SENATE BILL 285
54th legislature - STATE OF NEW MEXICO - first session, 2019
Jacob R. Candelaria
RELATING TO PUBLIC RECORDS; CLARIFYING THAT A FAILURE TO PERMIT INSPECTION OF NONEXEMPT RESPONSIVE RECORDS IS A VIOLATION OF THE INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS ACT AND SUBJECT TO STATUTORY DAMAGES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF NEW MEXICO:
SECTION 1. Section 14-2-11 NMSA 1978 (being Laws 1993, Chapter 258, Section 8) is amended to read:
"14-2-11. PROCEDURE FOR DENIED REQUESTS--FAILURE TO PERMIT INSPECTION.--
A. Unless a written request has been determined to be excessively burdensome or broad, a written request for inspection of public records that has not been permitted within fifteen days of receipt by the office of the custodian may be deemed denied. The person requesting the public records may pursue the remedies provided in the Inspection of Public Records Act.
B. If a written request has been denied, the custodian shall provide the requester with a written explanation of the denial. The written denial shall:
(1) describe the records sought;
(2) set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial; and
(3) be delivered or mailed to the person requesting the records within fifteen days after the request for inspection was received.
C. A custodian [who does not deliver or mail a written explanation of denial within fifteen days after receipt of a written request for inspection] is subject to an action to enforce the provisions of the Inspection of Public Records Act and the requester may be awarded damages if the custodian:
(1) does not deliver or mail a written explanation of denial within fifteen days after receipt of a written request for inspection; or
(2) fails to permit inspection of all records responsive to the written request that are not exempt from the Inspection of Public Records Act pursuant to Section 14-2-1 NMSA 1978.
D. Damages pursuant to Subsection C of this section shall:
(1) be awarded if the failure to provide a timely explanation of denial or the failure to permit inspection of all nonexempt responsive records is determined to be unreasonable;
(2) not exceed one hundred dollars ($100) per day;
(3) accrue from the day the public body is in noncompliance until a written denial is issued or the inspection of all nonexempt responsive records is permitted; and
(4) be payable from the funds of the public body."
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