State v. Savedra: The District Court 6 Month Rule is Dead. (Or, Be Careful What You Wish For)

This is a repost of a post from May 14, 2010, by request.

This week the New Mexico Supreme Court issued its Opinion in State v. Savedra, 2010-NMSC-___ (No. 31,288 filed May 12, 2010) (pdf link).  I’ll update this post with more analysis later, but the short story is the Supreme Court affirmed relief of dismissal for our clients, who were charged in magistrate court where there cases went on with nothing happening for a few months, then, when they rejected a plea offer, dismissed and re-indicted in district court, and treated the case as if they had a new six months.  The prosecution’s stated reason for dismissal and re-filing was the office policy to avoid two potential trials (a trial de novo in district if convicted in magistrate).  While this reason is not a bad reason, the Supreme Court thought it did not warrant a new six month period in district court, and that the date from which the time ran relates back to the arraignment in magistrate court.   Inter alia and rather alarmingly, the Supreme Court repealed the district court six-month rule (5-604(B) through (E)) effective immediately.     (Gary Mitchell, Tom Lilly, and I on the briefs and oral argument).  Ummm, wow.  Now what? (Comments most surely welcome.)


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