- Associated Press - Thursday, March 12, 2015

SANTA FE, N.M. (AP) - The New Mexico Supreme Court has clarified what penalties apply when a government agency or official wrongfully withholds public records.

The ruling came Thursday in the case of an Albuquerque attorney who sued then-Attorney General Gary King on behalf of three female staff lawyers over allegations of pay discrimination.

The attorney, David Faber, sought employment records from King’s office for his case. King’s office denied the request.

The question before the Supreme Court was not whether King wrongfully denied the request, but rather what type of damages were authorized under the law.

The law spells out a $100-a-day penalty when a government agency fails to comply with deadlines for responding to a records request.

King’s office responded so the court said Faber would be able to seek only actual damages, costs and attorneys’ fees since the records were wrongfully withheld.

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