ACLU v. City of Albuquerque – Case Brief Summary (New Mexico)

In ACLU v. City of Albuquerque, 1999 NMSC 44, 0, 13, 15, 128 N.M. 315, 992 P.2d 866, the Court held that the legislature clearly intended to preempt municipal authority to criminalize the behavior of juveniles. 1999 NMSC 44, 128 N.M. 315, 992 P.2d 866.

This was the case because the Delinquency Act comprehensively and exhaustively addressed juvenile delinquency and the local ordinance attempted to expose juveniles to criminal punishment, including a fine of up to $ 500 and imprisonment of up to ninety days. Id. 10-15.

This punishment effectively subjected a juvenile to criminal sanctions, contrary to the Delinquency Act; therefore, the ordinance "would circumvent and thereby frustrate the legislature's intent to uniformly enforce laws of a penal nature against [children]." Id.