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Blackwell v. Lurie

Court of Appeals of New Mexico
71 P.3d 509 (2003)


Robert Blackwell (plaintiff) was appointed by a bankruptcy court as the trustee to oversee the bankruptcy petition of Popkin & Stern, a Missouri law firm. Blackwell obtained a deficiency judgment against Ronald Lurie (defendant), the general partner of the law firm. Prior to the bankruptcy, the Luries had purchased a valuable sketch in Missouri and had placed the sketch on consignment at a gallery located in New Mexico. Thereafter, the Luries moved to Montana. Several years later, the bankruptcy court permitted Blackwell to execute on the deficiency judgment, including the sketch. Blackwell filed a petition for a writ of execution in New Mexico court seeking to recover the sketch. The Luries moved separately to quash the petition, arguing that the sketch was owned by the Luries as tenants by the entirety. Under Missouri law, the Luries argued, property held in tenancy by the entirety was exempt from execution. Blackwell argued that New Mexico law applied, and that under New Mexico law the sketch was not exempt from execution. The trial court agreed with the Luries and quashed Blackwell’s petition. Blackwell appealed.

Rule of Law


Holding and Reasoning (Wechsler, C.J.)

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