Lawsuit advances in raid on New Mexico youth program

Jun 11, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A federal judge says a lawsuit can move forward that was filed by owners of a ranch program for troubled youths in southern New Mexico against a State Police agent, in connection with a 2013 raid on suspicion of neglect and abuse.Tierra Blanca Ranch owner Scott Chandler said Monday that his lawsuit has cleared a crucial challenge with the ruling by U.S. District Court Judge Christina Armijo.Chandler, wife Colette Chandler and a former participant in the youth program at Tierra Blanca allege that state police and social services staff violated their protections against unreasonable searches and seizures.The Chandlers say personnel led by agent Felipe Gonzales interviewed youths without a warrant or consent, and that their reputation and business suffered.Armijo dismissed accusations of malicious prosecution.