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New Mexico Common Law Law

In this case, we address whether the retroactive application of the Fraud
4 Against Taxpayers Act, NMSA 1978, Sections 44-9-1 to -14 (2007) (“FATA” or “the
5 Act”) violates the Ex Post Facto Clauses of the United States and New Mexico
6 Constitutions. See U.S. Const. art 1, § 10, cl. 1; N.M. Const. art. 2, § 19. We hold
7 that FATA is constitutional. The treble damages under FA... More...
   $0 (08-05-2015 - NM)

Tori V. Arnell v. Dora Consolidated School District

Amber Shaw coached Plaintiff Tori Varnell in several sports while she was a student in the Dora Consolidated School District (Dora Schools). According to Plaintiff, Shaw sexually abused her for more than a year, ending while she was in the ninth grade, sometime in late 2006 or early 2007. On May 24, 2012, when Plaintiff was 20, she sued Ms. Shaw, Dora Schools, and Dora Schools Superintendent Steve... More...   $0 (07-01-2014 - NM)

Thi of New Mexico at Hobbs Center, LLC v. Lillie Mae Patton

Under New Mexico law a compulsory-arbitration provision in a contract may be unconscionable, and therefore unenforceable, if it applies only, or primarily, to claims that just one party to the contract is likely to bring. The question before us is whether the Federal Arbitration Act (FAA) preempts this state law for contracts governed by the FAA. We hold that New Mexico law is preempted in this ca... More...   $0 (01-28-2014 - NM)

Rose Griego v. Maggie Toulouse Oliver

{1} “All persons are born equally free, and have certain natural, inherent and inalienable rights, among which are the rights of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property, and of seeking and obtaining safety and happiness.” N.M. Const. art. II, § 4. These inherent rights, enjoyed by all New Mexicans, appear along with twenty-three other provisio... More...   $0 (01-10-2014 - NM)

Herman Spencer v. Paul Barber


Paul Barber and his law firm, Barber & Borg, L.L.C. (Barber), were the attorneys for Ellen Sam. Barber filed a lawsuit against numerous defendants for injuries Sam sustained when her car was struck from behind on Interstate 40 (I-40). Barber also represented Sam in her capacity as the personal representative of the estates of her daughter and granddaughter, both of whom died from inju... More...
   $0 (03-11-2013 - NM)

Edwin Smith, LLC v. Synergy Operating, LLC

{1} “There is nothing which so generally strikes the imagination, and engages the affections of mankind, as the right of property.” 2 William Blackstone, Commentaries on the Laws of England 2 (Univ. of Chicago Press ed. 1979) (1766). The property that has captured the affections of the litigants in this case is a parcel of land located in San Juan County with productive oil and gas wells there... More...   $0 (08-24-2012 - NM)

United States of America v. Gilbert J. Turrietta

A federal jury convicted Gilbert Turrietta of assaulting a law enforcement officer. The jury reached its verdict despite having never been sworn. The problem would have gone unnoticed were it not for a belated objection from Turrietta’s attorney, Charles Knoblauch. He knew from the outset of the trial that the jury had not been sworn, yet strategically reserved any objection until a guilty verdi... More...   $0 (08-29-2012 - NM)

San Juan Coal Company v. International Union of Operating Engineers, Local 953

An arbitrator’s interpretation of an agreement, even one that is flawed or based on questionable findings of fact, is due the utmost judicial deference. It matters not that a reviewing court might offer a more cogent reading of the agreement; the arbitrator’s interpretation must be upheld wholly unless it is without any textual basis. San Juan Coal Company (“San Juan”) and the Internationa... More...   $0 (03-06-2012 - NM)

H. Robert Warren v. Campbell Farming Corporation

This case involves a closely held Montana corporation with its principal place of business in New Mexico. During the relevant time period, three shareholders controlled all of the shares of Campbell Farming Corporation (“the company”). Defendant Stephanie Gately controlled 51% of the shares and plaintiffs H. Robert Warren and Joan Crocker controlled the remaining 49% of the shares. The company... More...   $0 (02-15-2012 - NM)

Secsys, LLC v. Robert Vigil

Public officials using the power of their perches to wring money and favors from those they are supposed to serve is a problem as old as government itself. But the problem hardly persists for a lack of effort to eradicate it. Cicero tried to expunge extortion from the public arena when he prosecuted the plundering Roman governor Gaius Verres, and we do much the same today when we prosecute plunder... More...   $0 (01-23-2012 - NM)

Paul Brule v. Blue Cross and Blue Shield of New Mexico

Plaintiff-Appellant Paul Brule appeals the district court’s dismissal of his claims for tortious interference with prospective contractual relations and negligence pursuant to Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 12(b)(6). Exercising jurisdiction under 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we affirm.


A. Factual Background

Because we are reviewing a dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6), the f... More...
   $0 (12-22-2011 - NM)

Jason Kerns v. Albuquerque Police Department Officers Drew Bader, et al.

Do we have to decide a qualified immunity appeal involving close questions of law that the district court hasn’t yet addressed? Do the police violate a suspect’s clearly established rights by requesting his hospital records? And do authorities have probable cause to arrest a trained marksman who makes suspicious statements in the wake of a shooting, who leads officers on a high speed chase, an... More...   $0 (12-20-2011 - NM)

William Miller v. Donna Arbogast

Plaintiff-Appellant, William Miller, appeals from the entry of summary judgment in favor of Defendants Donna Arbogast, Michael Fox, and Paul Spiers in this 42 U.S.C. § 1983 malicious prosecution action. Miller’s claims arise from the investigation of the 1999 murder of Girly Hossencofft in Albuquerque, New Mexico. The district court granted summary judgment to all defendants because Miller fail... More...   $0 (10-25-2011 - NM)

Herman Spencer v. Paul Barber

{1} This case evolved from a wrongful death action filed by Plaintiff Ellen Sam as personal representative of the estates of her daughter, Hermanda Spencer, and her granddaughter, Lydia Burnett. Through her attorneys, third-party Defendants Paul Barber and the law firm of Barber & Borg, LLC (collectively Barber), Sam entered into a settlement agreement with decedent Hermanda Spencer’s father, De... More...   $0 (09-09-2011 - NM)

Eker Brothers, Inc. v. John G. Rehders, General Contractor, Inc.

{1} Eker Brothers, Inc. (Subcontractor) sued John G. Rehders, General Contractor, Inc. (General) seeking payment for work Subcontractor had performed. The district court found that Subcontractor was owed $74,964.05 and that General had incurred $42,448.20 in damages, but that Subcontractor’s “claims [were] barred by its willful, material[,] and 1It would appear that the additional $0.09 is a t... More...   $0 (08-02-2011 - NM)

Eker Brothers, Inc. v. John G. Rehders, General Contractor, Inc.

{1} Eker Brothers, Inc. (Subcontractor) sued John G. Rehders, General Contractor, Inc. (General) seeking payment for work Subcontractor had performed. The district court found that Subcontractor was owed $74,964.05 and that General had incurred $42,448.20 in damages, but that Subcontractor’s “claims [were] barred by its willful, material[,] and anticipatory breach of the parties’ contract.â€... More...   $0 (08-02-2011 - NM)

Lynette Concha v. Hon. SAm B. Sanchez

{1} The extraordinary contempt powers of our courts often require judges to accommodate important, but potentially conflicting, obligations. Judges must take reasonable and necessary steps to maintain the order and safety of our court processes. At the same time, they must comply with fundamental principles of our constitutional system of due process of law to ensure that the judiciary itself does... More...   $0 (07-19-2011 - NM)

Kim Rivera v. American General Financial Services, Inc.

{1} We granted certiorari in this case to review a Court of Appeals opinion upholding a district court’s order compelling arbitration of Petitioner Kim Rivera’s claims against a title loan lender, American General Financial Services, Inc., and its affiliated insurance agency, American Security Insurance Company. We base our reversal of those decisions on our holding that the arbitration provis... More...   $0 (07-27-2011 - NM)

Eve Randles v. Allegra Hanson and KCB, LLC

{1} In this appeal, we must determine the legal and equitable remedies available to performing and contributing coguarantors against a principal debtor who has defaulted on a loan. Adopting the approach of the Restatement (Third) of Suretyship and Guaranty, we hold that a coguarantor who has fulfilled a duty of contribution to a performing coguarantor is entitled to recourse against a principal de... More...   $0 (04-27-2011 - NM)

Andrea J. Felts v. CLK Management, Inc.

{1} The opinion filed in this case on March 2, 2011, is hereby withdrawn, and the following opinion is filed in its place. The motions for rehearing filed by Defendants are denied.

{2} In this consolidated case, Defendants CLK Management, Inc. (CLK) and Cash Advance Network, Inc. (CANI) (collectively, Defendants) appeal the district court’s denial of their respective motions to compel a... More...
   $0 (04-08-2011 - NM)

Carmen M. Alcantar v. Joe Sanchez

{1} This appeal presents issues relating to the garnishment of funds held in a joint bank account. The district court awarded summary judgment in favor of the bank. For the reasons that follow, we affirm in part, reverse in part, and remand for further proceedings.


{2} Our standard of review is well settled. “Summary judgment is appropriate where there are... More...
   $0 (04-22-2011 - NM)

Eve Randles v. Allegra Hanson and KCB, LLC

{1} In this appeal, we must determine the legal and equitable remedies available to performing and contributing coguarantors against a principal debtor who has defaulted on a loan. Adopting the approach of the Restatement (Third) of Suretyship and Guaranty, we hold that a coguarantor who has fulfilled a duty of contribution to a performing coguarantor is entitled to recourse against a principal de... More...   $0 (04-27-2011 - NM)

Max W. Coll, II v. First American Title Insurance Company

In this litigation, Plaintiffs challenge New Mexico’s statutory scheme regulating title insurance, arguing it is contrary to state law. Here, Plaintiffs appeal the district court’s decision dismissing their claims against several title insurance companies that have complied with this New Mexico law. Having jurisdiction pursuant to 28 U.S.C. § 1291, we AFFIRM.1


... More...
   $0 (04-26-2011 - NM)

Jhette Diamond v. Adrienne Diamond

{1} The central question presented by this case is whether a court may award child support to a minor child who has been emancipated pursuant to the Emancipation of Minors Act (EMA), NMSA 1978, §§ 32A-21-1 to -7 (1995), for the period after emancipation and continuing until the emancipated minor reaches the age of eighteen. This case is consolidated from two district court cases. In the first ca... More...   $0 (12-20-2010 - NM)

Dustin Oldham v. Glenda Oldman

{1} This case requires us to interpret and harmonize potentially conflicting provisions within our domestic relations, probate, and trust statutes to determine the process through which a decedent’s estate is defined and distributed when one party to a pending divorce proceeding dies before a final divorce decree is entered. Under these circumstances, a provision within New Mexico’s domestic r... More...   $0 (02-04-2011 - NM)

Albuquerque Commons Partnership v. City Council of the City of Albuquerque

{1} The issue presented in this appeal is whether NMSA 1978, Section 56-8-4(D) (2004), bars an award of post-judgment interest against the state and its political subdivisions when a plaintiff successfully establishes the deprivation of a federally protected constitutional right in violation of 42 U.S.C. § 1983 (2006) (Section 1983). If post-judgment interest is not barred, we must determine whet... More...   $0 (01-03-2011 - NM)

Bani Chatterjee v. Taya King

{1} This case involves the issue of whether a non-parent has standing to assert a custody and/or visitation claim, absent a finding of unfitness of the natural or adoptive parent, under New Mexico statutory or case law. Petitioner Bani Chatterjee appeals the district court’s dismissal of her petition to establish parentage and determine custody and time sharing with regard to the adopted child o... More...   $0 (12-01-2010 - NM)

Timothy Marckstadt v. Lockheed Martin Corporation Missiles & Fire Control

{1} In these consolidated cases, Appellants, employees who were injured on the job, sought uninsured or underinsured (UM/UIM) motorist benefits under their employers’ insurance policies, which were denied. They claim that because they were covered under their employers’ automobile liability policies and because their employers and their employers’ insurers failed to properly reject UM/UIM co... More...   $0 (11-19-2010 - NM)

Edward Villa v. City of Las Cruces

{1} City of Las Cruces (Employer) appeals from a workers’ compensation judge’s (WCJ) compensation order awarding Edward Villa (Worker) disability benefits. The issue is whether Worker’s on-the-job intoxicated state barred him from recovery under the Workers’ Compensation Act (the Act). The issue requires us to consider the meaning and application of two sections of the Act, namely, NMSA 19... More...   $0 (09-22-2010 - NM)

Donald E. Kilgore v. Fuji Heavy Industries, Ltd.

{1} In this appeal, we reconsider and clarify the “presumption of prejudice” that attaches to extraneous juror communications. After reviewing New Mexico case law in light of United States Supreme Court precedent, we conclude that the party moving for a new trial based on extraneous juror communications bears the burden to prove that (1) material extraneous to the trial actually reached the ju... More...   $0 (08-03-2010 - NM)

Warren and Betty Beaver v. Michael and karen Brumlow

{1} This case is about a verbal agreement made by Warren and Betty Beaver (Sellers) to sell land for a home site to Michael and Karen Brumlow (Buyers). Sellers reneged on the agreement after Mr. Brumlow left Sellers’ employment and started working for a competitor. The trial court ordered specific performance of the oral agreement, and Sellers appeal. Sellers acknowledge that the evidence was su... More...   $0 (03-04-2010 - NM)

Gina Mendoza v. Tamaya Enterprises, Inc.

{1} Gina Mendoza and Michael Hart (Plaintiffs), as personal representatives of Michael and Desiree Mendoza, brought a wrongful death action against Tamaya Enterprises, Inc. (Tamaya) in the Bernalillo County District Court. The complaint alleged that Tamaya sold alcohol to Michael and Desiree Mendoza at a social function despite their intoxication and, as a result of Tamaya’s negligence, they wer... More...   $0 (05-31-2010 - NM)

Michael Wachocki v. Bernalillo County Sheriff's Department

{1} The Bernalillo County Sheriff’s Department (BCSD) appeals the judgment of the district court holding it thirty percent liable for the wrongful death of Jason Wachocki. BCSD argues (1) that several of the district court’s factual findings were not supported by substantial evidence; (2) that the district court erred in finding that Jason Wachocki had no comparative fault in causing his death... More...   $0 (11-24-2009 - NM)

Nanodetex Corporation v. Defiant Technologies

Defiant claims that Nanodetex maliciously abused legal process by filing a meritless lawsuit against it that was really aimed at “tying up” Defiant in litigation so that it could not pursue its business plan and would be forced to merge its business into Nanodetex’s. At trial, the jury agreed and awarded Defiant $2,000,001 in damages. Nanodetex now appeals this result. In this diversity disp... More...   $0 (10-15-2009 - NM)

Doxanne Martinez, et al. v. Jose Cornejo, et al.

{1} In this case, we resolve two questions that require us to interpret the Trade Practices and Frauds Act (the TPFA) of the Insurance Code, NMSA 1978, § 59A-16-1 to -30 (1984, as amended through 2007). First, we consider whether a manager of a group of insurance adjusters can be held personally liable for violations of the TPFA. We hold that such an employee is subject to the private right ... More...   $0 (11-14-2008 - NM)

Jamie Durham and Travis Durham v. Suzanne Guest

{1} Plaintiffs Jamie Durham (Jamie) and Travis Durham (Travis) (together, the Durhams) sued Suzanne Guest (Guest) for malicious abuse of process, alleging that she issued subpoenas for an illegitimate purpose in an arbitration proceeding. Guest contends that the Durhams failed to state a malicious abuse of process claim under DeVaney v. Thriftway Marketing Corp., 1998-NMSC-001, 124 N.M. 512, ... More...   $0 (02-20-2009 - NM)

Lynn Buck, et al. v. City of Albuquerque, et al.

In this fact-bound interlocutory appeal, Captain John Gonzales appeals the district court’s denial of his motion for summary judgment as to six claims against him, each originating in events that transpired during an antiwar rally at the University of New Mexico (“UNM”). Captain Gonzales raises six challenges to the district court’s order: the district court erred when it denied summary ju... More...   $0 (12-09-2008 - NM)

Suzanne Guest and The Guest Law Firm, P.C. v. David Berardinelli and Cheryl McLean

{1} Plaintiffs, Suzanne Guest and the Guest Law Firm (Guest), appeal the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendants, David Berardinelli (Berardinelli) and Cheryl McLean (McLean) (collectively referred to as Defendants), on three claims: (1) malicious abuse of process, (2) interference with existing and prospective contractual relations, and (3) prima facie tort. Guest... More...   $0 (02-29-2008 - NM)

Linda Martin v. Middle Rio Grande Conservancy District

{1} In this case we decide whether the recreational use provision of the Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Act, NMSA 1978, § 66-3-1013(A) (2005) (OHMVA), which limits landowner liability for damages arising out of off-highway motor vehicle-related accidents or injuries occurring on the landowner’s lands, applies to government landowners as well as private landowners. Having considered the OHMVA in... More...   $0 (09-11-2008 - NM)

DAvid Ovecka and Janice Ovecka v. Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company

{1} Plaintiffs appeal from the district court’s grant of summary judgment in favor of Defendant Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway Company (BNSF) on Plaintiffs’ claims of vicarious and direct liability for negligence. Plaintiffs’ daughter, Angela Ovecka, was killed in an automobile collision with BNSF’s employee, Kenneth Long. Long was highly intoxicated at the time of the accident.... More...   $0 (07-09-2008 - NM)

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