2009 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 27 - Public Assistance.
Article 3 - Public Assistance Appeals
Section 27-3-3 - Fair hearing.

27-3-3. Fair hearing.

A.     An applicant for or recipient of assistance or services under any provisions of the Public Assistance Act [27-2-1 NMSA 1978], Social Security Act or Special Medical Needs Act [27-4-1 NMSA 1978] or regulations of the board adopted pursuant to those acts may request a hearing in accordance with regulations of the board if:   

(1)     an application is not acted upon within a reasonable time after the filing of the application;   

(2)     an application is denied in whole or in part; or   

(3)     the assistance or services are modified, terminated or not provided.   

The department shall notify the recipient or applicant of his rights under this section.   

B.     The board shall by regulation establish procedures for the filing of a request for a hearing and the time limits within which a request may be filed; provided, however, that the department may grant reasonable extensions of the time limits. If the request is not filed within the specified time for appeal or within whatever extension the department may grant, the department action shall be final.  Upon receipt of a timely request, the department shall give the applicant or recipient reasonable notice of an opportunity for a fair hearing in accordance with the regulations of the board.   

C.     The hearing shall be conducted by a hearing officer designated by the director.  The powers of the hearing officer shall include administering oaths or affirmations to witnesses called to testify, taking testimony, examining witnesses, admitting or excluding evidence and reopening any hearing to receive additional evidence. The technical rules of evidence and the rules of civil procedure shall not apply.  The hearing shall be conducted so that the contentions or defenses of each party to the hearing are amply and fairly presented. Either party may be represented by counsel or other representative of his designation, and he or his representative may conduct cross-examination. Any oral or documentary evidence may be received, but the hearing officer may exclude irrelevant, immaterial or unduly repetitious evidence.   

D.     The director shall review the record of the proceedings and shall make a decision thereon.  The applicant or recipient or his representative shall be notified in writing of the director's decision and the reasons for the decision.  The written notice shall inform the applicant or recipient of his right to judicial review. The department shall be responsible for assuring that the decision is enforced.   

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