New Mexico's highest court has ruled that police can obtain search warrants over the telephone from a judge.
The state Supreme Court said Monday that judges don't have to see in writing the sworn statement from authorities that provides the probable cause for issuing a search warrant.
The ruling overturned a decision by the state Court of Appeals in a case involving Lester and Carol Boyse of Mesilla, who were sentenced in 2010 to probation for five years after pleading no contest to more than 100 charges of animal cruelty.
Authorities searched the couple's southern New Mexico property in 2008, and found about 100 cats inside their home, including four dead cats inside a freezer.
The Court of Appeals ruled in 2011 that telephonic search warrants aren't permitted.
Copyright 2013 The Associated Press.