2006 New Mexico Statutes - Section 39-3-1.1 — Appeal of final decisions by agencies to district court; application; scope of review; review of district court decisions.
39-3-1.1. Appeal of final decisions by agencies to district court; application; scope of review; review of district court decisions.
A. The provisions of this section shall apply only to judicial review of agency final decisions that are placed under the authority of this section by specific statutory reference.
B. Upon issuing a final decision, an agency shall promptly:
(1) prepare a written decision that includes an order granting or denying relief and a statement of the factual and legal basis for the order;
(2) file the written decision with the official public records of the agency; and
(3) serve a document that includes a copy of the written decision and the requirements for filing an appeal of the final decision on:
(a) all persons who were parties in the proceeding before the agency; and
(b) every person who has filed a written request for notice of the final decision in that particular proceeding.
C. Unless standing is further limited by a specific statute, a person aggrieved by a final decision may appeal the decision to district court by filing in district court a notice of appeal within thirty days of the date of filing of the final decision. The appeal may be taken to the district court for the county in which the agency maintains its principal office or the district court of any county in which a hearing on the matter was conducted. When notices of appeal from a final decision are filed in more than one district court, all appeals not filed in the district court in which the first appeal was properly filed shall be dismissed without prejudice. An appellant whose appeal was dismissed without prejudice pursuant to the provisions of this subsection shall have fifteen days after receiving service of the notice of dismissal to file a notice of appeal in the district court in which the first appeal was properly filed.
D. In a proceeding for judicial review of a final decision by an agency, the district court may set aside, reverse or remand the final decision if it determines that:
(1) the agency acted fraudulently, arbitrarily or capriciously;
(2) the final decision was not supported by substantial evidence; or
(3) the agency did not act in accordance with law.
E. A party to the appeal to district court may seek review of the district court decision by filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the court of appeals, which may exercise its discretion whether to grant review. A party may seek further review by filing a petition for writ of certiorari with the supreme court.
F. The district court may certify to the court of appeals a final decision appealed to the district court, but undecided by that court, if the appeal involves an issue of substantial public interest that should be decided by the court of appeals. The appeal shall then be decided by the court of appeals.
G. The procedures governing appeals and petitions for writ of certiorari that may be filed pursuant to the provisions of this section shall be set forth in rules adopted by the supreme court.
H. As used in this section:
(1) "agency" means any state or local public body or officer placed under the authority of this section by specific statutory reference;
(2) "final decision" means an agency ruling that as a practical matter resolves all issues arising from a dispute within the jurisdiction of the agency, once all administrative remedies available within the agency have been exhausted. The determination of whether there is a final decision by an agency shall be governed by the law regarding the finality of decisions by district courts. "Final decision" does not mean a decision by an agency on a rule, as defined in the State Rules Act [ 14-4-1 NMSA 1978]; and
(3) "hearing on the matter" means a formal proceeding conducted by an agency or its hearing officer for the purpose of taking evidence or hearing argument concerning the dispute resolved by the final decision.
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