, 2015
Docket Number: 33,845
First Baptist Church of Roswell v. Yates Petroleum Corp.
Date: February 20, 2015
Citation: 2015-NMSC-004
Docket Number: 33,632
Yedidag v. Roswell Clinic Corp.  
Date: February 19, 2015
Docket Number: 34,286

Justia Opinion Summary: Respondent Dr. Emre Yedidag was an employee-physician for Roswell Clinic Corp. and Roswell Hospital Corp. (Eastern New Mexico Medical Center). During a peer review of another Eastern employee-physician, Dr. Akbar Ali,…

New Mexico v. Astorga  
Date: February 16, 2015
Docket Number: 33,684

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Michael Astorga was convicted by jury of first degree murder, tampering with evidence, and being a felon in possession of a firearm. The State sought the death penalty; a sentencing jury could not unanimously…

State v. Ferri
Date: February 9, 2015
Docket Number: 34,229
State v. Pfauntsch
Date: February 9, 2015
Docket Number: 34,476
New Mexico v. Silvas  
Date: February 5, 2015
Docket Number: 34,271

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Donnie Silvas was convicted by jury of trafficking a controlled substance by possession with intent to distribute, and conspiracy to commit trafficking of the controlled substance. Both charges stemmed from one…

New Mexico v. Favela  
Date: January 12, 2015
Docket Number: 34,311

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Cesar Favela filed a motion requesting permission to withdraw his guilty plea, alleging ineffective assistance of counsel after his attorney failed to advise him that his guilty plea would result in…

Potter v. Pierce  
Date: January 8, 2015
Docket Number: 34,365

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the Supreme Court's review was one of res judicata, and whether the preclusive effect of a fee proceeding in bankruptcy court on a later lawsuit for legal malpractice allegedly committed…

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