Thursday, December 03, 2009

New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act largely feckless.

If the NMIPRA were enforceable it might be of some use.

As it is, the fundamental flaw is largely insurmountable.
Those with the greatest need to hide the truth are the
same people who get to redact the truth. The inherent
conflict of interest is obvious, yet completely ignored.

If you are of the opinion that the truth has been redacted
dishonestly, you have three options;

  1. asking your District Attorney for help,
  2. asking the Attorney General for help, or
  3. filing your own lawsuit.

In truth you have only one choice; filing a lawsuit on your own.

Both District Attorneys and the Attorney General's Office
are so underfunded, they must pick and choose among the
cases they will investigate and follow up upon.

Given a forced choice between prosecuting serious felony
misconduct and relatively unimportant public records issues,
they make an appropriate choice.

You will receive no help from either.

If you choose to file your own lawsuit, you will be taking them
on, on their playing field. They will have all the lawyers they
want, at taxpayer expense. You will have to pay for your own,

It could take years, as the legal system is easily manipulated
by taking advantage of loopholes, technicalities and all manner
of legal weaselry.

The situation is further complicated by the fact there are no
penalties or consequences for public servants who disobey
this law, no matter how flagrant or egregious their disobedience.

There are fines which can be imposed, up to $100 per day, but
these fines are paid by taxpayers, not by the offending politician
or public servant.

The solution is to rework the Inspection of Public Records Act.

The rework is simple and straightforward; if there is a dispute
over redaction, the dispute is surrendered to impartial redaction
by a third party, perhaps out of the Attorney General's Office.

This would require additional funding for the AGO.
Therefore, there will be no reform.

And in a dispute over public records, you remain,

entirely on your own.

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