Tracking the Case

Yazzie/Martinez Timeline

(Anthony Jackson New Mexico In Depth)

March 2014 - New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty files a lawsuit, on behalf of the Yazzie plaintiffs, against the state for failing to provide adequate education for at-risk students, represented by 10 Native and Hispanic children and six school districts: Gallup-McKinley County, Rio Rancho, Santa Fe, Cuba, Moriarty-Edgewood and Lake Arthur.

April 2014 - In a separate lawsuit, Martinez plaintiffs, represented by the Mexican American Legal Defense and Education Fund, allege state education officials have failed to give low-income students and English-language learners a sufficient education.

July 2018 - Following an eight-week trial, retired state District Judge Sarah Singleton ruled that New Mexico’s education system violated students’ constitutional right to adequate schooling, in the now consolidated lawsuit against the state: Martinez and Yazzie v. State of New Mexico.

July 2019 - Judge Singleton died, First Judicial District Judge Matthew Wilson assigned to Yazzie/Martinez case.

October 2019 - Yazzie plaintiffs file a motion for the court to direct the state to “take immediate and extraordinary steps to fulfill the mandates” outlined in Singleton’s original order, citing noncompliance. Claiming the state had not complied with the court’s order, the Martinez plaintiffs filed a motion for discovery, requesting further information from the education department.

March 2020 - Gov. Michelle Lujan Grisham’s administration files a motion to dismiss the lawsuit, citing increases to the education budget and funding for at-risk students. First documented case of COVID-19 in New Mexico.

June/July 2020 - Wilson granted Martinez plaintiffs’ motion for discovery. He denied both Yazzie’s motion for noncompliance and the state’s motion to dismiss.

December 2020 - Yazzie plaintiffs file an emergency motion for relief, citing at-risk students’ heightened need for technology during remote learning.

May 2021 - Wilson orders the state to immediately provide students with suitable technology for virtual learning. Some students are still disconnected.

December 2021 - Plaintiffs file a motion to order the state to fully comply with interrogatories as part of the discovery process granted by Wilson in June 2020 by providing complete answers.

READ MORE >> Does Not Equal: New Mexico faces a steep climb to make education more equitable

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