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Category: Records Requests

ART Project (Environmental) Impact Report (et al.) Federal Records Complaint

This post contains the full text of the hand-delivered letter of June 3, 2016, regarding the Rules Violations that have prevented approximately 2,700 pages of Albuquerque BRT/ART Project public records, filed with the federal court, from being made available to the general public.

Of the 2,700 pages, there are evidently approximately 1,000 pages that are alleged, by the FTA, to constitute “environmental” studies done by the City of Albuquerque that support and justify the FTA’s decision to grant a “Catagorical Exclusion” to the requirement of further, even more exhaustive, impact studies regarding the ART Project.

A fair and reasonable evaluation and assessment of the impact study and the reasonableness of the FTA in granting the exclusion cannot be made by the public, if the public records are not made public. As a consequence of this fact, Donald Clayton was required to write the following letter:

June 3, 2016

Matthew Dykman
Clerk of Court
United States District Court
District of New Mexico
Office of the Clerk
333 Lomas Boulevard NW – Suite 270
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Honorable M. Christina Armijo
Chief United States District Judge
United States District Court
Pete V. Domenici United States Courthouse
333 Lomas Boulevard, NW
Albuquerque, NM 87102

HAND DELIVERED DOCUMENT

THIS IS A PUBLIC RECORD

Mr. Dykman:

Reference is made to case No. 1:16-cv-00252-KG-KBM; captioned, in part, as it may be deduced from the record, in the attached Exhibit ‘A’.

Reference is also made to: District of New Mexico / United States District Court document http://www.uscourts.gov/court-records, and: United States District Court District of New Mexico Local Rules of Civil Procedure (December 1, 2014).

By such reference the contents herein referenced are incorporated into this communication.

Synopsis:
On June 2, 2016, at approximately 2:30 PM, I (hereinafter: “Mr. Clayton”) requested from Court Clerk Staff (hereinafter: “staff”) information regarding the review, and the possible obtainment of copies, of Court mandated submissions of the Administrative Record pursuant to Case No. 1:16-cv-00252-KG-KBM, a public court record.

Pursuant to information contained in Court document #37 in the aforementioned case, the public record is composed of approximately 2,700 pages of information electronically transmitted to the federal judge assigned to the case, and to a select group of legal counsels involved.

In what is believed to be an extraordinary and wrongful procedure, the above referenced information (public court record) was hand-delivered to unknown staff on June 1, 2016, without documentation or identification being recorded by those involved in the event. The form of the hand-delivery was in the form of a physical object, described in document #37 as a “DVD.”

Page #2.

Mr. Clayton requested from staff a copy of the DVD. His request was met with argument by staff, claiming that the DVD was not, or may not be, a public court record. Mr. Clayton was informed by staff that he would not be able to either review the contents, nor obtain a copy of the DVD through staff. Further, Mr. Clayton was instructed to request the desired information from the select group of legal counsels involved. Staff acknowledged that such legal counsel had no legal obligation whatsoever to comply with, or even give answer to, such a request.

After three (3) staff T.O.’s (employee turn overs), Mr. Clayton was introduced to Nicole Gassner, a staff supervisor and fourth staff T.O., Ms. Gassner, who repeated the previously stated staff communications.

Mr. Clayton asked to speak to the Clerk of Court, Mr. Dykman. Ms. Gassner stated that that would not be possible, but records requests had to be in writing and “had to be communicated by written letter.” Mr. Clayton was specifically told that there was no email address for Mr. Dykman, or for the Office of the Clerk.

Mr. Clayton asked Ms. Gassner about the timeliness of a possible reply if a written request was tendered. Ms. Gassner stated that there “were no rules,” but that usually it “didn’t take too long” and it should not be more than “a couple of days.”

Applicable Rule and Law:
District of New Mexico / United States District Court document http://www.uscourts.gov/court-records, states, in relevant part: “Your request can be made via email, or in person.”

The directive further states, “Copy requests, in general, may be completed within 2-3 hours.” Note: Exceptions are made for documents that do not apply to the situation.

It is noted that the Fee Schedule (http://www.uscourts.gov/services-forms/fees/electronic-public-access-fee-schedule) has no provision for any charge for reproducing a “DVD.” The reason is clear, the submission of a non-paper hand-delivered physical object does not comport with the published Rules of the Court pursuant to document filings.

This fact is made clear by United States District Court District of New Mexico Local Rules of Civil Procedure (December 1, 2014); which states, in relevant part: “I SCOPE OF RULES, RULE 1.5 Definitions. (f) “electronic transmission” includes, but is not limited to: facsimile, electronic mail, or other electronic data transmission. (italics, underlining, and bold type added).”  A DVD is not, pursuant to FCC regulations, an “electronic transmission.” The DVD was physically hand-delivered, not “transmitted.” [Note: the data sent to counsel originated in Washington D.C., ending in New Mexico. The FCC has jurisdiction over such interstate communications. It is unknown by what Interstate regulated trucking company the DVD was delivered.]

The staff was not remiss in accepting the DVD. Local Rules specifically require (at 10.3 (a)) that “The Clerk will not refuse to file any document because it is not in proper form.” However, the Clerk is required to give a party “written notice” of the deficiency. The assumption is that the notice is timely, but no rules have been identified as to the actual time allotted.

Page #3

Summary and Complaint:
Staff failed to communicate to Mr. Clayton, proper Rule information; staff did not observe written rules. Most significantly they failed to produce the court documents that staff admitted were in their possession, and had not been deemed, at the time, to be “non-conforming.”

Mr. Clayton is entitled to view a copy of the document submitted, in its entirety, without charge (See: Electronic Public Access Fee Schedule). Mr. Clayton is entitled to obtain an electronic
version of the document for a fee of $3.00. Mr. Clayton is entitled to obtain select copies of the document at the rate of 10 cents per page.

Request:
Mr. Clayton herein requests that he be permitted to review the document within 2 hours. Please notify me by telephone: 505 / 842-1—, or by email: cityofnikko@gmail.com

Further Complaint:
It is the information and belief of Mr. Clayton that substantial bad faith by the FTA has caused this dangerous, destructive, illegal, and wanton situation.

The complaint is far too vast, and too important, to be detailed here. It is the intent of Mr. Clayton to address the concerns to the Court legally in possession of the court records, at the place of possession. Mr. Clayton shall request remedial measures and also request sanctions.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

¡En español!

This website, busbasics.org, is now bilingual.

The second language is, of course, Spanish. This site is from Albuquerque, and about Albuquerque, which is of course in New Mexico.

Two languages, one state.

Two languages, one state.

So, look in the lower right corner of every screen, on every post, and feel free to jump from English to Spanish and from Spanish to English.

We listen, we see, we are here.

We listen, we see, we are here.

Hey, or Hola, you might learn a few new words or phrases – a better vocabulary is always good for all.

Enjoy. Disfrutar.

May 4, 2016 Response to Albuquerque IPRA Specialist

this post presents the content of the EIGHTH LETTER-DOCUMENT COMMUNICATION FROM DONALD CLAYTON REGARDING THE APRIL 13, 2016, landmarks and urban conservation commission (LUCC) HEARING
Subject: NM IPRA RECORDS REQUEST VIOLATIONS

May 4, 2016

Kathleen Oney
Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist
Chief Records Custodian
Office of the City Clerk
City of Albuquerque
Plaza Del Sol building
600 2nd Street NW – Room 720
Albuquerque, NM 87102

Telephone: 505 / 924-3657
email: koney@cabq.gov

THIS IS A PUBLIC RECORD

Ms Oney:

In a telephone conversation with you, in the late afternoon of May 2, 2016, that occurred at your request, you raised questions regarding jurisdiction, authority, and procedures regarding the City of Albuquerque’s proper compliance with the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

In the telephone conversation you represented that I had not directed my records requests to the proper people. If this is so, it reveals what is apparently a confused and confusing, and probably illegal, IPRA compliance environment within, and that is an inherent part of, the City of Albuquerque.

I quote from the published New Mexico Attorney General .. Compliance Guide for New Mexico Public Officials and Citizens (2015), “Newsome, 90 N.M. at 797. Accordingly, public officials and employees should strive to ensure that all reasonable requests to inspect public records are promptly and efficiently granted.

The conversation and your apparent duties:
Your telephone conversation referred to only two, of what are actually four, outstanding and unresolved written public records requests that I have made since April 6, 2016, regarding the Albuquerque Rapid Transit (ART) Project federal application; Central Avenue Albuquerque Rapid Transit COA Project No. 631991; Project Number: 1010796; and/or Case Number: 16-LUCC 50013.

Your specific request was that I entirely rewrite the first of the two records requests that you acknowledged. You omitted mention of two of three topics of the second of the two records requests that you acknowledged. You understood the request for LUC Commission members addresses and telephone numbers, but you failed to recognize the term ALL PARTIES of standing, or CITIZENS IN INTEREST. I am concerned.

In the conversation you indicated that you were a “public records specialist.” You did not inform me that you were the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist and Chief Records Custodian for the City of Albuquerque. There appears to be very serious confusion regarding your job status and the official City of Albuquerque communications regarding records request procedures as they pertain to the issue of IPRA compliance.

§ 14-2-7 A-E states that: “Each public body shall designate at least one custodian of public records who shall: receive and respond to requests to inspect public records; respond to requests in the same medium, electronic or paper, in which the request was made in addition to any other medium that the custodian deems appropriate; provide proper and reasonable opportunities to inspect public records; provide reasonable facilities to make or furnish copies of the public records during usual business hours; and post in a conspicuous location at the administrative office and on the publicly accessible web site, if any, of each public body a notice describing: the right of a person to inspect a public body’s records; procedures for requesting inspection of public records, including the contact information for the custodian of public records; procedures for requesting copies of public records; reasonable fees for copying public records; and the responsibility of a public body to make available public records for inspection.” (Letters and numbers omitted.)

According to the official City of Albuquerque website Trina M. Gurle, Acting City Clerk, is the ONE custodian of public records that meets compliance requirements. I provide you with the current link to the relevant NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS document. On April 29th, the date of the first request that you acknowledged, I visited the Office of the City Clerk and became aware of the fact that an apparently very new City Clerk had been appointed, Natalie Howard, MPA.

Since Trina Gurule was no longer Acting City Clerk, I sent both of my most recent records requests, appropriately, to Natalie Howard.

The City of Albuquerque officially posted procedure is for requesters to address IPRA records requests to the City Clerk, and that is what I have done. There is no provision in IPRA for anyone other than the designated custodian to delegate authority, unless it is done by writing, I quote § 14-2-8 E “In the event that a written request is not made to the custodian having possession of or responsibility for the public records requested, the person receiving the request shall promptly forward the request to the custodian of the requested public records, if known, and notify the requester.  The notification to the requester shall state the reason for the absence of the records from that person’s custody or control, the records’ location and the name and address of the custodian.”

I have received no notification from the City Clerk stating that she does not have custody of the records requested, nor the reason for the absence of the records from that person’s custody or control, nor of the records’ location and the name and address of the custodian.” Your apparent intrusion and interference with the proper IPRA procedures is cause for grave concern as it apparently undermines proper and clear IPRA compliance. The fact that this conduct comes from a person with the title of Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) Specialist is even more alarming.

Your duties:
I note that your publicly stated job description is to, “Ensure that all departmental records custodians are within compliance of the Inspection of Public Records Act,” and to “Create and present an annual certification for all Departmental Records Custodians on Administrative Instructions and City Clerk’s Regulations and Procedures.” Finally, that you are the apparent enforcement administrator that as, “Chief Records Custodian … oversees over 20 department agencies of the City of Albuquerque.

It is clearly apparent that your job is to “Ensure that all departmental records custodians are within compliance with IPRA.”

However, my experience, since April 10th, 2016, is that City of Albuquerque records custodians, and public records procedures, are systemically not in compliance with IPRA.

  1. My written records request addressed to Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz, dated April 6, 2016, regarding “ART / BRT bus bids” was not properly responded to within three days.
  2. The Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz wrongly denied the above IPRA violation.
  3. Transit Department custodian Doreen De La Cruz subsequently informed me that it would be “15 days” to produce the records, even though she stated she did not have custody of the records requested.
  4. She forwarded the request to Finance & Administration Department records custodian Christine Garcia on April 12th. Custodian Christine Garcia failed to respond to the records request in three days. She failed to respond in 15 days. She has still not responded as of this date.
  5. A person in the Finance Department, not a custodian, but a de facto custodian, Ramona Martinez, interjected herself into the records request process by contacting me and not custodian Christine Martinez. Ramona Martinez claimed to have been trained in IPRA regulations, but she orally denied records access to “bus bids public records” requested and failed to state in writing the reason why.
  6. There has still been no response or records production regarding much of my April 6th records request.
  7. On April 20th, 2016, I made a request to the de facto “department custodian of LUCC records,” Ms Hennessy, requesting email addresses for the LUC Commission. She failed to respond within three days, and also failed to forward the records request to any other appropriate custodian. It is my information and believe that Ms Hennessy had immediate and clear access to the email records requested.
  8. While the IPRA regulations provide, “A custodian receiving a written request shall permit the inspection immediately or as soon as is practicable under the circumstances,” it is common practice within the City of Albuquerque to withhold records in custody from “immediate inspection” and to improperly and systemically invoke the “15 day” clause.
  9. Evidence of this dilatory, and obfuscatory, tactic is available in the “boiler plate” response from Linda Evans who, on May 2, 2016, stated, “While the City makes every effort to respond to requests in 3 days, it may take up to 15 days.  We will respond as quickly as we can but no later than May 17, 2016.”
  10. My written records request addressed to the City of Albuquerque City Clerk was not properly responded to, but was improperly delegated to you, without the IPRA required written notice from the City Clerk.
  11. If the April 29th, 2016, request had actually been read, it would have been noted that at least one document requested from the City Clerk, is in the immediate possession of the City Clerk – that document being a signed version of the LUCC Rules, filed with the City Clerk by law.

Given the above stated situation, it is, I believe, abundantly apparent that the City of Albuquerque has no interest in being voluntarily “IPRA compliant.”

It is my further belief that the only reasonable solution to the situation is to request that authoritative powers review the situation, and make such recommendations, or orders, that might benefit and protect the rights of the public at large.

If you are aware of any written rules, any City Ordinances, or any written regulations that have not been referenced herein, but that would, or could, substantiate the propriety of your conduct, please notify me of such documents at once. If you contend that you, and not the City Clerk of Albuquerque, are the designated custodian pursuant to § 14-2-7 A-E, then please produce, and send to me, a dated document, copies of which have been legally and properly posted.

Sincerely,
Donald Clayton

NEW MEXICO INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS ACT

it is a public right IN NEW MEXICO to be able to know about, and review, public records held by, or created at public expense by, government

The State of New Mexico has enacted the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). The 2015 Compliance Guide for the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act can be read HERE.

New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act
NMSA 1978 § 14-2

[Note: NMSA is an abbreviation for New Mexico Statutes Annotated.]

14-2-1.  Right to inspect public records; exceptions.
14-2-2.   Repealed.
14-2-3.   Repealed.
14-2-4.  Short Title.
14-2-5.  Purpose of act; declaration of public policy.
14-2-6.  Definitions.
14-2-7.  Designation of custodian; duties.
14-2-8.  Procedure for requesting records.
14-2-9.  Procedure for inspection.
14-2-10.  Procedure for excessively burdensome or broad requests.
14-2-11.  Procedure for denied requests.
14-2-12.  Enforcement.

§ 14-2-1.  Right to inspect public records; exceptions.

A.     Every person has a right to inspect public records of this state except:

(1)     records pertaining to physical or mental examinations and medical treatment of persons confined to an institution;

(2)     letters of reference concerning employment, licensing or permits;

(3)     letters or memoranda that are matters of opinion in personnel files or students’ cumulative files;

(4)     law enforcement records that reveal confidential sources, methods, information or individuals accused but not charged with a crime.  Law enforcement records include evidence in any form received or compiled in connection with a criminal investigation or prosecution by a law enforcement or prosecuting agency, including inactive matters or closed investigations to the extent that they contain the information listed in this paragraph;

(5)     as provided by the Confidential Materials Act [14-3A-1 NMSA 1978];

(6)     trade secrets, attorney-client privileged information and long-range or strategic business plans of public hospitals discussed in a properly closed meeting;

(7)     tactical response plans or procedures prepared for or by the state or a political subdivision of the state, the publication of which could reveal specific vulnerabilities, risk assessments or tactical emergency security procedures that could be used to facilitate the planning or execution of a terrorist attack; and

(8)     as otherwise provided by law.[1]

B.    Protected personal identifier information contained in public records may be redacted by a public body before inspection or copying of a record. The presence of protected personal identifier information on a record does not exempt the record from inspection. Unredacted records that contain protected personal identifier information shall not be made available on publicly accessible web sites operated by or managed on behalf of a public body.

§ 14-2-4.  Short Title.

Chapter 14, Article 2 NMSA 1978 may be cited as the “Inspection of Public Records Act”.

§ 14-2-5.  Purpose of act; declaration of public policy.

Recognizing that a representative government is dependent upon an informed electorate, the intent of the legislature in enacting the Inspection of Public Records Act [14-2-4 NMSA 1978] is to ensure, and it is declared to be the public policy of this state, that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public officers and employees.  It is the further intent of the legislature, and it is declared to be the public policy of this state, that to provide persons with such information is an essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the routine duties of public officers and employees.

14-2-6.  Definitions.

As used in the Inspection of Public Records Act [14-2-4 NMSA 1978]:

A.     “custodian” means any person responsible for the maintenance, care or keeping of a public body’s public records, regardless of whether the records are in that person’s actual physical custody and control;

B.      “file format” means the internal structure of an electronic file that defines the way it is stored and used;

C.     “inspect” means to review all public records that are not excluded in Section 14-2-1 NMSA 1978;

D.     “person” means any individual, corporation, partnership, firm, association or entity;

E.[2]     “protected personal identifier information” means:

(1)          all but the last four digits of a:

(a) taxpayer identification number;
(b) financial account number; or
(c) driver’s license number;

(2)          all but the year of a person’s date of birth; and

(3)          a social security number.

F.     “public body” means the executive, legislative and judicial branches of state and local governments and all advisory boards, commissions, committees, agencies or entities created by the constitution or any branch of government that receives any public funding, including political subdivisions, special taxing districts, school districts and institutions of higher education; and

G.     “public records” means all documents, papers, letters, books, maps, tapes, photographs, recordings and other materials, regardless of physical form or characteristics, that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created or maintained.

14-2-7.  Designation of custodian; duties.

Each public body shall designate at least one custodian of public records who shall:

A.      receive and respond to requests to inspect public records;

B.      respond to requests in the same medium, electronic or paper, in which the request was made in addition to any other medium that the custodian deems appropriate;

C.      provide proper and reasonable opportunities to inspect public records;

D.     provide reasonable facilities to make or furnish copies of the public records during usual business hours; and

E.      post in a conspicuous location at the administrative office and on the publicly accessible web site, if any, of each public body a notice describing:

(1)         the right of a person to inspect a public body’s records;

(2)          procedures for requesting inspection of public records, including the contact information for the custodian of public records;

(3)          procedures for requesting copies of public records;

(4)          reasonable fees for copying public records; and

(5)          the responsibility of a public body to make available public records for inspection.

14-2-8.  Procedure for requesting records.

A.     Any person wishing to inspect public records may submit an oral or written request to the custodian.  However, the procedures set forth in this section shall be in response to a written request.  The failure to respond to an oral request shall not subject the custodian to any penalty.

B.     Nothing in the Inspection of Public Records Act shall be construed to require a public body to create a public record.

C.     A written request shall provide the name, address and telephone number of the person seeking access to the records and shall identify the records sought with reasonable particularity.  No person requesting records shall be required to state the reason for inspecting the records.

D.     A custodian receiving a written request shall permit the inspection immediately or as soon as is practicable under the circumstances, but not later than fifteen days after receiving a written request.  If the inspection is not permitted within three business days, the custodian shall explain in writing when the records will be available for inspection or when the public body will respond to the request.  The three-day period shall not begin until the written request is delivered to the office of the custodian.

E.     In the event that a written request is not made to the custodian having possession of or responsibility for the public records requested, the person receiving the request shall promptly forward the request to the custodian of the requested public records, if known, and notify the requester.  The notification to the requester shall state the reason for the absence of the records from that person’s custody or control, the records’ location and the name and address of the custodian.

F.     For the purposes of this section, “written request” includes an electronic communication, including email or facsimile; provided that the request complies with the requirements of Subsection C of this section.

14-2-9.  Procedure for inspection.

A.     Requested public records containing information that is exempt and nonexempt from disclosure shall be separated by the custodian prior to inspection, and the nonexempt information shall be made available for inspection.  If necessary to preserve the integrity of computer data or the confidentiality of exempt information contained in a database, a partial printout of data containing public records or information may be furnished in lieu of an entire database.   Exempt information in an electronic document shall be removed along with the corresponding metadata prior to disclosure by utilizing methods or redaction tools that prevent the recovery of exempt information from a redacted electronic document.

B.     A custodian shall provide a copy of a public record in electronic format if the public record is available in electronic format and an electronic copy is specifically requested. However, a custodian is only required to provide the electronic record in the file format in which it exists at the time of the request.

C.     A custodian:

(1)         may charge reasonable fees for copying the public records, unless a different fee is otherwise prescribed by law;

(2)         shall not charge fees in excess of one dollar ($1.00) per printed page for documents eleven inches by seventeen inches in size or smaller;

(3)         may charge the actual costs associated with downloading copies of public records to a computer disk or storage device, including the actual cost of the computer disk or storage device;

(4)         may charge the actual costs associated with transmitting copies of public records by mail, electronic mail or facsimile;

(5)         may require advance payment of the fees before making copies of public records;

(6)         shall not charge a fee for the cost of determining whether any public record is subject to disclosure; and

(7)         shall provide a receipt, upon request.

D.     Nothing in this section regarding the provision of public data in electronic format shall limit the ability of the custodian to engage in the sale of data as authorized by Section 14-3-15.1 NMSA 1978, including imposing reasonable restrictions on the use of the database and the payment of a royalty or other consideration.

14-2-10.  Procedure for excessively burdensome or broad requests.

If a custodian determines that a written request is excessively burdensome or broad, an additional reasonable period of time shall be allowed to comply with the request. The custodian shall provide written notification to the requester within fifteen days of receipt of the request that additional time will be needed to respond to the written request.  The requester may deem the request denied and may pursue the remedies available pursuant to the Inspection of Public Records Act [14-2-4 NMSA 1978] if the custodian does not permit the records to be inspected in a reasonable period of time.

14-2-11.  Procedure for denied requests.

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 [14-2-4 NMSA 1978].

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.  Damages shall:

(1)         be awarded if the failure to provide a timely explanation of denial 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; and

(4)          be payable from the funds of the public body.

14-2-12.  Enforcement.

A.     An action to enforce the Inspection of Public Records Act [14-2-4 NMSA 1978] may be brought by:

(1)          the attorney general or the district attorney in the county of jurisdiction; or

(2)          a person whose written request has been denied.

B.     A district court may issue a writ of mandamus or order an injunction or other appropriate remedy to enforce the provisions of the Inspection of Public Records Act.

C.     The exhaustion of administrative remedies shall not be required prior to bringing any action to enforce the procedures of the Inspection of Public Records Act.

D.     The court shall award damages, costs and reasonable attorneys’ fees to any person whose written request has been denied and is successful in a court action to enforce the provisions of the Inspection of Public Records Act.


[1]  The 2011 amendments moved four exceptions to other statutes. Language creating an exception for “public records containing the identity of or identifying information relating to an applicant or nominee for the position of president of a public institution of higher education” will be moved to a new section of NMSA 1978 § 21-1. Public-notice procedures for the presidential search process (previously NMSA 1978 § 14-2-1.B-E) will also be moved to 21-1. A consolidated version of three exceptions for veterans’ discharge records will be moved to a new section of NMSA 1978 § 14-8.
[2]  Subsection E will likely appear only in the annotated version of the compiled statutes, since the bill which added subsection B to this section was signed into law at a later date. It is still considered by the Attorney General’s Office to be part of the law.

CITY OF ALBUQUERQUE RECORDS CUSTODIANS

 

it is a public right to be able to know about, and review, public records held by, or created at public expense by, government

The City of Albuquerque claims to be compliant with the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA). However, there are complaints.

Generally speaking there are hundreds, if not thousands, of public records requests that are made, and seamlessly fullfilled, every weekday by citizens and City employees. Most requests are oral. In many cases copies of information are provided for free, or in some cases electronic links to on-line information is provided. In some cases a 50¢ charge is made for documents photo-copied. Large documents, color copies, audio CD’s, and other less common forms of public records may involve larger fees.

There is never a fee for the simple review of a public record, only for a reproduction or a copy.

Problems occur when a government is not transparent; when documents asked for are not available. In such a case a formal, ie written, records request is made. Any records request can be made by note, by regular letter, or by email; the only rule is that it be written, and that it reasonably conforms to the rules. The rules (law) regarding such requests are contained in the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA).

The current, undated, and obviously out of date, City of Albuquerque NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS document is HERE. The City consistently refuses to post capturable image versions of their important documents. Such non-image documents, if found, should always be printed out, and manually dated, so that you have a properly dated record.

In the case of the City of Albuquerque the primary Custodian of Records is the City Clerk (or Acting City Clerk).

  • Her name is Natalie Howard, MPA. Her email address is: nhoward@cabq.gov

The City of Albuquerque Chief Records Custodian is Kathleen Oney. Her job is also to, “Ensure that all departmental records custodians are within compliance of the Inspection of Public Records Act.”

  • Her name is Kathleen Oney. Her email address is: koney@cabq.gov

The City of Albuquerque operates under a theory of Departmental Records Cutodians. The theory is that such custodians will comply with the law (IPRA) in regard to immediate production, three day letters, and proper forwarding of requests if documents are not “in the custody” of a given City department.

The City of Albuquerque practice is that generally a “15 day letter“, if any letter is sent at all, is sent within three days. There is seldom “immediate” production in the case of a written request. It is very seldom that requests are properly forwarded to the correct custodian, and if they are, the new custodian virtually never responds appropriately when receiving a forwarded request.

The complexity of the situation is often compounded further by the practice wherein the City hides public records by depositing them in departments that are both unintuitive, and often apparently irrelevant, to the anticipated jurisdiction implied by department names.

The names of the City of Albuquerque Departmental Custodians are linked, in an undated document, HERE. Much of the information is obviously deficient and wrong. For example, there is no “City Clerk Department.”

Based on the information provided above, as it was available on May 3, 2016, and from other more reliable sources, the following alphabetical list is presented:

NATALIE HOWARD

Appointment of Natalie Y. Howard to the Position of City Clerk, City of Albuquerque, occurred on May 18, 2015. On this date Trina Gurule no longer was “Acting City Clerk.” (See: Mayor, Video, KRQE)

All of the NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS 8.5 x 11 departmental notice signs, division signs, and the CABQ website notice had the Trina Gurule information posted. As of May 4, 2016, when numerous pictures were taken, the Trina Gurule notice signs were still up.

The evidence suggests that the City of Albuquerque (CABQ) was not, and is not, in IPRA compliance from May 18, 2015, until the Present.

Details regarding Natalie Howard became a PUBLIC RECORD on May 11, 2015:

4 page Image Document:

Natalie Howard City Clerk appointment letter.

Natalie Howard City Clerk appointment letter.

City Clerk Natalie Howard appointment letter 2.

City Clerk Natalie Howard appointment letter 2. Robert J. Perry, Albuquerque CAO, signature.

Natalie Howard CABQ resume A.

Natalie Howard CABQ resume A.

Natalie Howard CABQ resume B.

Natalie Howard CABQ resume B.

NOTICE OF RIGHT TO INSPECT PUBLIC RECORDS

City of Albuquerque

Office of the City Clerk
Richard J. Berry, Mayor
Trina M. Gurule, Acting City Clerk

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 maintained by the City of Albuquerque. The Act also makes compliance with requests to inspect public records an integral part of the routine duties of the officers and employees of the City of Albuquerque. It is the responsibility of the City to make public records available for inspection.

Requests to inspect public records should be submitted the Office of the City Clerk, 600 2nd Street NW, Plaza del Sol Building 7th Floor, Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102, (505) 924-3650 or mail: cityclerk@cabq.gov. Citizens may also request records from the Departmental Records Custodians found here http://www.cabq.gov/clerk/public-records.

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 sufficient contact information for the person making the request, including name and either a mailing or email address and telephone number. The request must describe the records sought in sufficient detail to enable the records custodian to identify and locate the requested records.

The City will provide a copy of a public record in an electronic format if the record is available in an electronic format and an electronic copy is specifically requested. However, the City will provide the electronic record in the file format in which it exists at the time of the request.

The City must permit inspection immediately or as soon as practicable, but no later than fifteen (15) calendar days after the records custodian receives the inspection request. If inspection is not permitted within three (3) business days, the person making the request will receive a written response explaining when the records will be available for inspection or when the City 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 fifteen (15) calendar days after the records custodian received the request for inspection.

If a person requesting inspection would like a copy of a public record, the City may charge a reasonable fee. The City may charge up to $0.50 per page per Administrative Instruction 1-7. The City may charge the actual costs associated with downloading electronic records to a disk or storage device as well as for the actual costs associated with transmitting copies by mail, facsimile, or other method. The fee for a CD or DVD is $6.75. The City may request that applicable fees be paid in advance, before the copies are made. A receipt indicating that the fees have been paid for making copies of public records will be provided upon request to the person requesting the copies.