Articles Posted in Education Law

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Petitioners who pursue the recall of a local school board member under the Recall Act are entitled to the procedural protections of the New Mexico statute prohibiting strategic litigation against public participation (Anti-SLAPP statute). This dispute arose out of a malicious abuse of process claim made by Taos school board member Arsenio Cordova (Cordova) against eighteen members of an unincorporated citizens’ association (collectively, Petitioners) following their efforts to remove Cordova from office under the Local School Board Member Recall Act (Recall Act). The New Mexico Supreme Court concluded that petitioners were entitled to immunity under the Noerr-Pennington doctrine when they exercise their right to petition unless the petitioners: (1) lacked sufficient factual or legal support; and (2) had a subjective illegitimate motive for exercising their right to petition. View "Cordova v. Cline" on Justia Law

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The New Mexico Department of Public Education’s (Department) Instructional Material Bureau purchases non-religious instructional materials selected by public or private schools, with funds appropriated by the Legislature and earmarked for the schools, and lends these materials to qualified students who attend public or private schools. The question this case presented for the New Mexico Supreme Court’s review centered on whether the provision of books to students who attend private schools violated Article XII, Section 3. The Court concluded that the plain meaning and history of Article XII, Section 3 forbade the provision of books for use by students atte View "Moses v. Skandera" on Justia Law

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Antonio T., a seventeen-year-old high school student, was taken to the principal's office because he was suspected of being under the influence of alcohol. The assistant principal questioned Antonio about his possession of alcohol in the presence of a deputy sheriff. Antonio admitted that he had brought alcohol to school, where he drank it. At the principal's request, the deputy administered a breath alcohol test to Antonio, which was positive for alcohol. After administering the test, the deputy advised Antonio of his right to remain silent, and Antonio declined to answer the questions. Antonio was charged with the delinquent act of possession of alcohol by a minor. He filed a motion to suppress the statements he made to the assistant principal because his statements were elicited without a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his right to remain silent. The district court denied his motion, which was affirmed by the Court of Appeals. The Supreme Court reversed both the district court and the Court of Appeals: although a school official may insist that a child answer questions for purposes of school disciplinary proceedings, any statements elicited by the official may not be used against the child in a delinquency proceeding unless the child made a knowing, intelligent, and voluntary waiver of his or her right to remain silent. Because the State failed to prove that Antonio effectively waived this right, his statements were inadmissible in the delinquency proceeding. View "New Mexico v. Antonio T." on Justia Law