Las Cruces Stymied in El Paso Takeover

Fortnightly Magazine - November 15 1996
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The U.S. District Court for New Mexico has ruled that the City of Las Cruces, NM, failed to meet the burden of proof required to take over through condemnation the electric facilities owned by El Paso Electric Co. (EPE) [City of Las Cruces v. El Paso Electric Co., No. 2:95-CV-485 LCS, (Aug.23, 1996)].

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The court withheld judgment on the ultimate question of whether the city has authority to condemn EPE's property, finding that the case involved issues unique to New Mexico and presented a "significant question of state constitutional law." Noting that the outcome of the case would affect over 62,000 electric utility customers, the court forwarded the question to the New Mexico Supreme Court.

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