As many of you know, the even numbered years result in a 30-day Legislative Session for the State of New Mexico. Additionally, it means that only bills germane to the budget are considered for the session. That is, unless the Governor puts a particular bill “on the call.” At the 2017 Legislative Session, AANM sponsored a bill (HB413) that was given a unanimous do pass from the House Business Industry and Commerce committee. On Monday, November 13th, members of the Government Affairs Committee (GAC) met with Matthew Stackpole, Deputy General Counsel to educate him, and thus the Governor, on the importance of this legislation being heard in the 2018 Legislative Session.
The meeting, which was attended by Steven Phillips (GAC Chair), Chuck Sheldon (GAC Vice Chair), Gene Vance (AANM Legal Counsel), and Kelle Senyé (AANM Executive Director), and Joe Thompson (AANM lobbyist) received positive response from Mr. Stackpole. while we wait to hear if the Governor will put this on the call, the GAC willl consider the Legislators that we want to sponsor the bill. If passed in 2018, this will be a game changer for our industry in New Mexico.
Under our New Mexico Uniform Owner-Resident Relations Act, a resident who disturbs others, commits crimes, damages the property or holds over after the lease has ended can be evicted only after notice and a trial that provides due process of law. However, there is a major flaw in the statute which is allowing some of the worst offenders to remain on the property for years, continuing to disturb and endanger others after that trial. The sheriff cannot carry out the eviction if the resident files a one sentence notice of appeal. Whether there are reasons for the appeal or not, the resident stays in the apartment until the appeal is decided. In the normal caseload, this means a dangerous resident will stay months after the trial which resulted in the eviction, without so much as proving a single error in his trial. In the current backlog, the offending resident can remain a nuisance or danger to his neighbors for a year or more. Moreover, residents are filing repeated appeals in the same case, and they remain on the property until the repeated groundless appeals are dismissed. The automatic stay on appeal needs to be abolished for cases not based upon nonpayment of rent, and these cases should be treated like other civil cases and allowing a stay only on a bond and terms set by the trial court.
Read a copy of the legislation as presented in 2017 here.