New Mexico FOIA Laws

New Mexico Open Meetings Act

The New Mexico Open Meetings Act legislates the method by which public meetings are conducted. A meetings is any gathering of a quorum of members of the public body in order to discuss and decide on personnel policy, rules, regulations, ordinances and all other public business. If violated, the public officials are guilty of a misdemeanor and liable for fines of up to $500.

Open Meetings Act 10-15-1 N.M.S.A. 1978 etseq.

May be closed: Discussions of issuance, suspension, renewal or revocation of a license; limited (individual) personnel matters; deliberations in administrative adjudicatory proceeding relating to individual legal rights; personally identifiable student information; collective bargaining strategy; discussions of single-source purchases of more than more than $2,500; discussions of threatened or pending litigation subject to attorney-client privilege; acquisition or disposal of real property or water rights; discussions of strategic and long-range business plans or trade secrets of public hospital boards; discussions of gaming control board made confidential by gaming control act.

New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act

The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act is a series of laws designed to guarantee that the public has access to public records of governmental bodies. The New Mexico Statute 14-2-6 states that records include "all documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained.”

Anyone can request public records and no statement of purpose is required. The law does place a restriction on the use of police reports. They cannot be used to solicit victims for services. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act allows for three days for a response to a records request.

Inspection of Public Records Act 14-2-1 NMSA1978 etseq.

Exempt: Physical or mental examinations and medical treatment; letters of reference concerning employment, licensing or permits; matters of opinion in personnel files or students' cumulative files; law enforcement records that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or  individuals accused but not charged; identity of applicant or nominee for president of institution of learning but names of at least five finalists must be released at least 21 days before selection is made.

Visit, New Mexico Sample FOIA Request, to view a sample FOIA request for the state.