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General Information About New Mexico Public Records and Laws
In New Mexico, public records are available to those who request this information. The New Mexico Inspection of Public Records, NM IPRA, is the law that gives individuals and businesses the right to obtain records from the government, though some specific types of information are exempt from view to the general public. This law outlines what is considered a public record, how to obtain them and who has access.
What Is a Public Record?
In New Mexico, public records are any data that is obtained, maintained, given or otherwise in the possession of a government agency or its associates. This information is often in numerous forms, including in written and electronic form. It can be a recording, video, photograph or other data. The individual who wishes to obtain this information must do so following the stated requirements, which often includes providing a written request.
There is some information that is specifically excluded as being public records. In general, this information is data considered to be sensitive in nature or otherwise prohibited under another law. Some of those exemptions include the following.
·         Data related to the medical records of individuals
·         Data related to the student records of individuals
·         Information or evidence in an ongoing investigation
·         Court records in sealed cases, including juvenile records
·         Data that would inflict about privacy infringement of an individual
·         Identifying information for state officials or law enforcement, including undercover police officers
·         Government data that would endanger or stop the functioning of the government
Most types of data are available for individuals to use, copy or inspect from the agencies that manage it. These agencies must provide access to the information in the best way possible. It is recommended that individuals file a request during normal business hours.
Obtaining a Public Record
In New Mexico, public records are available upon request, but not all information is available in immediate fashion. An individual can obtain this information directly from the governing body or department, conduct a research online for the information or use a third party to obtain it. Some information is searchable online but the state has not converted all files to this format as of yet.
The following are some of the most common searches for public records and the agencies that hold this information in the state of New Mexico.
·         The Attorney General's Office provides information regarding businesses, business law and organization information.
·         For vital statistics, including birth and death certificates, burial records and marriage licenses, contact the Department of Health, Bureau of Vital records.
·         Criminal records, of those available, are available through local police departments and through the Department of Public Safety, Criminal records Bureau.
·         The Department of Public Safety, Records Bureau manages the Sexual Offender Registry.
·         State archived information is obtained through a written request from the State Records Center and Archives in Santa Fe.
Any and all New Mexico public records are available for inspection and copying upon request, though there may be a small fee to pay for access.
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