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Court ruling on vehicle search prompts dissent

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SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A state Supreme Court ruling has drawn a dissent from a justice who says the decision could undermine New Mexico’s constitutional protections against unreasonable searches of automobiles.

Justice Richard Bosson dissented from a court ruling Monday that upheld a warrantless search of a vehicle by Farmington police in 2010.

Bosson disagreed with the court’s majority that there were emergency conditions justifying the search of the vehicle’s truck.

He wrote that warrants usually have been required in New Mexico to search locked compartments of an automobile.

Police were responding to a report that someone in the vehicle had pointed a rifle at individuals. The gun was found in the trunk. But Bosson pointed out the truck was searched after the driver and passengers were in custody and handcuffed.

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