New Mexico Supreme Court Decisions 2016

New Mexico v. Lucero  
Date: December 22, 2016
Docket Number: 34,094

Justia Opinion Summary: Laticia Lucero (Baby) died on June 9th, 2010, just 47 days after she was born to Mother and defendant Jadrian “Jay” Lucero. Baby’s autopsy revealed that she died as a result of the type of injuries one might expect after…

Neal v. NMPRC
Date: December 15, 2016
Docket Number: 35,638
State v. Ramirez
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: 34,576
Kipnis v. Jusbasche  
Date: December 1, 2016
Docket Number: 35,249

Justia Opinion Summary: New Mexico Rule of Evidence 11-410 NMRA stated that evidence of a nolo contendere plea made in settlement of a criminal proceedings was not admissible in civil proceedings against a defendant making such a plea. In this…

State v. Morris
Date: November 17, 2016
Docket Number: 35,259
Hand v. Winter  
Date: November 7, 2016
Docket Number: 36,142

Justia Opinion Summary: Judge Daniel Viramontes wrote a letter dated March 10, 2016 to New Mexico Governor Susana Martinez, informing her of his intent to resign as district court judge of Division 4 of the Sixth Judicial District Court,…

T.H. McElvain Oil & Gas Ltd. P'ship v. Benson-Montin-Greer Drilling Corp.  
Date: October 20, 2016
Docket Number: 34,993

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue presented for the Supreme Court's review giving rise to this case was a collateral of the underlying judgment. Specifically, the issue was whether it was apparent on the face of a 1948 quiet title judgment that…

State v. Serrano
Date: October 17, 2016
Docket Number: 35,277
New Mexico v. Bailey  
Date: October 13, 2016
Docket Number: 35,395

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jason Bailey appealed his conviction for second-degree criminal sexual contact of a minor. Defendant argued on appeal that admission of evidence of his uncharged conduct was improper under Rule 11-404(B)(1)…

Vasquez v. American Cas. Co. of Reading  
Date: October 13, 2016
Docket Number: 35,681

Justia Opinion Summary: The United States District Court for the District of New Mexico certified a question of New Mexico law to the state Supreme Court. The question centered on whether a worker injured in the course of employment by a…

New Mexico v. Stephenson  
Date: September 26, 2016
Docket Number: 35,035

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Jennifer Stephenson placed her two-year-old son Isaiah in his room at bedtime and locked the door for the night. Isaiah’s father heard Isaiah whimpering the next morning and found him with his legs pinned…

Dalton v. Santander Consumer USA, Inc.  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 35,101

Justia Opinion Summary: Eileen Dalton purchased two used cars under separate finance contracts which contained provisions that retained self-help remedies for both parties, and that allowed either party to compel arbitration of any claim or…

State Engineer v. Diamond K Bar Ranch, LLC  
Date: September 22, 2016
Docket Number: 35,446

Justia Opinion Summary: In this appeal, the issue presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review centered on the scope of the New Mexico State Engineer’s regulatory authority over use of surface water in New Mexico when it has been…

State v. Rodriguez
Date: September 1, 2016
Docket Number: 34,581
New Mexico v. Garcia  
Date: August 25, 2016
Docket Number: 35,451

Justia Opinion Summary: Patricia Garcia induced an eighty-four-year-old widower, Page Kent, to believe that she was his loving partner and thereby gained access to his bank accounts and depleted over $50,000 of his life’s savings. A jury…

Noice v. BNSF Ry. Co.  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 35,198

Justia Opinion Summary: Lenard E. Noice worked as a conductor for Petitioner BNSF Railway Company (BNSF). He fell from a BNSF train that was moving at speed and perished. Respondent, Lenard Noice II, acting as personal representative for Noice…

Flores v. Herrera  
Date: August 18, 2016
Docket Number: 35,286

Justia Opinion Summary: Mary Herrera, when acting as the Secretary of State, terminated the employment of two employees of the Secretary of State’s office, James Flores and Manny Vildasol. In separate actions, Flores and Vildasol each asserted…

New Mexico v. Samora  
Date: August 8, 2016
Docket Number: 34,733

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Anthony Samora was accused of luring a sixteen-year-old male into his truck by deception, driving him to a secluded location in Albuquerque, and then forcibly having sex. A jury convicted Defendant of…

New Mexico v. Trammell  
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 34,826

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2004, defendant Lucas Trammell pled guilty in part, to false imprisonment of a minor victim. At the time, a conviction of false imprisonment of a minor victim required that defendant register as a sex offender under…

State v. Torres
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 34,984
Castro-Montanez v. Milk-N-Autural
Date: August 4, 2016
Docket Number: 35,609
New Mexico v. Marquez  
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: 34,418

Justia Opinion Summary: The Supreme Court addressed whether shooting at or from a motor vehicle could serve as a predicate for felony murder. A jury found Defendant Eric Marquez guilty of first-degree felony murder, and shooting from a motor…

State v. Montoya
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: 34,500
New Mexico v. Yazzie  
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: 34,866

Justia Opinion Summary: While on routine patrol in San Juan County, New Mexico State Police Officer James Rempe entered the license plate number of the vehicle Defendant Joann Yazzie was driving into his patrol car’s mobile data terminal (MDT).…

Rodriguez v. Brand West Dairy  
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Numbers: 35,426, 35,438

Justia Opinion Summary: These consolidated appeals presented an issue to the New Mexico Supreme Court on whether farm and ranch laborers' exclusion from coverage under the state Workers' Compensation Act violated the rights of those workers…

Morris v. Brandenburg  
Date: June 30, 2016
Docket Number: 35,478

Justia Opinion Summary: The question this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review centered on whether a mentally-competent-but-terminally-ill patient had a constitutional right to have a willing physician, consistent with…

State v. Sloan
Date: June 23, 2016
Docket Number: 34,858
New Mexico v.Thomas  
Date: June 20, 2016
Docket Number: 34,042

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2010, Guadalupe Ashford’s body was found partially hidden behind a trash can at the edge of a small parking lot. Drag marks and blood spatter indicated that Ashford had initially been assaulted in the lot and then…

Hamaatsa, Inc. v. Pueblo of San Felipe  
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: 34,287

Justia Opinion Summary: The Pueblo of San Felipe (Pueblo) appealed a Court of Appeals decision declining to extend the Pueblo immunity from suit. Hamaatsa, Inc. (Hamaatsa) owned land in Sandoval County. Adjacent to Hamaatsa’s property was land…

In re: Jason S. Montclare, Esquire
Date: June 16, 2016
Docket Number: 34,920
New Mexico v. Armijo  
Date: June 13, 2016
Docket Number: 34,400

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Edward Armijo was convicted for driving while intoxicated (DWI). The district court affirmed his conviction, but the Court of Appeal reversed. The New Mexico Supreme Court granted certiorari to consider the…

New Mexico v. Madonda  
Date: June 13, 2016
Docket Number: 34,667

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Muziwokuthula Madonda was interrogated after he was arrested for the deaths of two men in Tucumcari. At the outset, law enforcement officers advised Defendant of his Miranda rights, and he unequivocally invoked…

State v. Jones
Date: June 9, 2016
Docket Number: 34,953
State v. Lovett
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: 34,815
State v. Arredondo-Soto
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: 35,112
New Mexico v. Tufts  
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: 35,255

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Robert Tufts, a man in his late thirties, filmed himself masturbating, saved the electronic image on a secure digital (SD) memory card, inserted the card into a cell phone, handed the cell phone to a…

Kerr v. Parsons  
Date: June 2, 2016
Docket Number: 35,421

Justia Opinion Summary: On petition for a writ of superintending control, the issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review was an order issued by the Twelfth Judicial District Court in the criminal prosecutions against…

State v. Hopkins
Date: May 26, 2016
Docket Number: 35,052
AFSCME v. Bd. of Cty. Comm'rs of Bernalillo Cty.  
Date: May 23, 2016
Docket Number: 35,248

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioners, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Council 18, AFL-CIO, Locals 1461, 2260 and 2499 (AFSCME), brought a declaratory-judgment action challenging the grandfather status of…

Estate of Brice v. Toyota Motor Corp.  
Date: May 19, 2016
Docket Number: 34,873

Justia Opinion Summary: In a certified appeal, the issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's consideration was whether the doctrine of fraudulent concealment applied to actions under the Wrongful Death Act (WDA), an issue of…

State v. Earley
Date: May 19, 2016
Docket Number: 35,356
Ramirez v. CYFD  
Date: April 14, 2016
Docket Number: 34,613

Justia Opinion Summary: Phillip Ramirez, a member of the New Mexico Army National Guard, was employed by the New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (CYFD). In July 2005, Ramirez was ordered to federal active duty and deployed to…

State v. Reynolds
Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: 34,944
State v. Murrell
Date: March 24, 2016
Docket Number: 34,954
N.M. Exch. Carrier Grp. v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n  
Date: March 17, 2016
Docket Numbers: 34,933, 35,036

Justia Opinion Summary: In this opinion the New Mexico Supreme Court addressed two orders issued by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC) that affected the revenues of local telephone networks including rural telephone companies…

Spurlock v. Townes  
Date: March 14, 2016
Docket Number: 35,027

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiffs Heather Spurlock, Sophia Carrasco, and Nina Carrera were former inmates of the Camino Nuevo Correctional Center, a prison housing female offenders, directed by Third-Party Defendant Warden Barbara Wagner and…

Acosta v. Shell W. Expl. & Prod., Inc.  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: 33,884

Justia Opinion Summary: Environmental contamination from Shell Western Exploration and Production, Inc. and Shell Oil Company's operations was discovered in Hobbs. Residents near the area brought a toxic tort action against Shell for personal…

Deutsche Bank Nat'l Trust Co. v. Johnston  
Date: March 3, 2016
Docket Number: 34,726

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner Deutsche Bank National Trust Company, acting as trustee for Morgan Stanley ABS Capital 1 Inc. Trust 2006-NC4 (Deutsche Bank), filed a complaint seeking foreclosure on Respondent Johnny Johnston's home…

New Mexico v. Benally  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: 35,145

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2011, Norman Benally was driving a black Cadillac Escalade with a nonoperating headlight. A police officer stopped Benally, and during the stop, he smelled marijuana. The officer asked for consent to search the…

New Mexico v. Holt  
Date: February 25, 2016
Docket Number: 35,298

Justia Opinion Summary: Anthony Holt had partially removed a window screen from a residential dwelling when he the homeowner detected him. He fled. In the process of removing the screen, he placed his fingers behind the screen and inside the…

Safeway, Inc. v. Rooter 2000 Plumbing & Drain SSS  
Date: February 18, 2016
Docket Number: 33,969

Justia Opinion Summary: This appeal arises out of a cross-claim for contractual and traditional indemnification. Plaintiffs Briana and Jason Fierro alleged they suffered injuries when a baby changing table collapsed in a Safeway store, and that…

New Mexico v. Smith  
Date: February 15, 2016
Docket Number: 34,504

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Dorall Smith appealed his convictions for first-degree murder and criminal damage to property. Defendant raised ten issues as grounds for appeal: (1) there was insufficient evidence of deliberate intent to…

Rodriguez v. Brand West Dairy
Date: February 15, 2016
Citation: 2016-NMSC-006
Docket Numbers: 35,426, 35,438
State v. Gonzales
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: 35,291
In the Matter of Armando Torres, Esquire
Date: February 11, 2016
Docket Number: 35,460
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