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Records Law 201. Get to Know Documents Read the Law Train your Custodians & Officials.

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Presentation on theme: "Records Law 201. Get to Know Documents Read the Law Train your Custodians & Officials."— Presentation transcript:

1 Records Law 201

2 Get to Know Documents Read the Law Train your Custodians & Officials

3

4 Treat documents as an important source

5 Learn their names

6 Treat documents as an important source Learn their names Learn what they do How and where are records generated? What information do they contain? Who receives, reviews and approves them? Who gets copies?

7 Treat documents as an important source Learn their names Learn what they do How and where are records generated? What information do they contain? Who receives, reviews and approves them? Who gets copies? Visit them frequently

8 Get to Know Documents Read the Law Train your Custodians & Officials

9 If you read the law, youll become the expert.

10 Documents, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials regardless of physical form or characteristics Anything used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relating to public business. Hint: (Its very broad. Use every word!)

11 Submit a request in writing Submit it to the records custodian Provide your name, address and phone number Media: include your organizations name Identify the records with reasonable particularity

12 Ask to inspect Ask for records, not information Cite the law, and remind the custodian of deadlines & legal remedies available Include fee cap TIP! The Student Press Law Centers FOIA Letter Generator has been shown to be more effective than a friendly letter.

13 Immediately Provide records if practicable 3 business days Explain when records will be available OR Explain when agency will respond 15 calendar days Provide records OR Notify requestor that request is broad or burdensome

14 No charge to inspect Maximum $1 per page, 11x17 or smaller Charge must reflect actual cost of copying Staff time to copy Paper Toner TIP! Bring scanner or digital camera

15 (B) The custodian shall provide the requester with a written explanation of the denial. The denial shall: Describe the records sought Set forth the names and titles or positions of each person responsible for the denial; and Be delivered or mailed … within fifteen days after the request for inspection was received.

16 Always get chapter & verse!

17 Read the exception they cite: 11 IPRA Exceptions

18 A(3) Letters or memorandums which are matters of opinion in personnel files or students cumulative files.

19 Note: does not say personnel matters.

20 A(4) Law enforcement records that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime.

21 Note: does not say ongoing investigation

22 Read the exception they cite: IPRA Exception 12: as otherwise provided by law. Statutes (NMSA) Administrative Code (NMAC) Rules of Evidence Retention Schedules (NMAC Title 1) Case Law

23 Public Records Act C. The state agency that has inserted data in a database may authorize a copy to be made of a computer tape or other medium containing a computerized database of a public record for any person if the person agrees: (5) to pay a royalty or other consideration to the state as may be agreed upon by the state agency that created the database. F. If information contained in a database is searched, manipulated or retrieved or a copy of the database is made for any private or nonpublic use, a fee shall be charged by the state agency permitting access or use of the database.

24 New Mexico Administrative Code

25 Lawyer-Client Privilege: Article 5, in Rules of Evidence (Contents of Judicial Volumes)

26 Does the exception seem valid? If so, remind them of the obligation to separate exempt information from non-exempt information A. Dealing with a lawyer? Ask for a privilege log. This is a list of which documents were withheld and which privilege applies. Useful in deciding whether to challenge the denial.

27 Ask for the denial in writing Explanation of the denial Name and title of person responsible for denial Consult IPRA compliance guide & the law Is there an exception? Does it apply here? Respond in writing Dispute any invalid arguments Go up the chain Forward to attorney, department head, manager, governing body

28 Contact the Foundation for Open Government in Albuquerque statewide Send a complaint to the AGs Civil Division Include specifics regarding the allegation, description of the public body, copy of the written request and other supporting documents (505)

29 Action can be brought by: Attorney general District attorney Requestor No need to exhaust administrative remedies

30 Get to Know Documents Read the Law Train your Custodians & Officials

31 Enforce IPRA deadlines! Your actions show how important deadlines are

32 Enforce IPRA deadlines! Your actions show how important deadlines are Insist on your rights

33 Enforce IPRA deadlines! Your actions show how important deadlines are Insist on your rights Communicate, and be willing to negotiate on process Identify which records you want first Offer to review records in batches Provide more information if necessary

34 Enforce IPRA deadlines! Your actions show how important deadlines are Insist on your rights Communicate, and be willing to negotiate on process Identify which records you want first Offer to review records in batches Provide more information if necessary Put pressure on the right people

35 Enforce IPRA deadlines! Your actions show how important deadlines are Insist on your rights Communicate, and be willing to negotiate on process Identify which records you want first Offer to review records in batches Provide more information if necessary Put pressure on the right people Persist, persist, persist

36 New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (505) (888)


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