Inspection of Public Records Act

As one of New Mexico’s core Sunshine Laws, the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) enables access to public records of governmental entities in New Mexico. IPRA recognizes that “representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate” and that the public is entitled to “information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees.”

A key component of our Office’s mission is the promotion of good government in New Mexico. IPRA is a fundamental tool for this work. By enforcing violations of IPRA, training governmental entities how to comply with IPRA’s requirements, and fulfilling requests for records submitted to Office, we advance fairness and transparency in government.

Enforcing IPRA

The Attorney General, district attorneys, and individual requestors of public records have the authority to file suits alleging violations of IPRA in New Mexico district courts. Additionally, our Office has established a complaint system for New Mexicans to refer potential IPRA violations to our Government Counsel & Accountability (GCA) team. GCA attorneys review and investigate constituent complaints regarding IPRA. When they find violations, GCA attorneys are often able to resolve these issues informally by helping a constituent gain access to the requested public records. In these instances, GCA attorneys also provide valuable guidance to governmental entities helping them improve their IPRA fulfillment practices. If an informal resolution cannot be reached and GCA attorneys have found an IPRA violation, they can file a lawsuit to enforce IPRA.

Use the button below if you would like to submit a complaint about a potential IPRA violation.

Training on IPRA

Our GCA attorneys are experts in IPRA. They have created an IPRA Compliance Guide for both government officials and members of the public. Over the years, the IPRA Compliance Guide has served as the go-to reference guide across New Mexico.

In addition to producing the IPRA Compliance Guide, GCA attorneys conduct educational presentations throughout the state on IPRA and the Open Meetings Act (OMA), New Mexico’s other significant Sunshine Law. This outreach emphasizes the importance of transparency and compliance in government and informs the public of their rights of under New Mexico’s sunshine laws. These training are offered at no cost and are open to all interested officials and employees of state and local governments, school boards, and public bodies, as well as the media and general public.

Upcoming OMA/IPRA trainings are listed below. Click on each event to learn more and to register for the training.

9:00 am

 to 

1:00 pm

Las Cruces City Council Chambers

700 N Main St, Las Cruces, NM 88001

The New Mexico Department of Justice may also consider individual requests for trainings on a case-by-case basis.  Our office will consider public bodies with noncompliance issues and training requests when deciding areas of the state to conduct future trainings.
Request a Training

Fulfilling IPRA Requests

As a governmental agency in New Mexico, IPRA applies to our Office. We have a duty to accept, evaluate, and fulfill requests to inspect public records possessed by our Office.

We strive to model the best practices in fulfilling our responsibilities under IPRA. Below you will find the statutorily required “Notice of Right to Inspect Public Records,” which includes instructions for submitting requests for records from our Office. The IPRA statute requires every New Mexico governmental entity, from the smallest municipality to the largest state agency, to post a notice on their website similar to the one below.

Notice of Right to Inspect Public Records

By law, under the Inspection of Public Records Act, every person has the right to inspect public records of the New Mexico Department of Justice. Compliance with requests to inspect public records is an integral part of the routine duties of the officers and employees of the New Mexico Department of Justice.

Procedures for Requesting Inspection

To submit a records request to our Office, use the link to our NextRequest portal:

NextRequest connects directly to our Office’s Records Custodian and is the fastest and easiest way to submit a records request to our Office and to receive requested records.

Alternatively, we also accept records requests via mail, fax, and email to the contact information included below. Requests should be directed to the Records Custodian:

Records Custodian
New Mexico Department of Justice
408 Galisteo Street
Villagra Building
Santa Fe, NM 87501
[email protected]
Fax: (505) 318-1050

A person desiring to inspect public records may submit a request to the Records Custodian orally or in writing. However, the procedures and penalties prescribed by the Act apply only to written requests. A written request must contain the name, address and telephone number of the person making the request. The request must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable the Records Custodian to identify and locate the requested records.

The Records Custodian must permit inspection immediately or as soon as practicable, but no later than 15 calendar days after the Records Custodian receives the inspection request. If inspection is not permitted within three business days, the person making the request will receive a written response explaining when the records will be available for inspection or when the public body will respond to the request. If any of the records sought are not available for public inspection, the person making the request is entitled to a written response from the Records Custodian explaining the reasons inspection has been denied. The written denial shall be delivered or mailed within 15 calendar days after the Records Custodian receives the request for inspection.

Procedures for Requesting Physical Copies and Fees

There is no fee for records produced electronically. However, if a person requesting inspection would like a physical copy of a public record, a reasonable fee will be charged. The fee for printed documents 8.5 inches by 11 inches or smaller is 75 cents per page. The fee for larger documents is 1 dollar per page. The fee for CD or DVD is $10 per disc. The Records Custodian may request that applicable fees for copying public records be paid in advance, before the copies are made. A receipt indicating that the fees have been paid will be provided upon request to the person requesting the copies.