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Administrative Procedure Act – New Mexico

The New Mexico Administrative Procedure Act is found in Article 8, chapter 12 of New Mexico Statutes.  N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-25 provides that the purpose of enacting the Administrative Procedures Act is to promote uniformity with respect to administrative procedures and to provide judicial review of administrative decisions.  According to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-3, an agency should adopt rules of practice and provide written statements of general policy, final orders decisions and opinions for public inspection and copying.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-4 requires an agency to give at least 30 days’ notice regarding adoption, amendment or repeal of any rule.  Also, an agency should afford all interested persons reasonable opportunity to submit data, views, or arguments, orally or in writing.  Further, the agency should consider all written and oral submissions regarding the proposed rule.

Upon adoption of a rule, contested at hearing or otherwise, the agency should issue a concise statement of its principal reasons for adoption of the rule and a statement of positions rejected in adopting the rule together with the reasons for the rejections.  All persons heard or represented at any hearing, or who submit any writing to be considered in connection with the proposed rule, should be given a copy of the decision, by mail or otherwise.

If an agency finds that an immediate danger to the public peace, health, safety, or general welfare requires adoption of a rule upon fewer than 30 days’ notice and states in writing its reasons for that finding, it may proceed without prior notice or hearing to adopt an emergency rule.

As per N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-5, each agency should file each rule adopted by it according to the State Rules Act and is effective fifteen days after filing.  According to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-7, any interested person may petition an agency requesting the promulgation, amendment or repeal of a rule and may accompany his petition with data, views and arguments.  Within thirty days after the submission of a petition, the agency may deny the petition in writing, stating its reasons for the denial, or initiate rulemaking proceedings.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-8 provides that the validity or applicability of a rule may be determined in an action for declaratory judgment in the district court of Santa Fe county.  N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-9 requires an agency to issue a declaratory ruling with respect to the applicability of any statutory provision, rule, decision or order, on a petition of any person substantially affected by a rule.

According to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-10, in adjudicatory proceedings, agencies should give all parties an opportunity for full and fair hearing.  Also, opportunity should be given to all parties to respond and present evidence and argument on all issues involved.

N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-11 provides that in adjudicatory proceedings, irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence should be excluded.  Further, every party may call and examine witnesses, introduce exhibits, cross-examine witnesses who testify and submit rebuttal evidence.  Any party may be represented by counsel licensed to practice law in the state of New Mexico or by any other person authorized by law.  As per N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-12, a final decision or order in an adjudicatory proceeding should be in writing or stated in the record.

According to N.M. Stat. Ann. § 12-8-16, a person aggrieved by a final decision of an agency may appeal the decision to district court by filing in district court a notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of filing of the final decision.  The appeal may be taken to the district court for the county in which the agency maintains its principal office or the district court of any county in which a hearing on the matter was conducted.

A party may seek review of the district court decision by filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the court of appeals.  A party may seek further review by filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the Supreme Court.

Inside Administrative Procedure Act – New Mexico