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New Mexico Statute of Limitations

Statute of Limitations NM- Summary

New Mexico’s statute of limitations establishes a deadline before which civil cases – such as lawsuits – must be filed in the state. In relation to criminal charges, it also prevents prosecutors from charging an individual with a crime after a specified period of time has passed. The statutes of limitations for different civil actions and crimes can vary from state to state, so read on for more information about how they apply in New Mexico. 

New Mexico Civil Statute of Limitations

New Mexico’s civil statute of limitations sets deadlines under which lawsuits and other civil actions must be filed in the state. These limits typically range from three – four years, depending on the type of case or procedure. The date or discovery of an incident is usually when time starts counting down.

Be aware that if you fail to file your civil claim before the established deadline, the opposing party can use the statute of limitations in their defense and file a motion to dismiss the case on the basis that the time allotted to file it has already passed. Any legal claim will be lost forever once your case is dismissed. 

A summary of civil statutes of limitations in New Mexico:

Code SectionsNew Mexico Statutes Chapter 37, Article 1: Limitations of Actions
Fraud4 yrs.
Libel or Slander3 yrs.
Injury to Person3 yrs.
Injury to Personal Property4 yrs.
Trespass4 yrs.
Professional MalpracticeMedical: 3 yrs.; Legal: 4 yrs.
Collection of Debt on Account4 yrs.
ContractsWritten: 6 yrs.; Oral: 4 yrs. 
JudgmentsCourt judgments: 14 yrs. from the date of judgment; Written contracts: 6 yrs. 
Child Sexual AbuseClaims related to actions considered criminal child sexual penetration, contact, or exploitation must be filed by the victim’s 24th birthday, or 3 yrs. from the date the victim had reason to discern how the sexual abuse harmed them, as established by medical or psychological testimony.
Other Actions4 yrs., unless otherwise stated.

State laws related to filing lawsuits can change often. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting a New Mexico attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

New Mexico Criminal Statute of Limitations

New Mexico’s criminal statute of limitations sets time limits on the filing of criminal charges in the state, but there is no deadline for crimes considered especially heinous, such as capital felonies – which include premeditated murder, felony murder, and depraved mind murder – and first-degree felonies. The law says prosecutors can charge someone in New Mexico with one of these crimes no matter how much time has passed. 

Prosecutors in New Mexico must bring charges within six years for 2nd-degree felonies, five years for 3rd and 4th-degree felonies, and three years for other felonies. Misdemeanors carry a statute of limitations of two years, and petty misdemeanors are given a limitation of one year to be prosecuted.

A summary of criminal statutes of limitations in New Mexico:

Code SectionNew Mexico Statutes 30-1-8: Time Limit for Commencing Prosecution
Felonies– Capital felonies, including premeditated murder, felony murder (murder committed during the commission or attempted commission of a felony), and depraved mind murder: none.
– 1st degree felonies, including aggravated criminal sexual penetration, kidnapping, and human or sex trafficking of a child younger than 13: none.
– 2nd degree felonies, including 2nd-degree murder, armed robbery, shooting at or from a motor vehicle resulting in great bodily harm, sexual exploitation of a minor (manufacture of child pornography), and drug trafficking (manufacturing, selling, or possession with intent to sell illegal substances): 6 yrs.
– 3rd degree felonies, including robbery, voluntary manslaughter, aggravated battery involving great bodily harm or deadly weapon, and some sex crimes: 5 yrs.
– 4th degree felonies, including involuntary manslaughter, aggravated assault, aggravated stalking, burglary of a dwelling, graffiti (resulting in property damage over $1,000), and shoplifting (items valued between $500 and $2,500): 5 yrs.
– Other felonies: 3 yrs.
Child Sexual AbuseChild abuse, criminal sexual penetration, or criminal sexual contact of a minor: until the victim turns 18 or the offense is reported, whichever occurs first.
Misdemeanors2 yrs.; petty misdemeanors: 1 yr.
Acts During Which Statute Does Not Run– Alleged criminal is fleeing justice, or is not usually a resident of the state
– Enumerated procedural defects
– When DNA evidence is available but a suspect has not been identified for criminal sexual penetration, the statute won’t run until the DNA profile is matched with a suspect

State laws are always subject to change. While our goal is to provide the most current information available, please consider contacting a New Mexico attorney or doing legal research of your own to verify the state law(s) you’re researching. 

New Mexico Recording Laws

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