2018 New Mexico Statutes
Chapter 38 - Trials
Article 1 - Process
Section 38-1-17 - Service of process.

Universal Citation: NM Stat § 38-1-17 (2018)
38-1-17. Service of process.

A. In any action in which the state of New Mexico is named as a party defendant, service of process shall be made by serving a copy of the summons and complaint on the governor and on the attorney general.

B. In any action in which a branch, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution of the state not specifically authorized by law to be sued is named as a party defendant, service of process shall be made by serving a copy of the summons and complaint on the attorney general and on the head of the branch, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution.

C. In any action in which a branch, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution of the state specifically authorized by law to be sued is named a party defendant, service of process shall be made on the head of the branch, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution and on the attorney general.

D. In any action in which an officer, official or employee of the state or one of its branches, agencies, bureaus, departments, commissions or institutions is named a party defendant, service of process shall be made on the officer, official or employee and on the attorney general.

E. For the purpose of this section:

(1) the governor shall be considered as the head of the state and the head of the executive branch of the state;

(2) the speaker of the house of representatives or the president pro tempore of the senate shall be considered as the head of the legislative branch of the state; and

(3) the chief justice of the supreme court shall be considered as the head of the judicial branch of the state.

F. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as waiving any immunity or as authorizing any action against the state not otherwise specifically authorized by law.

G. In garnishment actions, service of writs of garnishment shall be made on the department of finance and administration, on the attorney general and on the head of the branch, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution. A copy of the writ of garnishment shall be delivered by registered or certified mail to the defendant employee.

H. Service of process on the governor, attorney general, agency, bureau, department, commission or institution or head thereof shall be made either by handing a copy of the summons and complaint to the head or to his receptionist. Where an executive secretary is employed, he shall be considered as the head.

History: 1953 Comp., § 5-6-22, enacted by Laws 1969, ch. 62, § 1; 1970, ch. 23, § 1.

ANNOTATIONS

Repeals and reenactments. — Laws 1969, ch. 62, § 1, repealed former 5-6-22 1953 Comp., relating to service of process in certain actions against state, counties, cities, school districts, state institutions, public agencies, public corporations or officers, deputies, assistants, agents or employees thereof, and enacted a new 5-6-22, 1953 Comp.

Cross references. — For the procedure governing service upon the state and political subdivisions, see Rule 1-004 NMRA.

Service separately provided for by statute. — In an appeal from an adverse decision in a proceeding before the state engineer, a corporation that published notice in compliance with 72-7-1 NMSA 1978 was not required to serve the attorney general pursuant to this section and Rule 1-004 NMRA, and the district court thus had jurisdiction. El Dorado Utils., Inc. v. Galisteo Domestic Water Users Ass'n, 1995-NMCA-059, 120 N.M. 165, 899 P.2d 608.

Mailing petition to department head is insufficient under this section and Rule 1-004 NMRA. Trujillo v. Goodwin, 2005-NMCA-095, 138 N.M. 48, 116 P.3d 839.

Law reviews. — For survey, "Torts: Sovereign and Governmental Immunity in New Mexico," see 6 N.M. L. Rev. 249 (1976).

Am. Jur. 2d, A.L.R. and C.J.S. references. — 81A C.J.S. States § 321.

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