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NM Court of Appeals Schedules September 21, 10:00 AM Hearing

September 15, 2015 - Jen Laws

COA LogoThe New Mexico Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing at the Pamela B. Minzner Law Center on Monday, September 21, 2015. The oral argument is open to the public and begins at 10:00 A.M.

A three-judge panel will preside: Judge Michael E. Vigil, Judge Jonathan B. Sutin (’63), and Judge M. Monica Zamora (’87)

Following are the details of the case:

STATE OF NEW MEXICO ex rel. VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS and VILLAGE OF LOS LUNAS COUNCIL, Plaintiffs-Appellants, represented by Stephen S. Hamilton, Andrew S. Montgomery, and Laurence P. Guggino, Jr.

vs.

COUNTY OF VALENCIA; BOARD OF VALENCIA COUNTY COMMISSIONERS; CITY OF BELEN; and CITY OF BELEN COUNCIL, Defendants-Appellees, represented by Kevin M. Brown, Desiree J. Gurule, Charles Rennick, and Marcus J. Rael

The action was brought by the State of New Mexico to invalidate a contract entered into by Valencia County and Belen. Belen solicited proposals from third party providers to operate and maintain a new hospital in Belen; Valencia County committed itself to execute a healthcare facilities contract with the provider selected by Belen and to transfer public money to it from a mill levy imposed on residents of Valencia County. Los Lunas alleged that the contract between Valencia County and Belen was unlawful in two respects:

  1. One Valencia County commission who voted to approve the agreement was unqualified at the time of the vote
  2. The contract between Valencia County and Belen was unauthorized by New Mexico statutes and impermissibly delegated the County’s power to contract

Los Lunas requests review of the District Court’s dismissal, in which the Court concluded that Los Lunas lacked standing on two grounds: the complaint failed “for allegation and proof of injury-in-fact” resulting from the contract and that no question of great public importance is presented by the vote of the unqualified Valencia County commissioner.

For more information, contact Nora Gonzales at 505-841-4618.