Hello Ms. Hunt,
On 01/15/2018, we received your request to inspect the following records:
REQUEST FOR INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS
RE: My Client: Max Cordova
Case #: 170115194
Dear Public Entities:
The purpose of this letter is to request that you preserve and provide me with any and all unredacted documents, photographs, videotape footage, cads printout, DWI report, 911 calls, cads audio CD recording, belt tapes, all lapel camera videos, blood test results, breathalyzer test results and any other unredacted reports with information related to the information listed above.
This request is made pursuant to the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act §14-2-1 NMSA 2003.
Pursuant to §14-2-8(D) NMSA 2003, I am requesting that you permit the inspection of the aforementioned items as soon as possible but not later than fifteen (15) days from the date of this letter. I agree to pay a reasonable fee for the copying of these public records. Please inform me of the cost of production prior to sending the requested information.
If you intend to dispose of and/or release any documents, photographs, videotape footage, cads printout, cads audio CD recording, lapel camera videos and any other reports with information, please provide me with at least two (2) weeks written notice so I may obtain a court order for preservation of the items. If you have any questions as to whether a particular item should be preserved or may be disposed of, please contact me. If you are unable to contact me, please preserve the item until we can discuss the matter.
If any law enforcement personnel have been involved in any aspect of this investigation, please direct them to preserve any and all items in their possession related to their investigation. In addition, I am asking that you provide me with the name of the responsible officer from any law enforcement agency involved in this investigation so that I may communicate with them directly.
Under New Mexico and federal law, the failure to preserve potentially relevant evidence may provide the basis for a separate cause of action for spoliation of evidence and/or interference with access to the courts. See for instance the state and federal cases of: Coleman v. Eddy Potash, Inc., 120 N.M. 645, 905 P.2d 185 (1995); Restaurant Management Co. v. Kidde Fenwal, Inc., 1999-NMCA-101, ¶ 10, 127 N.M. 708, 986 P.2d. 504;, and Wilson v. Meeks, 52 F.3d 1547 (10th Cir. 1995). New Mexico law has upheld the practice of releasing records of public officials, i.e., police officers, see Cox v. The New Mexico Department of Safety, 2010-NMCA-096, 148 N.M. 934, 242 P.3d 501.
If you, or your risk managers, would like to meet to discuss any aspect of this request before the fifteen (15) days expire please contact my office. In the event you require any further details to investigate this matter please contact me immediately. Thank you for your cooperation and attention to this request.
WHITENER LAW FIRM, P.A.
Matthew T. Tucker, Esq.
These records are exempt from disclosure under the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA 1978, Section 14-2-1(A)(4) (confidential law enforcement records) and (A)(8) (as otherwise provided by law). We cannot permit inspection because, if made public the requested records could seriously interfere with the effectiveness of a criminal investigation or prosecution. Additionally, if disclosed the records could alert potential defendants to destroy evidence, coordinate stories, or flee the jurisdiction. Further, incomplete investigations contain information that might unfairly cast suspicion on and invade the privacy of innocent people.
These records will no longer be exempt from disclosure when the investigation is complete. My office will close out your request. Please let me know if you have any questions.
APD Records Custodian/IPRA Supervisor
Office (505) 768-2137
Cell (505) 980-4944