The Litigation Division works to protect the citizens of New Mexico and the state treasury by initiating lawsuits on behalf of the State. The Division also provides professional and effective legal representation to state officials and state agencies. Additionally, the Division conducts administrative prosecutions that further the policy goals of the various state Boards and Commissions while protecting the due process of licensees. The Division’s core practice areas are:
This Litigation Division litigates civil matters on behalf of the State and the public interest, and defends state entities in civil matters in both state and federal courts. This representation includes defending challenges to state statutes and regulations, as well as representation of judges and state officers when they are sued in their official capacities in non tort-related claims or when the authority of the courts is challenged.
Enforcement of the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act
The Division is particularly active in pursuing recovery for New Mexico taxpayers, and works confidentially with whistleblowers who identify fraud and false claims which deplete the public treasury. Under state law, the Attorney General has the power to seek recovery of three times the amount of misused funds and to impose monetary penalties for fraud. These mechanisms aid the Attorney General in making taxpayers whole and in deterring false claims against the State.
The Litigation Division represents the State of New Mexico in a variety of legal matters related to the enforcement of New Mexico’s antitrust laws. This work is intended to ensure fair competition among businesses and to protect consumers. In antitrust matters, the Division often collaborates with the United States Department of Justice, the Federal Trade Commission, and other state attorneys general. Antitrust matters handled by the Lititgation Division include lawsuits to enforce New Mexico’s Antitrust Act, reviews of proposed mergers and acquisitions for any anti-competitive effects, and investigations of potential violations of antitrust laws.
As the Attorney General’s bankruptcy counsel, the Division takes the lead in representing the State and its various agencies in major national bankruptcy actions. On the local level, by inter-agency agreement, the Division represents the Taxation and Revenue Department in matters pending before the New Mexico Bankruptcy Court, where more than 8,000 New Mexico taxpayers seek relief in a typical year.
The Division serves as administrative prosecutor to approximately 30 state boards and commissions which regulate licensed professions. A majority of these prosecutions are for violations of the Uniform Licensing Act or related laws. Sanctions range from fines to revocation of state-issued licenses. The Division also seeks injunctions in state court against individuals or organizations that refuse to become licensed by the appropriate state agencies.
Please note: complaints against individual licenses should be made to the relevant Board or Commission, or to the Regulation and Licensing Department.
The Attorney General is charged with enforcement of the Master Settlement Agreement, a 1998 agreement between many of the cigarette manufacturers and 46 states including New Mexico. The Division enforces the agreement by filing lawsuits against cigarette companies that fail to abide by their legal obligations; auditing escrow payments made by non-participating manufacturers for sales in the state; requiring compliance by the manufacturers to the statutory reporting requirements; and working closely with the Taxation and Revenue Department to assure that sales are compliant and escrows are paid. Further, the Division maintains and continually updates the statutorily required tobacco webpage directory so that all currently compliant manufacturers and brands are listed for public view.
Service of Process
The Division accepts summons, complaints, and other legal documents alleging civil causes of action against the state, a state agency, or a state official or employee acting in an official capacity. Service must be made pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure upon:
Office of the Attorney General
Santa Fe, NM 87504
The Division does not accept subpoenas unless they are for the Division itself. The Office of the Attorney General cannot guarantee the appearance of witnesses, nor the provision of documents or other items customarily required by a subpoena.