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NM Justice System Failing Due To Inadequate Funding

on January 22, 2017 - 12:35pm
NM SUPREME COURT News:
 
SANTA FE  Supreme Court Chief Justice Charles W. Daniels told lawmakers Thursday that a lack of funding has damaged New Mexico’s justice system and potentially could cause the dismissal of criminal cases if courts are unable to provide speedy trials as constitutionally required.
 
“I wish I could tell you that New Mexico is providing the functioning justice system promised in the constitution that created ground rules of our government, but I can’t,” Daniels said in a State of the Judiciary speech to a joint session of the Legislature.

Los Alamos Magistrate Court Closed Beginning At Noon Thursday Until 8 a.m. Jan. 3

on December 19, 2016 - 10:39pm
MAGISTRATE COURT News:
 
Due to a staff shortage, the Los Alamos Magistrate Court will be closed noon Thursday, Dec. 22, until 8 a.m. Tuesday, Jan. 3.
 
The court apologizes for the inconvenience and advises that anyone who has a court date set during that time or has a payment due, should contact the court after Jan. 3, to set up arrangement's.
 
First Judicial District Court also will be closed Wednesday, Dec. 21 and Dec. 28. District court will be open in Santa Fe and Tierra Amarilla on those dates. District Court in Los Alamos will be open for business Wednesday, Jan.

FBI: Navajo Man Gets 17.5 Years In Federal Prison

on December 17, 2016 - 7:42am
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE  Ferguson Pierce, 52, an enrolled member of the Navajo Nation who resides in Farmington was sentenced Friday morning in federal court in Santa Fe to 210 months in prison followed by10 years of supervised release for his conviction on an aggravated sexual abuse charge.
 
Pierce also will be required to register as a sex offender after he completes his prison sentence.
 
The sentence was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P.

Senators Call On Trump Education Secretary Nominee DeVos To Pay $5.3 Million In Election Violation Fines

on December 14, 2016 - 11:07am
SENATE News:
 
WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Senators Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Edward J. Markey (D-Mass.) and Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) announced Tuesday that they are calling on President-elect Trump's nominee for Secretary of Education, Betsy DeVos, to ensure payment of the $5.3 million in fines and penalties owed by DeVos’ All Children Matter Political Action Committee (PAC) for campaign finance violations dating back to 2008.
 
All Children Matter broke Ohio election law by illegally funneling $870,000 in contributions from its nationwide PAC to its

AG Files Suit Against New Mexico Businessman Accused Of Deceiving Low-Income Home Buyers

on December 13, 2016 - 7:03am
New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas is suing a businessman fro deceptive seller-financed home sales in Albuquerque. Courtesy photo
 
STATE News:
 
A New Mexico businessman claimed to help low-income Spanish-speaking families by finding them foreclosed homes to buy and, in some cases, financing the deals.
 
But the state’s attorney general said Wednesday that Jesus Cano of Albuquerque deceived dozens of consumers by misrepresenting the conditions of the often poorly maintained homes he sold.

Albuquerque Man Charged With Using Explosive Device To Damage Or Destroy Building

on November 30, 2016 - 10:36am
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE ― David A. Hickman, 28, of Albuquerque has been charged with using an explosive device to damage or destroy a building – the Old Navy store in the Pavilions at San Mateo shopping center in Albuquerque – used in interstate commerce.
 
The charge against Hickman was announced by U.S. Attorney Damon P. Martinez, Special Agent in Charge Terry Wade of the FBI’s Albuquerque Division, Special Agent in Charge Thomas G. Atteberry of the Phoenix Field Division of the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF), Chief Gorden E.

Dabney: Celebrate Without Legal Trouble ... Don't Drink And Drive

on November 26, 2016 - 10:41am

By Attorney PHILIP J. DABNEY
Reid Griffith Law Firm

The holiday season brings many causes for celebration. Celebration often includes partaking in alcohol. While most will drink responsibly, even light drinkers need to take all possible measures to avoid operating a vehicle after drinking. 

When my Grandpa Dabney was young, he got drunk one night and drove his car into a tree. He wrecked the car but somehow avoided injury or arrest. Being a smart man, though, he realized the dangers of drinking and drivIng. So he quit driving. Permanently. Seriously! 

I'm not advocating such drastic action.

Public Hearing On Judiciary Proposed Policy For Online Access To Court Records Dec. 6

on November 21, 2016 - 4:20pm

NM SUPREME COURT News:

Attorneys and their staff, the press, and justice partners, including law enforcement and child welfare agencies, could be granted online access to electronic records in court case files under a proposal before the New Mexico Judiciary.

If adopted by the New Mexico Supreme Court, the proposal would permit approved users to view public records from their computer terminals 24 hours a day, seven days a week through a restricted access system operated by the Judicial Information Division.

Interested parties are invited to comment on the proposal at a public hearing 9

Alternative Dispute Resolution Awards Announced

on November 20, 2016 - 5:46am
Members of the 2016 ADR Excellence Award-Metro Court Mediation Division. Courtesy photo
 
NMSC News:
 
The New Mexico Supreme Court’s Statewide Alternative Dispute Resolution Commission has is pleased to announce the recipients of an annual award recognizing achievement in court-connected dispute resolution services.  
 
The Metropolitan Court’s Mediation Division was honored for its 30 years of public service at a celebration held last month in Albuquerque.

Water Right Owners Flood Town Hall In Pojoaque

on November 19, 2016 - 6:15pm

Several hundred water right owners gather Monday at a town hall meeting in Pojoaque on the Aamodt Water Settlement organized by State Rep. Carl Trujillo (D-Nambe). Courtesy photo

Staff Report

Pojoaque – Monday, Nov. 14, several hundred water right owners attended a town hall meeting on the Aamodt Water Settlement meeting organized by State Rep. Carl Trujillo (D-Nambe). 

The Aamodt Settlement, which was originally filed in Federal Court in 1966 to settle all water claims in the Nambe-Pojoaque-Tesuque Basin (NPT Basin) for both pueblo and non-pueblo people, is now nearing a final conclusion

AG Balderas Announces $32 Million Judgment Against FastBucks To Benefit New Mexico Consumers

on November 9, 2016 - 12:10pm
AG Office News:
 
SANTA FE  This morning, Attorney General Hector Balderas announced that a district court judge ruled New Mexicans should receive upwards of $32 million from FastBucks for their unfair and unconscionable business practices.
 
First Judicial District Judge Francis J. Mathew ruled that FastBucks should pay the sum of $32,255,054 in restitution to the consumer borrowers who were taken advantage of by FastBucks' business practices.
 
The suit was brought by the Office of the Attorney General for violations of New Mexico law.

Letter To The Editor: Clarifying Same Sex Marriage License Litigation Case

on November 3, 2016 - 7:04pm

By BECKY EHLER
Former County Attorney

I would like to clarify the cost and the position of the Los Alamos County Clerk during the same sex marriage license litigation case.

First, Los Alamos County did not expend any funds for representing the Clerk, Sharon Stover in the litigation. The entire Los Alamos County case was handled by the County’s in-house legal
staff. Likewise, Los Alamos County did not pay any of the cost of the Supreme Court case where the issue was decided for the entire state.

Second, the response to the temporary order did not indicate that Ms.

Nobile: Why Am I Running For Probate Judge?

on October 27, 2016 - 11:42am
By Anne Nobile
Candidate for Probate Judge

Last winter I became aware there would be an opportunity to continue being of service to Los Alamos County in a capacity I would enjoy. With the encouragement of longtime friends and fellow volunteers, I soon applied.

I was appointed by the County Council June 21 for a term lasting until Dec. 31.

My letter of interest reviewed my experience as a paralegal, applying government regulations, such as OSHA and ANSI, in my job at the Lab and volunteering as a Planning & Zoning Commissioner for six years.

Chicoine: We Need A DA Who Will Enforce The Law

on October 27, 2016 - 9:04am
By YVONNE CHICOINE
GOP Candidate for District Attorney

I am seeking election as your District Attorney because I believe the people of Los Alamos, Rio Arriba and Santa Fe Counties deserve a District Attorney who is committed to restoring respect for the rule of law. 

We need change.  We need a District Attorney who makes clear that criminal conduct is unacceptable, and who is willing and unafraid to hold lawbreakers accountable.

Accountability means an end to revolving door justice. It means greater safety and security for all of us. Accountability makes second chances possible.

The

Letter To The Editor: Endorsement Of Anne Nobile For County Probate Judge

on October 23, 2016 - 10:26am
By ROBERT WELLS
Los Alamos

I enthusiastically support Anne Nobile for County Probate Judge. I have known Anne for a number of years and worked with her on behalf of Los Alamos schools issues; e.g., support of Jody Benson for the School Board, which was a successful endeavor. Anne's credibility for serving this judicial position is reflected in her having been appointed Probate Judge by our bipartisan County Council. Having served as the County's probate judge, she knows the job – and will faithfully continue to do the job needed and expected by County citizens.

In addition to my

Status Hearing On AFTNM-ATF Lawsuit Monday

on October 23, 2016 - 7:01am

2016 Model International Criminal Court Mock Trials

on October 21, 2016 - 5:44am

Dispennette: Merging Of My Backgrounds Needed For Probate Judge

on October 20, 2016 - 8:55am
By ABE DISPENNETTE
GOP Candidate
Probate Judge

I am asking for your vote to be Los Alamos’ next Probate Judge because I believe who I am and my professional experience make me uniquely qualified for this position.

As an Army Chaplain I spent years helping families through some of the most intense moments many of us could imagine. With two combat tours myself to Iraq and Afghanistan, I became an expert in family crisis management as well as helping my soldiers deal with PTSD.

County Attorney Finalists Share Interests In Job

on October 19, 2016 - 3:37pm
County Manager Harry Burgess, center, speaks with County Attorney finalists and guests at an Oct. 6 community reception at the Los Alamos Golf Course. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com 
 
By CAROL A. CLARK
Los Alamos Daily Post
 

The four finalists for the Los Alamos County Attorney position gathered at a community reception Oct. 6 in the Community Room at the Los Alamos County Golf Course.

Letter To The Editor: Keep Justice Judy

on October 17, 2016 - 10:02am
By VERNON N. KERR
Former Representative, Dist. 43, 1971-1986
Los Alamos
 
I have known Judy Nakamura for over 30 years and have followed her career as a member of the judiciary.
 
I first met Judy as a member of the Young Republicans where Judy worked hard to encourage young talented people to run for public office. She was enthusiastic and tireless. She impressed me and we became fast friends. I remember she was encouraged to go to law school and she entered the UNM School of Law. After law school I did not hear much of her, but when she ran for office and won, I was proud of her.
 

FBI: Former Jicarilla Apache Nation Purchasing Agent Sentenced For Federal Embezzlement Conviction

on October 11, 2016 - 10:03am
FBI News:
 
ALBUQUERQUE – The former purchasing agent for the Jicarilla Apache Nation was sentenced Monday in federal court in Albuquerque to three years of probation and ordered to pay $5,000 in restitution for embezzling funds from the Jicarilla Apache Nation.
 
Vanessa Cohoe, now known as Vanessa Vicenti, 46, formerly of Dulce, was charged in an indictment filed Dec. 17, 2015, with theft of funds belonging to the Jicarilla Apache Nation, an organization receiving more than $10,000 in federal funds. 
 
The indictment alleged that Cohoe committed the crime by embezzling approximately

Candidates Face Off At Thursday's LWV Forum

on October 11, 2016 - 8:23am
House Dist. 43 candidates Sharon Stover (R), left, and Rep. Stephanie Garcia Richard (D) address the audience at the League of Women Voters Forum Thursday evening at UNM-LA. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
Community members pack the Student Center at UNM-LA for Thursday's Candidates Forum hosted by the League of Women Voters. Photo by Carol A. Clark/ladailypost.com
 
From left, district attorney candidates Marco Serna (D) and Yvonne Chicoine (R) field questions from the audience as emcee Becky Shankland looks on during the League of Women Voters Forum Thursday at UNM-LA.

League Of Women Voters Endorses Constitutional Amendment One 2016 – Bail Bond Reform

on October 9, 2016 - 4:35pm
By Dr. Meredith R. Machen, President
League of Women Voters of New Mexico

New Mexicans have the opportunity to make badlyneededchanges in the state’s antiquated bail bond system----a system dating back to Pennsylvania state laws from the 1700s. 

In short, the amendment would give judges the power to keep dangerous, violent offenders in jail and the discretion to release poor non-violent offenders. In other words, release decisions would be based on criminal history, community threat and flight risk, not on ability to pay for a “get out jail” card.

The first part of the amendment says,

Los Alamos High School Graduate Sierra Lin (Gutgsell) Moller Passes Colorado Bar Exam

on October 9, 2016 - 12:49pm

Sierra Lin (Gutgsell) Moller at her Law School Graduation May 7, 2016. Courtesy photo

COMMUNITY News:

Sierra Lin (Gutgsell) Moller has passed the Colorado 2016 Bar Exam.

She is a 2007 graduate of Los Alamos High School.

“Your family and community are so proud of you!” says mom Linda Gutgsell.

Letter To The Editor: Support Judge Anne Nobile For Probate Judge

on October 9, 2016 - 12:21pm
By CHRIS CHANDLER
Former Los Alamos Probate Judge

I am writing in support of Judge Anne Nobile, Los Alamos’ current Probate Judge and candidate for the position in this election.

As a former probate judge, I know what the job entails and understand the qualifications and personal commitment necessary to be an effective probate judge. Judge Nobile is experienced in interpreting laws, rules and requirements, an important component of the position. She has completed the necessary training for probate judges at the New Mexico Judicial Education Center. 

Prior to moving to Los Alamos, Judge

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