New Mexico Property Rights

Since the decision by the United States Supreme Court in Kelo v. City of New London many states across the country have taken measures to help protect the rights of private ownership.  The controversial Kelo decision held that a local government can take the private property of one person and give it to another private entity.  While the Court’s ruling was seen by many as a serious blow to citizen’s constitutionally protected rights of private property ownership, the decision prompted a number of states to initiate legislative reform to help curb eminent domain abuse.

The Castle Coalition has released a report, grading each of the states based on their efforts to protect private property owners and their rights based on changes in their respective state laws.  The Castle Coalition is the Institute for Justice’s nationwide grassroots property rights activism project that teaches home and small business owners how to protect themselves and stand up to abuse by governments and developers who seek to use eminent domain to take private property for their own gain.  Stated below is the letter grade, as given by the Castle Coalition, along with a description of the changes that have occurred since Kelo v. City of New London.

New Mexico Castle Coalition letter grade of

New Mexico Property Rights

In 2006, the state of New Mexico attempted to pass legislative reform, but was unsuccessful in doing so. But soon after in 2007, the state saw significant reform with the elimination of condemnation for blighted properties.

House Bill 393 was passed in 2007, which revoked the use of eminent domain under the state’s Metropolitan Redevelopment Code, meaning that any property that was previously deemed blighted can no longer be condemned in the state of New Mexico. As a result, property owners now have nearly the strongest form of protection against eminent domain.

The bill additionally narrows the circumstances in which a property can be condemned so maximum protection for property and small business owners may be provided. Furthermore, this bill effectively eliminates private property to private party transfers in the state.


Significant legislative reform in the state of New Mexico has helped curbed eminent domain in many ways since Kelo v. City of New London, giving property owners an immense amount of protection against condemning authorities. By eliminating the definition of blight, property owners now receive one of the strongest forms of protection against eminent domain. Click here to read more about House Bill 393.

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