Thursday, March 10, 2011

State Supreme Court says people can make records requests anonymously

The New Mexico Supreme Court on Wednesday decided that everyone should have access to public records, including those who request documents anonymously through a third party.

According to the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government, the court in the case considered whether a water-users association could sue the state when various government agencies had failed to produce all of the public records responsive to its requests under the state's records law. A private law firm had submitted the requests.

FOG Executive Director Sarah Welsh said the decision is "a victory for democratic and open government principles."

"When we talk about the public’s right to know, it’s important to remember how much power the state has, and how intimidating it can be for private citizens to actually exercise their access rights," she said in a statement. "This opinion is a reminder that our state records law is incredibly strong, and that any artificial procedural barriers erected to stymie enforcement simply won’t pass muster."

Here's the decision:

Opinion.3.8.11 1 OCR Version

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