New Mexico

 
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The Laws That Should Protect Our Children

Current Civil SOL in a nutshell

SOL vs. perp: Age 24 SOL vs. employer: Age 24

Majority Tolling: √ Age 18 Discovery Tolling: √ Liberal (+3 years)

SOL: Plaintiff’s 24th birthday or + 3 years from liberal discovery, whichever is later.

  1. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-30(A)(1)-(2). (“Action for damages due to childhood sexual abuse; limitation on actions. A. An action for damages based on personal injury caused by childhood sexual abuse shall be commenced by a person before the latest of the following dates: (1) the first instant of the person’s twenty-fourth birthday; or (2) three years from the date of the time that a person knew or had reason to know of the childhood sexual abuse and that the childhood sexual abuse resulted in an injury to the person, as established by competent medical or psychological testimony.”)

  2. Kevin J. v. Sager, 128 N.M. 794, 2000-NMCA-012, 999 P.2d 1026, 1999 N.M. App. LEXIS 150, 39 N.M. St. B. Bull. 8 (N.M. Ct. App. 1999) (applying § 37-1-30(A)(2) to plaintiff’s claim against abuser doctor and employer hospital).(Full case caption: KEVIN J., Plaintiff-Appellee, v. EDWARD M. SAGER, M.D., and HEIGHTS MEDICAL CENTER, Defendants-Appellants.)

MAJORITY

  1. Majority, yes.

a. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-10 (Minors; incapacitated persons).

  1. Discovery, yes, liberal

a. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 37-1-30(A)(2) (“from the date of the time that a person knew or had reason to know of the childhood sexual abuse and that the childhood sexual abuse resulted in an injury to the person, as established by competent medical or psychological testimony”) (here “resulted in” = causation prong).

b. Kevin J. v. Sager, 128 N.M. 794, 797, 999 P.2d 1026, 1029 (N.M. Ct. App. 1999) (“Accordingly, reading the statute as a whole in its logical sense and applying the requirement for medical or psychological testimony to the entire section, we believe that the legislature intended the statute of limitations to begin running at the time a plaintiff knew or had reason to know of the connection between the alleged childhood sexual abuse and the injury, as established by competent medical or psychological testimony.”)

Current Criminal SOL in a nutshell

None for first degree felonies effective July 1, 1997.

APPLICATION: All claims not barred as of July 1, 1997.

None for 1st degree felonies. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-8(I). +6 years from victim’s 18th birthday for 2nd degree felonies. +5 years from victim’s 18th birthday for 3rd & 4th degree felonies. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-9.1; N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-8 (A)-(B).

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-8(I) (“for a capital felony or a first degree violent felony, no limitation period shall exist and prosecution for these crimes may commence at any time after the occurrence of the crime.”)

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-8 (A) (“ for a second degree felony, within six years from the time the crime was committed;”)

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-8 (B) (“for a third or fourth degree felony, within five years from the time the crime was committed;”)

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-9.1 (“The applicable time period for commencing prosecution pursuant to Section 30-1-8 NMSA 1978 shall not commence to run for an alleged violation of Section 30-6-1, 30-9-11 or 30-9-13 NMSA 1978 until the victim attains the age of eighteen or the violation is reported to a law enforcement agency, whichever occurs first.”)

General report to Children, Youth, and Families Department that criminal sexual contact of a minor may have occurred was insufficient to trigger running of the statute of limitations. In order for statute to begin running, victim must either reach 18, or a specific report of the actual charged incident must be made to a law enforcement agency. State v. Whittington, 2008-NMCA-063, 144 N.M. 85, 183 P.3d 970, 2008 N.M. App. LEXIS 32 (N.M. Ct. App. 2008).

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-9-11 – Criminal sexual penetration.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-9-13 – Criminal sexual contact of a minor.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-6-1 – Abandonment or abuse of a child.

1978 Comp., § 30-1-9.1, enacted by Laws 1987, ch. 117, § 1. (text: The applicable time period for commencing prosecution pursuant to Section 30-1-8 NMSA 1978 shall not commence to run for an alleged violation of Section 30-6-1, 30-9-11 or 30-9-13 NMSA 1978 until the victim attains the age of eighteen or the violation is reported to a law enforcement agency, whichever occurs first. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-9.1).

DNA tolling– N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-1-9.2 (A) (“When DNA evidence is available and a suspect has not been identified, the applicable time period for commencing a prosecution pursuant to Section 30-1-8 NMSA 1978 shall not commence to run for an alleged violation of Section 30-9-11 NMSA 1978 until a DNA profile is matched with a suspect.”)

Age of Majority: 18. See, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 32A-1-4.
Age of Consent: 16. See, N.M. Stat. Ann. § 30-9-11.

Age of Marriage with Parental Consent: 16 (under 16 with judicial consent).
Age of Marriage without Parental Consent: 18.
See, N.M. Stat. Ann. §§ 40-1-5, 40-1-6.


Medical Neglect Statute

CIVIL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

[N]othing in the Children’s Code [32A-1-1 NMSA 1978] shall be construed to imply that a child who is being provided with treatment by spiri­tual means alone through prayer, in accordance with the tenets and practices of a recognized church or religious denomination, by a duly accredited practi­tion­er thereof is for that reason alone a neglected child within the Chil­dren’s Code; and further provided that no child shall be denied the protection afforded to all children under the Children’s Code.

New Mexico Statutes §32A-4-2(E)(5)

CRIMINAL MEDICAL NEGLECT STATUTE

N/A


Religous Liberty Statute

Religious liberty statute that could put children at risk

Current Law: N.M. STAT. §§28-22-1 TO -5 (2000)

Enacted: April 12, 2000

§ 28-22-1. SHORT TITLE Sections 1 through 5 [28-22-1 to 28-22-5 NMSA 1978] of this act may be cited as the “New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act”.

§ 28-22-2. DEFINITIONS As used in the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act [28-22-1 NMSA 1978]: A. “free exercise of religion” means an act or a refusal to act that is substantially motivated by religious belief; and B. “government agency” means the state or any of its political subdivisions, institutions, departments, agencies, commissions, committees, boards, councils, bureaus or authorities.

§ 28-22-3. RELIGIOUS FREEDOM PROTECTED; EXCEPTIONS A government agency shall not restrict a person’s free exercise of religion unless: A. the restriction is in the form of a rule of general applicability and does not directly discriminate against religion or among religions; and B. the application of the restriction to the person is essential to further a compelling governmental interest and is the least restrictive means of furthering that compelling governmental interest.

§ 28-22-4. PRIVATE REMEDIES A. A person whose free exercise of religion has been restricted by a violation of the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act [28-22-1 NMSA 1978] may assert that violation as a claim or defense in a judicial proceeding and obtain appropriate relief against a government agency, including: (1) injunctive or declaratory relief against a government agency that violates or proposes to violate the provisions of the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act [28-22-1 NMSA 1978]; and (2) damages pursuant to the Tort Claims Act [41-4-1 NMSA 1978], reasonable attorney fees and costs. B. Immunity from liability of the government agency and its employees is waived for an action brought pursuant to this section.

§ 28-22-5. CONSTRUCTION OF ACT Nothing in the New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act [28-22-1 NMSA 1978] authorizes a government agency to burden a person’s free exercise of religion. The protection of the free exercise of religion granted in that act is in addition to the protections granted by federal law and the state and federal constitutions. The New Mexico Religious Freedom Restoration Act does not affect the grant of benefits or tax exemptions to religious organizations nor does it impair any other exemptions granted by law.