Rio Rancho, NM – The Southwest Public Policy Institute (SPPI) has alleged that the New Mexico Department of Health (NMDOH) improperly responded to a public records request. SPPI filed a lawsuit against NMDOH in response to the improper response, and now claims that NMDOH is failing to respond to the properly served lawsuit.
According to the latest filing in the case (No. D-101-CV-2023-00367), NMDOH has requested an extension of time to file an answer to the complaint. However, as of April 6, 2023, NMDOH’s answer to the complaint was already eight days past the March 29, 2023 deadline.
“The public has a right to know. It is unacceptable that a government agency would be so unaccountable and fail to respond to a properly served lawsuit,” said Patrick M. Brenner, president of SPPI. “We will continue to hold NMDOH accountable and pursue this case until justice is served.”
SPPI’s lawsuit alleges that NMDOH improperly responded to a public records request for information about the state’s COVID-19 vaccine distribution plan, specifically surrounding the state’s “Vax2theMax” sweepstakes. The lawsuit seeks to compel NMDOH to comply with the request and provide the requested information.
NMDOH has filed a motion to extend the time for filing their answer to the lawsuit. Through its counsel, SPPI has opposed NMDOH’s extension request.
The case is currently pending in the First Judicial District of New Mexico.