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NM Court of Appeals Schedules June 20, 10:00 AM Hearing

June 2, 2016 - Jen Laws

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The New Mexico Court of Appeals has scheduled a hearing at the Pamela B. Minzner Law Center on Monday, June 20, 2016. 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 James J. Wechsler, and Judge J. Miles Hanisee.

Following are the details of the case:

TOMAS ABEYTA, Mayordomo at the La Joya Acequia, and Commissioners of the La Joya Acequia Board of Socorro County, Petitioners-Appellees, represented by Lee Deschamps


GILBERT BARELA, Respondent, and LOUIS LOVATO, Respondent-Appellant, represented by Chris Lucero, Jr.

This case involves an eight year dispute about irrigation rights and practices at the La Joya Acequia. The Mayordomo and the Commissioners of the La Joya Acequia Board filed a petition for injunctive relief against Gilbert Barela and Louie Lovato in 2008 asserting violations of water use policies of the Association. Lovato and Barela filed a counterclaim in 2010 alleging destruction of Lovato’s irrigation equipment by the Acequia and violation of Lovato’s easement in the banks of the irrigation ditch. Lovato and Barela also asserted in 2011 that elements of the Acequia bylaws were illegal and unconstitutional. Appellant Lovato requests review of the District Court’s appointment of Acequia Board members and it’s conducting an election for Acequia Board members in the courtroom in January ; the Court’s not holding the Appellees in violation of an injunction against opening new lands for irrigation; and the Court not ruling on Lovato’s claims regarding Acequia fees.

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