Judge delays start of defamation trial against State Police
DEMING, N.M. (AP) — A judge has delayed the trial over a couple’s defamation lawsuit against New Mexico State Police officers who were members of Gov. Susana Martinez’s security team.
Judge Timothy L. Aldrich refused the defense’s motion to dismiss the case at a hearing in Deming on Monday, the Headlight reported .
The judge pushed the trial to April after the plaintiffs submitted previously undisclosed financial information to the defense.
Scott and Colette Chandler filed the suit against the three officers over a June 2014 incident in Deming. The Chandlers claimed defamation and assault after they were ejected from an event where the Republican governor was to appear.
Scott Chandler, owner of the Tierra Blanca Ranch for troubled teens, had visited the campaign stop at Deming’s Grand Motor Inn to deliver a petition that requested a meeting with the governor about the ranch.
The security team ordered the Chandlers and a group of supporters to leave, citing security concerns.
At the hearing, defense attorney Jeffrey Mitchell claimed the case warranted a dismissal because the plaintiffs’ files were not produced in a timely manner. He claimed the Chandlers deliberately concealed the files in willful violation of discovery.
The court had ordered the files to be produced last year.
Pete Domenici, the Chandlers’ attorney, said the delay had not been willful.
The judge said the case would not be dismissed, but he ordered that the files be handed over immediately.
Information from: Headlight, http://www.demingheadlight.com