The Office of the Attorney General has broad statutory authority over civil legal matters and proceedings involving the state. The Office of the Attorney General is responsible for:
- defending and prosecuting civil actions and proceedings in court when the state is a party or interested, or when the Attorney General believes the interest of the state requires it;
- defending state officers and employees who are named as parties in civil actions arising from the performance of their official duties;
- providing legal representation and advice to state agencies, boards and commissions; and
- providing written opinions on legal questions submitted by legislators, state officials and district attorneys.
In addition to the Attorney General’s role as lawyer for the state and for the public interest, the Attorney General is charged with administering and enforcing a wide variety of laws that benefit New Mexico residents. These include laws that protect consumers' rights, such as the Unfair Practices Act, and laws intended to make state government more transparent and accountable, such as the Open Meetings Act and the Inspection of Public Records Act.
Deputy Attorney General Tania Maestas oversees the four division within Civil Affairs: