NM Court of Appeals to consider whether the state constitution bars police from opening a locked gun safe during a vehicle inventory search

On September 11, 2019, the New Mexico Court of Appeals will hear oral argument in Albuquerque in State v. Leo Jim. UPDATE: On August 6, 2019, the Court vacated the oral argument, and will reset the date.

At issue in this case is whether police may open a locked gun safe during a vehicle inventory search, and whether Article II, Section 10 of the New Mexico Constitution provides criminal defendants with greater protection than the federal constitution in the inventory-search context.

To my knowledge, this is the third oral argument that the Court of Appeals has set this year. I believe the unusually low number of oral arguments is a result of the Court’s focus on reducing its backlog of cases.

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