2013 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 32A - Children's Code
Article 4 - Child Abuse and Neglect
Section 32A-4-7 - Release or delivery from custody. (2009)


NM Stat § 32A-4-7 (2013) What's This?

32A-4-7. Release or delivery from custody. (2009) 
A.   A person taking a child into custody shall, with all reasonable speed:
(1)   release the child to the child's parent, guardian or custodian and issue verbal counsel or warning as may be appropriate; or 
(2)   deliver the child to the department or, in the case of a child who is believed to be suffering from a serious physical or mental condition or illness that requires prompt treatment or diagnosis, deliver the child to a medical facility.  If a law enforcement officer delivers a child to a medical facility, the officer shall immediately notify the department that the child has been placed in the department's legal custody.
B.   When an alleged neglected or abused child is delivered to the department, a department caseworker shall review the need for placing the child in custody and shall release the child from custody unless custody is appropriate or has been ordered by the court.  When a child is delivered to a medical facility, a department caseworker shall review the need for retention of custody within a reasonable time after delivery of the child to the facility and shall release the child from custody unless custody is appropriate or has been ordered by the court.
C.   If a child is placed in the legal custody of the department and is not released to the child's parent, guardian or custodian, the department shall give written notice thereof as soon as possible, and in no case later than twenty-four hours, to the child's parent, guardian or custodian together with a statement of the reason for taking the child into custody.
D.   Reasonable efforts shall be made to prevent or eliminate the need for removing the child from the child's home, with the paramount concern being the child's health and safety.  In all cases when a child is taken into custody, the child shall be released to the child's parent, guardian or custodian, unless the department files a petition within two days from the date that the child was taken into custody.
E.   The department may release the child at any time within the two-day period after the child was taken into custody if it is determined by the department that release is appropriate or if release has been ordered by the court.
History: 1978 Comp., § 32A-4-7, enacted by Laws 1993, ch. 77, § 101; 1999, ch. 77, § 4; 2005, ch. 189, § 42; 2009, ch. 239, § 36.

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