2019 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 12 - Miscellaneous Public Affairs Matters
Article 2A - Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act
Section 12-2A-8 - Prospective operation.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 12-2A-8 (2019)

A statute or rule operates prospectively only unless the statute or rule expressly provides otherwise or its context requires that it operate retrospectively.

History: Laws 1997, ch. 173, § 8.


Effective dates. — Laws 1997, ch. 173 § 22 made the Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act effective July 1, 1997.

Extending a statute of limitations. — Although the extension of a statute of limitations cannot revive a previously time-barred prosecution, it can extend an unexpired limitation period because such extension does not impair vested rights acquired under prior law, require new obligations, impose new duties or affix new disabilities to past transactions. Because capital felonies and first-degree violent felonies committed after July 1, 1982, were not time-barred as of the effective date of the 1997 amendment of Section 30-1-8 NMSA 1978, the legislature intended the 1997 amendment to apply to these crimes. State v. Morales, 2010-NMSC-026, 148 N.M. 305, 236 P.3d 24.

Presumption in favor of prospective operation unless clear intent otherwise. — It is presumed that statutes will operate prospectively only, unless an intention on the part of the legislature is clearly apparent to give them retrospective effect. State v. Perea, 2001-NMSC-026, 130 N.M. 732, 31 P.3d 1006; State v. Padilla, 1968-NMCA-004, 78 N.M. 702, 437 P.2d 163.

Retroactive operation not mandated by existence of facts prior to enactment. — A statute does not operate retroactively merely because some of the facts or conditions upon which its application depends came into existence prior to the enactment. State v. Mears, 1968-NMCA-098, 79 N.M. 715, 449 P.2d 85.

Clarification of existing law. — A statute which clarifies existing law may properly be regarded as having prospective effect. Swink v. Fingado, 115 N.M. 275, 850 P.2d 978 (1993).

As a general rule retrospective legislation is not favored. — As a general rule, retrospective or retroactive legislation is not looked upon with favor. For this reason, it is a well established and fundamental rule of statutory construction that all statutes are to be construed as having only a prospective operation. 1960 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 60-203.

Therefore all statutes operate prospectively and not retrospectively. — All statutes are to be construed as having only a prospective operation and not as operating retrospectively. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 57-261.

Clear intent is for retrospective effect. — Statutes are presumed to have only prospective effect unless there is strong and clear language of an intent for them to have a retrospective effect. 1960 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 60-192.

Intent controls retroactively but an emergency clause implies prospective effect. — Generally, statutes will not be given a retroactive interpretation, especially where the enactment is in derogation of a common-law right or where such interpretation would interfere with an existing contract or create a new liability in connection with a past transaction, invalidate a previously valid defense, or where such an interpretation would render a statute unconstitutional. However, if the intention that a law be retroactive is manifest, such intention will control even though not expressly stated. On the other hand, an emergency clause in the enactment is some indication that the law was not intended to have retroactive effect. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 57-127.

Statutes of limitation ordinarily will not be given retroactive effect unless it clearly appears that the legislature so intended. 1960 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 60-203.

New matter in amended statute has no retrospective effect. — A statute amending a prior one by declaring that it shall be amended so as to read in a given manner has no retrospective effect. The portion of the amended statute, which is merely copied without change, is not to be considered as repealed and again enacted, but to have been the law; and the new parts are not to be taken as to have been the law prior to the passage of the amended statute. 1957 Op. Att'y Gen. No. 57-20.

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