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HRDC v. BOCC Otero County, NM, Complaint, Public Records, 2018

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FILED
12TH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
OTERO COUNTY NM
8/31/2018 9:11 AM
KATINA WATSON
CLERK OF COURT
Sven Michael Sears

TWELFTH JUDICIAL DISTRICT COURT
STATE OF NEW MEXICO
COUNTY OF OTERO

Human Rights Defense Center,

Plaintift
Cause No. D-1215-CV-2018-00864

v.
Board of County Commissioners
for the County of Otero,
Sylvia C. Tillbrook,
Michael Eshleman
John Doe(s) 1-5,
Defendants.

Blankinship, Steven

COMPLAINT FOR PRODUCTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS,
FOR MANDAMUS, DAMAGES, AND DECLARATORY AND
INJUNCTIVE RELIEF
COMES NOW the Human Rights Defense Center, by and through undersigned counsel,
and hereby brings the following causes of action to enforce the New Mexico Inspection of Public
Records Act.

I.

INTRODUCTION

1. Public transparency is a key part of the foundation of a strong democracy.
2. The Human Rights Defense Center, a nonprofit journalism and advocacy organization,

brings this action pursuant to the New Mexico Inspection of Public Records Act, NMSA
1978, § 14-2-1, et seq., ("IPRA") to compel production ofrecords maintained or controlled

by Otero County, and for injunctive relief and damages arising from the Otero County's
willful failure and refusal to produce public records as required by law.

1

II .

PARTI ES , J U RISDI CTION, AN D VEN UE

3. T he Human Rights Defense Center is a non-profit organization, incorporated in the state

of Washington, with headquarters in Lake Worth, Florida and offices in Nashville,
Tennessee, Washington, DC, and Seattle, Washington. It is a "person" as defined by IPRA.
4. Defendant Board of County Commissioners for the County of Otero ("Otero County") is

a duly authorized governmental agency under the laws of the State of New Mexico. Under
NMSA 1978, § 4-46-1, all suits against a county are to be brought in the name of the board
of county commissioners of that county. As such, the county may sue or be sued in its name.
Defendant Board of County Commissioners for the Otero County is a "public body" as
defined by IPRA.
5. Defendant Sylvia C. T illbrook, named in her official capacity, is the official designated by
Otero County as the Records Custodian and, as such, is responsible for the maintenance,
care or keeping of Otero County's public records.
6. Defendant Michael Eshleman, also named in his official capacity, participated in and issued
the decision rejecting Plaintiff's records requests and was responsible for withholding
records and information responsive to IPRA requests at issue in this complaint.
7. Upon information and belief, J ohn Doe Defendants are or were officials employed by Otero

County who participated in the decision or were responsible for denying the inspection of
records responsive to Plaintiff's records request.
8. Jurisdiction and venue are proper pursuant to IPRA and the general venue statute NMSA
1978, § 38-3-l(G).

2

9. There exists an actual controversy between the parties regarding the Defendants' duties
under IPRA. Accordingly, an action for declaratory relief is authorized under NMSA 1978,

§ 44-6-2 and § 44-6-4.
III.

FACTUAL ALLEGATIONS

10. IPRA creates a foundation for an open, functioning democracy. It is the
public policy of this state, that all persons are entitled to the greatest possible
information regarding the affairs of government and the official acts of public
officers and employees. It is further the intent of the legislature, and it is declared
to be the public policy of this state, that to provide persons with such information is
an essential function of a representative government and an integral part of the
routine duties of public officers and employees.
NMSA 1978, § 14-2-5.
11. IPRA broadly defines the records to which the public is entitled to access: "all documents
... that are used, created, received, maintained or held by or on behalf of any public body
and relate to public business, whether or not the records are required by law to be created
or maintained." NMSA 1978, § 14-2-6(G).
12. On June 19, 2018, The Human Rights Defense Center sent a request to Pamela S. Heltner,
Otero County Manager. A copy of the request is attached as Exhibit A.
13. That request sought records, in electronic format or if not possible, in hard copy, related to

claims or lawsuits made against Otero County Sheriff's Office, its agents, and its employees
in which there was a payment made of $1,000 or more to resolve the claim or lawsuit. The
request was limited to documents created after January 1, 2010.
14. For each described claim or lawsuit, the Human Rights Defense Center requested the
instigating and closing documents, for example, a Complaint and a Settlement Agreement.

3

15. On July 2, 2018, Michael Eshleman, Otero County Attorney, replied on behalf of Otero
County, outlining reasons for the County's refusal to produce any records. A copy of the
letter is attached as Exhibit B.
16. On August 3, 2018, The Human Rights Defense Center sent a second request to the records
custodian at the Otero County Detention Center. A copy of the request is attached as
Exhibit C.
17. This second request sought records, in electronic format or if not possible, in hard copy,

related to claims or lawsuits made against Otero County Detention Center, its agents, and
its employees in which there was a payment made of $1,000 or more to resolve the claim or
lawsuit. The request was limited to documents created after January 1, 2010.
18. For each described claim or lawsuit, the Human Rights Defense Center requested the
instigating and closing documents, for example, a Complaint and a Settlement Agreement.
19. On August 7, 2018, Michael Eshleman, Otero County Attorney, replied on behalf of Otero
County, outlining reasons for the Detention Center's refusal to produce any records. A copy
of the letter is attached as Exhibit D.
20. The second letter was substantially identical to the first letter from Mr. Eshleman, and
provided the same reasons for refusal to produce any records.
21. The reasons provided for the refusal to produce records in response to both requests were:
a. Claims and litigation against Otero County are handled by outside defense counsel,
who maintain the case files, and that therefore, these records are not "public
records."
b. The process of contacting outside counsel would inherently create new records.

4

c. Complying with the request would require creation of a database.
22. Nowhere in the refusal to produce records related to litigation does it indicate that
documents were withheld pursuant to any exception under IPRA.
23. In New Mexico, as in every American jurisdiction, legal files belong to, and must be
accessible to, the client.
24. In New Mexico, as in every American jurisdiction, payment of a lawyer by a third party does
not limit a lawyer's obligations to his or her client.
25. Under IPRA, the records custodian is "responsible for the maintenance, care or keeping of
a public body's public records, regardless of whether the records are in the [custodian's]
actual physical custody and control[.]" NMSA 1978, § 14-2-6(B).
26. A governmental body's choice to create new public records, for example by communicating
via email instead of by phone or keeping internal progress notes instead of relying on human
memory, does not alter its obligations under IPRA.

COUNT ONE:
VIOLATIONS OF THE INSPECTION OF PUBLIC RECORDS ACT
27. The Plaintiff incorporates by reference the foregoing allegations.
28. The Defendants have violated IPRA in the following ways:
a. The Defendants failed to produce the documents requested by the Plaintiff and as
required by IPRA; and

5

b. If the Defendants are relying on any exemption as a basis for withholding records, then
Defendants failed, when withholding documents responsive to the records requests, to
issue a proper denial of the records requests.
29. The Plaintiff is entitled to recover damages, at up to $100 per day per violation, and its costs
and attorneys' fees in pursuing this action pursuant to Section 14-2-ll(C) and Section 14-212(D) ofIPRA.

COUNT T WO:
D ECLARATORY RELI EF
30. T he Plaintiff incorporates by reference the foregoing allegations.
31. There exists an actual controversy between the Plaintiff and the Defendants whether the
Defendants' conduct, as alleged above, constitutes violations of IPRA and whether the
Otero County can refuse to retrieve public records from its attorneys.
32. Plaintiff is entitled to declaratory relief that Defendants have violated IPRA, and that
Defendants must provide the requested records to Plaintiff, even if the records are currently
in the possession of Defendants' attorneys.

COUNT T H REE:
INJ UN CTIV E RELIEF AN D MAN DAMUS
33. T he Plaintiff incorporates by reference the foregoing allegations.
34. Pursuant to NMSA 1978, § 14-2-12(B) (2010), Plaintiff is entitled to a writ of mandamus
or injunction ordering the Defendants to produce all relevant public records, as provided in
Plaintiff's request.
6

Wherefore, the Plaintiff prays that:
1.

the Court declare that the Defendants have violated IPRA in responding to Plaintiff's
records requests;

2. the Court issue a writ of mandamus or injunction ordering the Defendants to produce the
records and information requested without further delay, to produce all similar such
documents in the future, and to adopt policies and procedures and training sufficient to
correct the policies and practices that have resulted in the improper denials in this case;
and
3. the Court enter an order for such other and further relief as the Court deems just and
proper, including but not limited to damages, costs, and reasonable attorneys' fees.
Date:

Respectfully Submitted:

Is I Mark H Donatelli
Mark H. Donatelli
Caroline "KC" Manierre
Rothstein Donatelli, LLP
P.O. Box 8180
Santa Fe, NM 87504
Tel: (505) 988-8004
mhd@rothsteinlaw.com
cmanierre@rothsteinlaw.com

Is I Deborah M. Golden
Deborah M. Golden
Pro Hae Vice affidavit forthcoming
Human Rights Defense Center
316 F Street NW, #107
Washington, DC 20002
Tel: (202) 543-8100
Mobile: (202) 630-0332
dgolden@humanrightsdefensecenter.org
7

Human Rights Defense Center
DEDICATED TO PROTECTING HUMAN RrGHTS

June J9, 20 18

Otero County Manager
Attn: Pamela Hellner
1101 New York Ave., Room #106
Alamogordo, NM 8831 0
Re:

Request for Settlements and Verdicts Records

Dear Ms. Heitner,
The Human Rights Defense Center (HRDC) makes this request pursuant to the New Mexico
Inspection of Public Records Act, N.M. Stat Ann.§ 14-2-1, et seq.

HRDC is seeking records related to all claims or lawsuits brought against the Otero County
Sheriff's Office and/or any of its agents or employees in which the Otero County Sheriff's Office
(or any agent, insurer, or entity acting on its behalf) made Payments totaling $1,000 or more to
resolve such claims or lawsuits (each a "Relevant Claim,.). For the purposes of this request:
•

The relevant time period is January 1, 2010 to the present.

•

"Payments" includes, without limitation, settlements, damages, attorneys' fees, and

sanctions.
•

Records shall be produced in electronic native format where possible, and otherwise in
electronic fonnat. To the extent production in electronic format is not possible, records
may be produced in hard copy.

For each Relevant Claim, HRDC requests records sufficient to show:
l. the name of all parties involved;
2. the date of resolution;

3. the amount of money paid to resolve the claim;
4. the person or entity to whom the money was paid;

5. for those Relevant Claims that did not result in litigation:

720 3rd Ave-.nue, Suite #1605, Sea.ttle 1 WA9-g·fo4····~············-mmnmmm~
206-257-1355 ~ mdilkmta>.t:'risonlegalnews.org
EXrUSIT
.

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I

. . . . .fl_

a. the claim fo~ or other document that describes the claim; and
b. the final agreement resolving the claim; and

6. for those Relevant Claims that resulted in litigation:
a. the docket number;

b. the jurisdiction in which the action was brought (e.g., US District Court for the

District of New Mexico, New Mexico Supreme Court, etc.);
c. the complaint and any amendments thereof; and
d. the verdict form, final judgment, settlement agreement, const.."Ilt decree, or other

document that resolved the case.
If any of these requests, or any portion thereof, is denied in whole or in part, please provide an
accounting of each record being withheld, and the specific exemption being invoked for such
record. In addition, to the extent the Otero County Sheriff's Office or any other party claims that
any portion of a record is confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure, please redact the
allegedly confidential or protected portion and produce the redacted record. By making this
request, HRDC does not waive, but rather expressly reserves, its right to challenge a claim that
any portion of a record is confidential or otherwise protected from disclosure.

Please contact me via email, mdillon@prisonlegalnews.org, should you require any additional
information. My phone number is 206-257-13 55. Thank you for your time and attention in this
matter.

Sincerely,
HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER

Michelle Dillon
Public Records Manager

.

·····120-·3i;s~\~·en~~~-s-~·it:e #.i.6os~··s;.tt1e~ wA 98 t 04

206-257-1355

I mdillon@prisonlegalnews.org

ADM I NISTRATION
1101 NEW YORK AVENUE
ALAMOGORDO, NM 88310

WWW .CO.OTERO.NM, US

~
l~;

(575) 437~7427
(575) 443··2928

July 2d, 2018

Michelle Dillon, M.L.S.,

Public Records Manager
Human Rights Defense Center
1605 Pacific Building
720 Third Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104
Via U.S. Mail and e-mail to mdillon@prisonlegalnews.org

Re:

Public Records Request for Settlements and Verdicts Records

Dear Ms. Dillon:
This is to respond to your letter of June i9th addressed to Pamela S. Heltner,
Otero County Manager. In it you request "records related to all claims or lawsuits
brought against the Otero County Sheriff's Office and/or any of its agents or employees
in which the Otero County Sheriffs Office (or any agent, insurer, or entity acting on its
behalf) made payments totaling $1,000 or more to resolve such claims or lawsuits."
You further ask for the names of the parties, the date of resolution, the amount of
money paid to resolve, to whom the money was paid. You also ask for claim forms,
agreements resolving the claim, docket numbers, court locations, copies of complaints,
and documents resolving the case.
The handling of claims and litigation against Otero County is handled by outside
defense counsel retained by Otero Countfs insurers. The insurers and the defense
counsel keep the case files, not Otero County. Otero County does not have in its
possession the sort of files you seek. Therefore, we do not have "public records11 of these
case files within the definition ofN.M.S.A. 1978§14-2-6(G).
Even assuming for the sake ·o f argument that fi.1.t",s held by our insurers and
attorneys are public re<.'Ords, it would not be possible to comply. The Inspection of
Public Records Act does not require a government agency to create a record. N.M.S.A.
1978 § 14-2-S(B). Otero County does not have a database of claims and litigation from
which it could identify claims against any particular office or person. To comply with
your request. Otero County would need to contact its insurers to identify these claims

l

1'.

and then contact multiple attorneys. That process would involve creating new records,
which we are not required to do.
Complying with your request for details on claims and litigation, docket numbers,
etc., would also require Otero County to compile a database of litigation and claims.
This is something we do not have and we are not required to create. Most, if not all, of
that information is available online from the websites of the state and Federal courts.
Through the website of the New Mexico Courts) located at
https://caselookup.nmoourts.gov/caselookup/, you c.an run searches and identify cases,
docket numbers, and court locations. Most state cases against Otero County
be filed
in the Twelfth Judicial District, which encompasses Lincoln and Otero Counties.
Documents from Twelfth Distric~ cases can be obtained from:

wm

Hon. Katina M. Watson,
Court Clerk,
Twelfth Judicial District Court
Otero County Courthouse
1000 New York Avenue
Alamogordo, New Mexico 88311
(575) 812-5080
aladkmw@nmcourts.gov
This sam.e information for Federal cases can be found on the Federal courts'
docket website, PACER, https://pacer.login.uscourts.gov/csologin/login.jsf. PACER
also allows users to download do<...-uments from the website. Generally, lawsuits in
Federal oourt would be filed against Otero County in the United States District Court for
the District of New Mexico. Records in those cases would be b.eld by:
Hoa Mitchell R. Elfers,
Acting Clerk of Court,
U.S. Di&i.rict Court for the District of New Mexico
Pete V. Domenici U.S. Courthouse
333 Lomas Boulevard, N. W.
Albuquerque, New Mexico 87102
(505) 348-2000

Pursuant to N.M.S.A. i978 § 14-2-S(E), I am sending a copy of your requ~1: and
this letter to the Clerks of the Twelfth. Judicial District Court and the United States
District Court for the District of New Mexico.
You ask for claims made against the Sheriffs Office that did not result in
litigation. Under the Tort Claims Act, a party must give notice to the county of a claim
before suit can be filed. The party has two years from the date of his injury to file suit.
Sylvia C. Tillbrook, our records custodian, tells me that she has only the last three years
of tort claim notices. She does not have records going back to 2010, as you requested.
These claims are filed chronologically as received and are not sorted by the office
or person they pertain to. l believe it would be burdensome under N.M.S.A. 1978 § 142-11 to go through these claim forms and separate out those related to the Sheriffs
Office. However, the entire file of these forms is available for your inspection at our

office. If you telephone Mrs. Til1brook at the number above> she can arrange a time for
you to inspect the file.
Except for the file of notices of tort claim, which is available for your inspection, I
am denying the other parts of your request as you (1) request documents not in the

possession of Otero County and (2) require Otero County to create new public records.
You can contact me at the telephone number above or via e-mail at
ineshleman@r.o.otero.nm.us.
With warm regards, I am,

6 {\

Yours vet};.~ tr.uly

~f~~W'v
'iclrn.el Eshleman,
Otero County Attorney

cc:

Sylvia C. Tillbrook, Records Custodian
Hon. Katina M. Watson
Hon. Mitchell R. Elfers

3

HLllTI3Jl

Rights Defer1se c:enter

DEDH~A TED TO PROTECTJNG HUMAN RIGHTS

August 3. 2orn

RECEIVED

Otero County Detention Center

Attn: fluh!ic Reoords Officer
i 958 Dr, Martin Luther King Jr. Drive
.Alamogordo~

NM 883 l 0

To the Public Records Officer:
The Human Rights Defonse Center (HROC} nuikes th~s requegt pursuant t{} the New Mexko
Inspectioi;. r;f Public Records Act. N.M. Stat. Ann. § 14 ..2·· l, et seq.
HRDC is scekh:g rccm'ds t'elated to all claims or law-suits brought against the Orem County
Detention Center and/or any of it.<; .agents or employees in which the Otero Com1ty Dct:ention

Center (or any agent. insurer, or entity acting on its behaH) m.ade Paymcnt-s totaling $1,000 or more
tu resolve such daims or laivsuit~ (e.ach a :•Re!C'Vant Ct~:m"'). flor the purpnses of this request:
•
qt

The rel.ewmt tune period is January t, 20Hl tu the present.
apay1nenis" indudes, without Hmitation, settlements, damages, attorneys' foes, and
sanctions.

*' Records i>haH he pr.rnfoced jn elecu·onic native format where possible, and otherwise in
eleclronfo forrnat. To the ~.x~nt production in dectronk fur.mat i!:l m)t pm:sibh~, records
may be produced in hard copy.

For each Rekvant Claim$HRDC requests rr.cords sufficient t() show:

3. the amount of money paid to resolve the claim;
4. the person or entity to whom d:ie money was paid;
5. for those R<:ievam Claims that <lltl not result in Ht1gution:

a. the dalm form or other document that <l~ribes the claim; ~md
b. the final agreement resolving the drum; ood

6. for th()se Retevant Claims that resulted ht !itigution;
a. the docket number;

b. the judsdiction in which the action was brought (e.g., VS District Comt for the
District ofNew Mexico, New Mexico Supreme Comt, etc.);
c. the complaint and ~ny amendments thereof; and
d. the vetdict formi fln8.I judgment, settlement agreement,
document that resolved the cuse.

con~.:nt

dooree, or rithcr

Tf any of these requests, or a.ny portion thereof, is dented it\ whole or in part, pl~se provide an
accounting Qf each record being withheld, and the specific exemption being invoked for such
record. In addition, tQ the extent th;..-: Otero County Detemfon Center or any other party craims that
£my p\1rtion of a record is confidential oi· otherwise pri.:itected from disclosure, please redact the
allegedly confidential or protected portion and produce the rooactf'.d record. 3y m~king this
request: HRDC d~s not waive~ but rather expressly reserves, its right :.o challenge a claim that
any portion of a record is confo.ienthal ''r otherw·jse protected from disclosure.

Pleage ci:.mtact me via ;:~nmH, mdlHon@pdsoniegalnews.org, shou!cl you require tmy ad<litaoo:al
infrirmation. My phune nmnber is 206-257- i 355. Thank you for yo1Jr time and attenti~1n fn this
matter.
Sincerely~

HUMAN RIGHTS DEFENSE CENTER

Michelle DHlon
Public Records Munager

--------~.-,

....................,

.-............................,._

- - -·-·····"""""'""' ' " " "

720 3it Avenu<>-., Suire#1605, Seattle, WA 98!04
206-257- I.355 I mdilifm@prisoniegaln~ws.urg

___

..

AO MINISTRATION

W\VW.CO.OTERO.NM .US
~ (575) 4,J'fy'/42'1

1101 NEW YORI{ AVENUE

~

ALAMOCORDO, NM 88310

{575} 443··2928

August ?th, .20-.1.8

Michelle Dillon, M.LS.,
Public Records Manager}
Human. Rights Defense Center
1605 Pacific Building
720 Tbird Avenue
Seattle, Washington 98104

Via U.S. ~f.ai] and e-mail to mdilkm@prisonlega'ine¥.--s.org
Re:

Public Records Request for Settlements an.d Verdicts Records
Addressed to Otero County Detention Center

Dear Ms. Dillon:
This is to respond to your letter of Augnst. 3d addressed to the Otero County
Center. .In it you r.eqne,st "reoords related to all claims or la'\o\-"SUits bronght
against the Otero County Detention Cf'...nt.er and/or tmy of its agents or employe-..es in
which the Otero County Detention Cente.r (or any agent, insurer., or entity acting on its
behalt) made payments tota1ing $1~000 or more to resolve such daims or faw(mits" fm.m
2.0:lO to the pre.sent.
Yau fo.rthcr ask fo:r the names of the partiesJ the date of rt"..solution1 the a:r.nount of
money paid to resolve, to whom the money was paid. You also ask for claim forms>
a.greeinents re.solving the claim~ docket numbers, court locations, coptl~S of complaints,
arid documents resolving the case.
D~tention

The handling of claims and litigation against. Otero County is handled by outside
defense counsel retained by Otero County's insurers. The insurers and t.lte defense
coun.sel keep the case fi)es1 not Otero Connt.y. Oter o C',ounty does not have in its
possession the so.rt of files you seek. Therefore, we do not have "puhlfo l'f!t~o.rd~" of these
case files within flre definition ofN.M.S.A. 1978 § l4~2-6(G).
Even assu:mfog for the sake of argument that file.s held by om: .immrer.s and
attorneys are public reco:rds1 it w<.mld. not be possible to oomply. The inspection of
Public Rer.ords Act does not require a gove.rnm.e.nt agen.cy to create a record. N.M.S.A.
1978 § 14··2··S(B). Otero C,mmty does not have a database of claimR and litigation from
which it could identify claims against any particular offfoe or person. nor can we identify
1

EXHIBIT

cases by the payment amount. To comply with your request, Ote.ro County would need
to contact its insurers to identify these claims and then contact multiple attorneys. That
process would in:volwJ Cl'(~ating new records~ which we are not required to do.
Complying vii.th your request for details on claims and litigation~ docket numbers,
etc., would ahm require Otero County to compile a data.ba.i;;e of litigation and claim::.,
This is something we do not have and we are not required to create. rvl"ostt if not all~ of
that information is available onlLYle from the websites of the state and Federal courts.
Through the website of the New M:exico Courts, located at
hUps://casdookup.nmoourts.gov/caselookup/, you can run searches and identify cases,
docket nw:nbers) and court locatkm.s. Most state (.oases against Otero County will be filed
in the 'I\velfth .Judicial Districts which encompasses Lincoln and Otero Counties.
Docu:rnents from Twelfth District case.-; can be obtained from:
Hon, Knth1a M. Watson,

Court Clerk,
Twelfth ~rudidal Di.std.ct Comt
Otero County Courthouse
.1000 New York Avenue

Alamogordo, New Mexico 883.u.
{575} 812-5080

aladkm,w@nm.eou1ts.gnv
This same information for Federal cases can be found on the Federal courts)
docket website) PACER, https://pacer.login.uscourts.iwv/csologin/login.jsf. PACER
also allows users to dmvn1oad docmnents frnm the website. Generally, lawsuits in
Federal cm1rt would be filed against Otero County in the United States District Court for
the District. of Nev; lVl.e'.!,,1.co. Records in thn~e C}l8es Wf)nld be hcl.d by:
Hon. Mitchd1 R. Elfr~.rs,

Acting Glerk of Court~
U.S. District C.ourt for the District of NeiN Me.'\ico
Pete V. Domenid. U.S. Courthouse
333 Lomas Boulevard, N,W,
Albuquerque, NeYv .Mexico 8:?102
(505} ~148-2000

Pursua:nt to N.M.S..A. i978 § i4-2-S(E) 1 I am st~nding a copy of your request and
this letter to the Clerks of the. l\velfth ,Judicial District Court and th~~ Unitl!d States
District. Court for the District of Nf.~w Mexko.
You ask for claims made against the Detention Center that did not result in
litigatfrm, Under the Tort Clah:ns Act1 a party muat give notice to the eoun.ty of a daim
before suit can be filed. The party has t¥lO years from the date of his injury to fifo ~uit.
Sylvia C. T.illbrook, our records custod.)~.ll 1 tells ID(~ tbat she has only the last three years
of tort claim notice.~. ~"he does not have .n.~x.in.:ls going back to 2owj a~ you requested.
Thr-;s~ daims are filed. chn..moJo~rically .as received and are not sorted hy the offlce
or person they pertain to. l hdievt! i.t ,i.,·onld be burdensome undt~r N.M.S.A. 1978 § 14~
2··11 to go through these claim forms &'1.d separate out those related to the Detention

(:4:.~nter. However, the entire file of these forms is

available for your inspection at cur
office, If you telephone Mrs. Ti1lbrook at the number above1 she can arrange a time for
you to inspect the file.

Except for the file of notices of tort claim, which is available for your mspeL'tions l
rcque..~t as ynn (.l) .request dncumcnt:s not in the
possession of Otero Oou.nty and (a) require Otero County to <'.:reate u.ew public n,-eords.
You can contact me at the telephone number above or vi.a e-mail at
am denying the other parts of your

meshleman@co.otero.nm.us.
With ·warm regards~ I an11

t,,'i::

Sylvia C. Tillbmok~ Re.cords Custodian
Carolyn Barela, Otero County Detention Center Director
Hon. Katina :M. Watson
Hon. Mitchell R. Elfers

3



 

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Federal Prison Handbook
Prisoner Education Guide