New Mexico

Statutory Citation: NMSA (1978) 14-2 et seq.

Definition of Public Record

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.” 1

Exemptions to Public Records

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. 2

Who Can Make The Request?


Response Timeframe

3 days. 3

Information on Fees

The AG has stated that fees must be kept to actual cost of copying. Search fees are not permitted in New Mexico. 4

Enforcement Mechanisms

The Attorney General or District Attorney in the jurisdiction has authority to enforce the Inspection of Public Records Act.  NMSA 1978 § 14-2-12(A)(1) (1993).  Any person whose request has been denied may enforce the Act.  § 14-2-12(A)(2) (1993).  A previously unnamed principal may enforce Inspection of Public Records Act, either directly in its own name or through its agent.  5

Attorney Fees

Yes, you can win attorney’s fees. 6

Do You Want to Make a Public Records Request?

The public records process begins with a public records request. Our guide outlines best practices for drafting well-defined requests for public information.

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Questions? Contact the Goldwater Institute.

If you have any questions regarding this guide or your rights to public information, please contact the Goldwater Institute at to determine if the Institute can help you access information necessary to hold your government accountable.

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