New Mexico Supreme Court Decisions 2018

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…

New Mexico ex rel. CYFD v. Mercer-Smith  
Date: December 20, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35427

Justia Opinion Summary: While the parties in this case litigated contempt proceedings over the course of seven years, the children at the center of the case aged out of the system and became peripheral to a nearly $4,000,000 judgment in favor…

Moses v. Ruszkowski  
Date: December 13, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-34974

Justia Opinion Summary: In Moses v. Skanders (Moses II), the New Mexico Supreme Court considered whether using public funds to lend textbooks to private school students violated Article XII, Section 3. In Moses II, the Court held the plain…

New Mexico v. Candelaria  
Date: December 13, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35887

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose from the tragic death of an innocent eight-year-old child as a result of a violent confrontation between two groups of men. A jury convicted defendant David Candelaria of first-degree depraved mind…

State v. Fuschini
Date: December 6, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36489
Lukens v. Franco  
Date: November 29, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35491

Justia Opinion Summary: Petitioner David Lukens, Jr. sought habeas relief, claiming he received ineffective assistance of appellate counsel. The issues he raised before the New Mexico Supreme Court centered on: (1) whether prejudice due to…

New Mexico v. Lewis  
Date: November 1, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36428

Justia Opinion Summary: New Mexico prosecuted Defendant Kelson Lewis under a five-count indictment. The only count at issue in this appeal was Count 1, under which Defendant was charged with criminal sexual contact of a minor (CSCM). At the…

State v. Rodriguez
Date: September 20, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36459
Baker v. Endeavor Servs.  
Date: September 6, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36651

Justia Opinion Summary: Casey Baker (Worker) appealed a Workers’ Compensation Administration decision denying his request that Endeavor Services, Inc. and Great West Casualty Company (Employer) pay 100% of Worker’s attorney fees pursuant to the…

New Mexico v. Loza  
Date: August 23, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35391

Justia Opinion Summary: On November 1, 2011, officers discovered Defendant Matias Loza smelling strongly of gasoline and cowering under a fifth-wheel trailer. One hundred yards away, a Suzuki automobile containing the human remains of Richard…

State v. Ortiz
Date: August 13, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36061
State v. Suarez
Date: August 13, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36080
State v. Hurd
Date: July 26, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36153
State v. Navarette
Date: July 19, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35528
State v. Tegeda
Date: July 19, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35942
State v. Cales
Date: July 16, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36164
State v. Pinon
Date: June 21, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36408
New Mexico ex rel. CYFD v. Keon H.  
Date: June 18, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36028

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Children, Youth and Families Department (the Department) appealed a Court of Appeals decision to reverse the district court’s termination of Father’s parental rights with regard to Child. Mother and Father…

Saenz v. Ranack Constructors, Inc.  
Date: April 30, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35515

Justia Opinion Summary: In a wrongful death action, the jury returned a special verdict that awarded damages to the individual loss-of-consortium claimants but not to the decedent’s estate. The decedent’s surviving spouse and children…

New Mexico v. Martinez  
Date: April 23, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35757

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendants Isaac Martinez and Carla Casias were each indicted on one count of armed robbery and one count of conspiracy to commit armed robbery. Early in the investigation of the robbery, a police detective enlisted the…

New Mexico v. Ameer  
Date: April 23, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36395

Justia Opinion Summary: In 2009, the New Mexico legislative and executive branches statutorily abolished capital punishment for first-degree murder, the only remaining New Mexico crime carrying a potential death sentence, for all offenses…

New Mexico v. Radosevich  
Date: April 12, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35864

Justia Opinion Summary: Just after midnight on September 8, 2012, Defendant John Radosevich’s neighbor called 911 to report that Defendant was yelling obscenities and throwing objects into his yard. After calling the police, the neighbor walked…

Ira v. Janecka  
Date: March 9, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35657

Justia Opinion Summary: Three federal Supreme Court cases created a special category under the Eighth Amendment for juvenile offenders whose culpability was mitigated by adolescence and immaturity. "The cases recognize that a juvenile is more…

New Mexico v. Arvizo  
Date: March 9, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36000

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Oscar Arvizo was found guilty of two counts of criminal sexual contact of a minor (CSCM) by a person in a position of authority, one in the second degree and one in the third degree. The Court of Appeals…

Gila Res. Info. Project v. N.M. Water Quality Control Comm'n  
Date: March 8, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35279

Justia Opinion Summary: In September 2013, the New Mexico Water Quality Control Commission (Commission) adopted the Copper Mine Rule, 20.6.7 NMAC (Copper Rule). Petitioners argued the Copper Rule violates the Water Quality Act (WQA) because it…

State v. Gardner
Date: March 8, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35981
Freeman v. Fairchild  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-34929

Justia Opinion Summary: Paul Fairchild Jr. asked the district court to grant summary judgment on his cross-claims against Defendants Richard Love and R.H. Love Galleries, Inc. (collectively Love) on the ground that Love failed to timely file a…

New Mexico v. Galindo  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35382

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Supreme Court affirmed Defendant Juan Galindo’s convictions for child abuse resulting in the death of his twenty-eight-day-old daughter (Baby) and his convictions for two counts of aggravated criminal…

Pacheco v. Hudson  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35445

Justia Opinion Summary: Early in the proceedings in New Mexico ex rel. King v. Valley Meat Co., LLC, No. D-101- 3 CV-2013-3197 (Valley Meat case), A. Blair Dunn, counsel for Valley Meat Co., e-mailed an Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA)…

New Energy Econ. v. N.M. Pub. Regulation Comm'n  
Date: March 5, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35697

Justia Opinion Summary: New Energy Economy, Inc. (NEE) appealed a final order issued by the New Mexico Public Regulation Commission (PRC). NEE contended the PRC violated New Mexico law by approving a contested stipulation granting the Public…

Garcia v. Hatch Valley Pub. Schs.  
Date: March 1, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35641

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff Natalie Garcia (née Watkins), sued her former employer, Defendant Hatch Valley Public Schools (HVPS), for employment discrimination under the New Mexico Human Rights Act (NMHRA). Plaintiff alleged that HVPS…

New Mexico v. Chakerian  
Date: February 22, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35121

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court's review centered on: (1) whether the arresting officer denied Defendant Stefan Chakerian the right to an independent chemical test in addition to one…

New Mexico v. Tapia  
Date: February 22, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35183

Justia Opinion Summary: In an issue of first impression, the New Mexico Supreme Court addressed an issue of whether evidence of non-violent crimes committed in the presence of a police officer after an unconstitutional traffic stop had to be…

New Mexico v. Chadwick-McNally  
Date: February 22, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36127

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Shanah Chadwick-McNally was charged with an open count of first-degree murder and faced a potential sentence of life without the possibility of release or parole (LWOP). She argued in this interlocutory appeal…

State v. Lucero
Date: February 19, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36128
New Mexico v. Franklin  
Date: February 15, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35995

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Corey Franklin pled guilty to one count of first-degree, willful and deliberate murder, the only offense currently designated as a “capital felony,” in exchange for life in prison with a possibility of parole.…

Enduro Operating LLC v. Echo Prod., Inc.  
Date: February 15, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36225

Justia Opinion Summary: Enduro Operating, LLC and Echo Production, Inc. were two of several parties to a joint operating agreement (JOA). Under the JOA, Echo, as a party wishing to undertake a new drilling project, had to provide notice of the…

Progressive Cas. Co. v. Vigil  
Date: February 12, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35130

Justia Opinion Summary: This case arose out of a dispute between insureds, Nancy Vigil and her stepson Martin Vigil, and their insurance company, Progressive Casualty Insurance Company, as to whether the Vigils’ policy was in effect at the time…

N.M. Pub. Educ. Dep't v. Zuni Pub. Sch. Dist. #89  
Date: February 12, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36009

Justia Opinion Summary: The issue this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court’s review centered on whether the New Mexico Public Education Department could take into consideration federal impact aid payments a school district receives,…

New Mexico v. Torres  
Date: February 8, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35477

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Noe Torres appealed his convictions on multiple offenses arising from the shooting into a home that missed the intended victim but resulted in the killing of a young boy. Among other questions he raised were…

State v. Carmona
Date: January 25, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36031
Beaudry v. Farmers Ins. Exch.  
Date: January 22, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36181

Justia Opinion Summary: Plaintiff and the corporate Defendants freely negotiated and entered into a clear and unambiguous contract for Plaintiff to sell their insurance policies. In the contract, Plaintiff consented to a provision allowing…

New Mexico v. Filemon V.  
Date: January 18, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35104

Justia Opinion Summary: The State of New Mexico appealed the suppression of two statements made by sixteen-year-old Filemon V. Filemon made the first statement to his probation officers. The New Mexico Supreme Court held that, absent a valid…

New Mexico v. Groves  
Date: January 11, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36363

Justia Opinion Summary: Defendant Elexus Groves was indicted on two counts of first-degree murder and other serious felony offenses. In this interlocutory appeal, she challenged a district court order of pretrial detention that was based on…

New Mexico ex rel. Torrez v. Whitaker  
Date: January 11, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-36379

Justia Opinion Summary: In this case, the New Mexico Supreme Court was asked to address the nature of evidentiary presentation required by the new detention authority approved by the New Mexico Legislature in February 2016 and passed by New…

New Mexico v. Maestas  
Date: January 8, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-34798

Justia Opinion Summary: The New Mexico Supreme Court examined whether the constitutional right to confrontation was forfeited as a result of a defendant’s own wrongdoing. Specifically, the Court questioned whether the wrongdoing required an…

Tran v. Bennett  
Date: January 4, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-34789

Justia Opinion Summary: This case involved three people who agreed to co-parent one minor Child: Tue Thi Tran (Mother); Clinton Demmon (Demmon), Child’s biological father and Mother’s current partner; and Robert Bennett (Bennett), who was…

New Mexico v. Martinez  
Date: January 4, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35116

Justia Opinion Summary: Police Sergeant George Rascon pulled over Defendant Jennifer Martinez for failing to stop at a stop sign and, as a result, the police obtained evidence that led to Defendant’s arrest and conviction for driving while…

New Mexico v. McDowell  
Date: January 4, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35245

Justia Opinion Summary: Following a jury trial, Defendant John “Jack” McDowell was convicted of first- degree murder and tampering with evidence. During trial, the prosecutor elicited testimony from the arresting detective, without objection,…

State v. Ramirez
Date: January 4, 2018
Docket Number: S-1-SC-35566
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