State v. McNeece, 529

Decision Date12 February 1971
Docket NumberNo. 529,529
Citation1971 NMCA 12,82 N.M. 345,481 P.2d 707
PartiesSTATE of New Mexico, Plaintiff-Appellee, v. David E. McNEECE, Defendant-Appellant.
CourtCourt of Appeals of New Mexico
OPINION

WOOD, Judge.

Defendant was erroneously convicted and sentenced because the proceedings against him, for possession of marijuana, were under the inapplicable general statute, § 54--7--13, N.M.S.A. 1953 (Repl. Vol. 8, pt. 2, Supp.1969). The applicable statute is § 54--5--14, N.M.S.A. 1953 (Repl. Vol. 8, pt. 2). State v. Riley, 82 N.M. 235, 478 P.2d 563 (Ct.App.), decided December 11, 1970.

The appeal does not question which statute is the applicable one. However, '* * * (l)ack of jurisdiction at any stage of a proceeding is a controlling consideration to be resolved before going further. * * *' State v. Arnold, 51 N.M. 311, 183 P.2d 845 (1947). We may raise the question of jurisdiction on our own motion. State v. Weddle, 77 N.M. 417, 423 P.2d 609 (1967); State v. Arnold, supra.

Is the conviction and sentence of defendant under an inapplicable statute a question of jurisdiction? We hold that it is. One aspect of jurisdiction is the power or authority to decide the particular matter presented. Heckathorn v. Heckathorn, 77 N.M. 369, 423 P.2d 410 (1967), and cases therein cited; see dissent in Neller v. State, 79 N.M. 528, 445 P.2d 949 (1968). The trial court had no authority to convict and sentence defendant under an inapplicable statute. It, therefore, proceeded without jurisdiction.

Defendant's conviction and sentence are reversed. The cause is remanded with instructions to dismiss the charge against defendant under the inapplicable statute. State v. Riley, supra.

It is so ordered.

LaFEL E. OMAN, Justice, Supreme Court, and HENDLEY, J., concur.

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24 cases
  • State v. Vigil
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • March 12, 2014
    ...we have undertaken our own analysis of the issue, given its quasi-jurisdictional nature. See State v. McNeece, 1971–NMCA–012, ¶ 2, 82 N.M. 345, 481 P.2d 707 (explaining that “lack of jurisdiction at any stage of a proceeding is a controlling consideration to be resolved before going further......
  • Tallman v. ABF (Arkansas Best Freight), 10125
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • October 13, 1988
    ...gave to WCD the authority to award attorney fees. See Sec. 52-1-54 (Orig.Pamp. & Cum.Supp.1986). Furthermore, State v. McNeece, 82 N.M. 345, 481 P.2d 707 (Ct.App.1971), which holds that the reliance on an inapplicable statute is a question of jurisdiction and, therefore, voids any judgment ......
  • Pineda v. Grande Drilling Corp., 11379
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • January 8, 1991
    ...sentence under an inapplicable statute and that such error can be raised by the appellate court on its own motion. State v. McNeece, 82 N.M. 345, 481 P.2d 707 (Ct.App.1971). As we have already said, the WCD could not apply Rule V to this case because the rule became effective while the case......
  • State v. Garcia, 690
    • United States
    • Court of Appeals of New Mexico
    • December 22, 1971
    ...(1949); State v. Williams, 50 N.M. 28, 168 P.2d 850 (1946); State v. Walsh, 81 N.M. 65, 463 P.2d 41 (Ct.App.1969); State v. McNeece, 82 N.M. 345, 481 P.2d 707 (Ct.App.1971). In State v. Ortiz, supra, the state requested this court to insert in § 54--7--13, supra, the words 'duly licensed' b......
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