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The New Mexico Foundation for Open Government (FOG) agrees with Attorney General Raul Torrez’s assessment that the Second Judicial District Court violated the Inspection of Public Records Act (IPRA) when it failed to provide records to KRQE-TV 13 Reporter Larry Barker and KOB-TV 4 Reporter Ryan Laughlin.

The Court’s denial of the reporters’ requests to inspect records related to GPS alerts and other documents in possession of the Court’s Pretrial Services Division (PTS) jeopardizes the public’s right to access to information regarding PTS, a division of the Court funded through public tax dollars.

FOG supports NMDOJ’s action against the Second Judicial District Court to enforce IPRA, because the court cannot shield its records from public inspection unless the records fit within a lawful exemption. The requested PTS records do not fall under any of the enumerated exceptions to public disclosure under IPRA, and FOG agrees with the Attorney General that the Second Judicial District Court has improperly denied access to its public records.

If the Court denies the media and the public access to basic information about PTS and criminal defendants’ compliance on pretrial release, how can the public trust the system is working? The court’s withholding of these records is damaging to the public’s trust in the Court’s ability to effectively supervise pretrial criminal defendants.  The Attorney General’s legal action is a step towards increasing the public’s confidence by fighting for the public’s right to know. Openness and accountability are the cornerstones of good