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Ruling upholds penalties for failing to produce records

September 27, 2018

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) — A court decision says New Mexico public agencies can be ordered to pay daily penalties of up to $100 for making incomplete or inadequate responses to request for public records.

The Court of Appeals’ decision Monday overturns a District Court judge’s ruling that an animal welfare activist who requested records wasn’t entitled to damages after the Attorney General’s Office initially failed to turn over hundreds of emails.

The Court of Appeals said the penalty is needed to provide an incentive for public bodies to properly respond to records requests.

The case now returns to District Court for further consideration.

A spokesman for the Attorney General’s Office said the agency was reviewing its options.

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