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Courts

  • NM court rules against family given brain in bag

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — The state Court of Appeals has ruled that a New Mexico family can't sue an out-of-state funeral home for placing a relative's brain in a casket before shipping an embalmed body to New Mexico.

    The family, whose identity isn't revealed in the damage lawsuit, discovered the brain after smelling a "foul odor" a day after a New Mexico funeral home gave it to them in a bag containing the personal effects of a woman killed in a 2009 automobile accident in Utah. The brain was in a separate plastic bag labeled with the word "brain."

    The court ruled Wednesday that Serenicare Funeral Home in Draper, Utah didn't have enough contact with New Mexico for it to be sued in this state. The family has filed a separate lawsuit in Utah.

  • Mom Gets 99 Years for Gluing Tot's Hands

    A Dallas woman who beat her 2-year-old daughter and glued the toddler's hands to a wall was sentenced Friday to 99 years in prison by a judge who described his decision as a necessary punishment for a brutal, shocking attack.

  • Local Courts: On the Docket 10-03-12

    Sept. 27

    John Arthur Ross was found guilty in magistrate court of driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs with a .08 blood alcohol level.
    Ross paid a court fee of $241 and was assigned supervised probation for one year.
    Conditions of probation includes obeying all laws and not be arrested during probation period; defendant must comply with all court ordered conditions of probation; defendant must enter and complete DWI school within 90 days; defendant must enter and participated in a drug and alcohol treatment session with at least six sessions; must obtain an ignition interlock license and have an interlock ignition switch installed in all vehicles defendant uses; defendant must not possess or consume alcohol during probation period; defendant shall pay all cost associated with having and installing an interlock ignition switch; shall not possess a destructive device or deadly weapon and must meet with probation officer within seven days and maintain contact as instructed.

    Donaven B. Vanwijkweijer was found guilty in magistrate court of criminal trespass.
    Vanwijkweijer was ordered to pay a court fee of $73.

    Douglas W. Mefford was found guilty in magistrate court of driving while under the influence of liquor and/or drugs with a .08 blood alcohol level.

  • Man Gets $7 Million in Popcorn Lung Lawsuit
  • Local Courts: On the Docket 09-20-12

    Heather Philips was found guilty by the Los Alamos Magistrate Court of disorderly conduct; the charge was originally battery against a household member.
    Wilson was ordered to pay $73 in court fees and undergo supervised probation for 182 days.
    Conditions of probation include: Avoiding arrest during her probation period and complying with all court-ordered conditions of probation. Philips was also ordered not to possess or consume alcohol or enter an establishment where liquor is served. She also can’t possess a firearm, or any other type of weapon or destructive device.
    Philips must also meet with her probation officer within seven days and maintain contact.

  • Patient Appeals Penis Amputation Verdict
  • Martinez: Amnesty pulls in $834K in child support

    SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — Gov. Susana Martinez has announced that the state has collected more than $834,000 in delinquent child support payments thanks to an amnesty program.

    Martinez made the announcement Monday and said non-custodial parents made a total of $834,372 in direct payments during the amnesty period and subsequent bench warrant sweep.

    State officials say 79 non-custodial parents were arrested. The total amount of bonds owed on these cases was $243,277.

    In addition, around 25 percent of total child support bench warrants statewide were canceled.

    Law enforcement agencies throughout the state attempted to serve warrants during a warrant sweep that followed the amnesty period.

  • Dems pick Vigil as nominee for Supreme Court race

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — State Democrats on Saturday chose Chief District Judge Barbara Vigil of Santa Fe as their party's general election candidate for the New Mexico Supreme Court.

    The Democratic state central committee picked Vigil over four others who sought the nomination at a meeting in Albuquerque.

    The nomination was needed because Justice Patricio Serna retires at the end of the month. Normally voters would choose their party's nominee to replace him, but because the vacancy comes after the June primary election each party's central committee is nominating a candidate.

    Republicans will pick a nominee Sept. 8.

    GOP Gov. Susana Martinez will appoint a justice to serve until the winner of November's general election takes office later this year.

  • Officials Dedicate Sculpture

    From left to right: First District Court Chief Justice Barbara Vigil; Arts in Public Places Advisory Board member Ken Nebel; APPAB chair Carolyn Bossert; First District Court Judge Glenn Ellington; First District Court Judge Stephen Pfeffer; Los Alamos County Council Chair Sharon Stover; Artist Troy Williams; Councilor Frances Berting; APPAB Member Peggy Pendergast; First District Court Judge Mary Marlowe Sommer; APPAB Vice Chair Becky Cordova; First District Court Judge Michael Vigil; Municipal Judge Alan Kirk and Magistrate Judge Pat Casados.

  • Santa Fe merchants sue city over rules at plaza

    ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (AP) — A downtown Santa Fe merchants group that feels city officials have ignored their concerns about events on the Santa Fe Plaza has filed a lawsuit contending that the city hasn't been following its own laws.

    The Albuquerque Journal reports that the lawsuit filed earlier this month by Santa Fe Downtown Merchants Inc. refers to public safety, access for existing businesses and the expansion of some events beyond the boundaries set in ordinance.

    Mayor David Coss says city streets are under the control of the city, which can issue a permit for groups to use them.

    Coss says the Plaza belongs to everyone, not just the downtown merchants.

    Elizabeth Pettus, president of the Downtown Merchants, says the group is seeking to define exactly what city ordinances do and don't require.