Investigation and Enforcement
Investigations and Enforcement
INSTRUCTIONS FOR FILING A REQUEST FOR INVESTIGATION
Thank you for contacting the New Mexico Regulation and Licensing Department Construction Industries Division regarding your request for investigation.
- You can fill out a Request for Investigation online at https://nmrld.my.site.com/MHD/s/request-for-investigation following the prompts to fill out the request. The very last step allows you to submit the documents that provide evidence in the case. Please use either the Chrome or Firefox web browser as Internet Explorer will not allow you to complete the request. You do not have to create an account or log in to complete the request—just click on “Request for Investigation” at the top right corner of the page in the black bar. The last step allows you to “Submit with Documents.” You should upload any supporting documents for your case including bids, estimates, quotes, contracts, invoices, receipts, advertisements, emails, texts, and/or bank records or canceled checks showing payment, etc.
- If you are unable to complete the form online you can request that a word document be emailed to you, or that a paper copy be sent by U.S.P.S., by emailing Compliance@rld.nm.gov. Fill out the form completely using black ink including as much detail as possible. Blue ink and pencil do not photocopy well. Additional pages may be attached if necessary. Attach any documents necessary to explain or identify the transaction as stated above. We recommend that you send copies instead of the originals. The copies must be legible. There might be a slight delay in the processing of these requests. Please send color photographs that identify areas of concern. Also note that all documents and other materials submitted to our office become the property of the State of New Mexico. If completing a hard copy Request for Investigation, email the completed form and accompanying documents to firstname.lastname@example.org or mail/hand-deliver to the CID/MHD offices located at 5500 San Antonio Dr. NE, Albuquerque, NM 87109.
- When we receive your completed request form and attachments, we will review the information to determine if your request falls within the jurisdiction of our If we do not have jurisdiction, we will make every effort to refer your request to an agency that may be able to help you and return all supplementary documentation to you. For instance, CID cannot handle requests regarding a financial or contractual dispute (unless a judgment is obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction, Construction Industries Licensing Act (CILA) NMSA 1978, § 60-13-23; for MHD see NMSA 1978, § 60-14-12). Some cities and counties have their own building departments and therefore jurisdiction. You will be advised if your complaint occurred in one of those local jurisdictions. All complaints as to manufactured homes are within the sole authority of MHD and the Manufactured Housing Committee.
If it is determined that our agency has jurisdiction, we will review your complaint to determine the appropriate action and assign it to an investigator. You will receive a letter informing you that an investigation has been opened and an investigator assigned to your case. Once your case is open you become a witness for the state’s investigation and the investigator may or may not contact you to collect further information. You may be required to testify in a hearing (for cases involving a licensed contractor) or magistrate/metropolitan court (for unlicensed contractors).
In all investigations, the individual or business being investigated will be informed of the allegations against them and will have access to all of the evidence provided in the complaint. CID and MHD cannot act as a private attorney, give you legal advice, or represent you individually in litigation in court. Consumer laws in New Mexico allow for the private and individual right of action and anyone can file a consumer claim in court. CID and MHD initiate legal action on behalf of the Commission/Committee only when there is a violation(s) of the Act(s), code, and/or regulations. Investigations involving unlicensed contractors are prosecuted under CILA, NMSA 1978, § 60-13-52 or the Manufactured Housing Act (MHA), NMSA 1978, § 60-14-17 and § 60-14-19 in the magistrate/metropolitan court in the jurisdiction where the unlicensed contracting occurred.
- The LPG and CNG Act [Liquefied and Compressed Gases] has specific statutes and regulations regarding complaints and disciplinary enforcement. Should you have a complaint against a licensee please contact the LP Gas Bureau at email@example.com or (505) 222-9808.
Construction Industries Division (CID) Licensed and Unlicensed Investigation Process
Purpose of the Investigation
The purpose of the investigation process is to ensure that construction work is performed by validly licensed entities and to determine whether a licensee has violated any provision of the Construction Industries Licensing Act and/or any regulation enacted pursuant to Act. Additionally, the investigation process will pursue prosecution of persons completing unlicensed construction work through the court legal system.
If the violation is determined to be a code violation, the licensee will be offered the opportunity to correct the violation(s). Neither the Division nor the Commission can force a licensee to make the corrections or to repair damage caused by the violations. All licensees however, are required to maintain a code bond which, if certain conditions are met, can be used to correct, the contractor created but uncorrected, code violations. This information will be provided if code violations are confirmed and are not corrected.
Violations of the Act or Regulations
If the investigation results in confirmation of a violation by a licensee, the findings are reported to the Construction Industries Commission. At the conclusion of the disciplinary process, the licensee may be fined and/or may be subject to disciplinary action up to and including license revocation. The prosecution of a person not validly licensed but performing construction work requiring a license shall be actively pursued through the courts.
Damages and Repairs
Except for the potential of the code bond being awarded to correct code violations, the investigation regarding a licensed contractor will not result in monetary reimbursement for any damages you may have incurred and may not result in the mitigation of poor quality or incompetent workmanship by a licensed entity. These damages and damages caused by an unlicensed person can only be addressed through the legal court process. You may wish to seek legal advice regarding your options if you feel you have been damaged by a licensee. In the prosecution process for unlicensed contracting the criminal court has prescribed penalties including fines. In some cases restitution (repayment of monies to the victim that were paid to the unlicensed contractor) may be obtained, but this is not guaranteed and, dependent on a judgement from the court/judge. We encourage all victims of unlicensed contracting to file a civil action in court. We can assist by providing evidence for you of the unlicensed status of the defendant.
CID reports the findings of each investigation to the Commission, which generally meets every other month. At that time the Commission decides whether or not to proceed with the disciplinary process. If so, the division refers the matter to the Attorney General’s Office (AGO) for assignment to an Assistant Attorney General for issuance of a Notice of Contemplated Action. The entire disciplinary process typically takes several months and may include an evidentiary hearing. Both the Assistant Attorney General assigned to prosecute the matter as well as CID have distinct responsibilities in the completion of the disciplinary process. If a settlement is reached the commission will review all relevant information regarding the matter and may approve the settlement agreement or may decline the agreement and require a hearing. If the matter is taken to administrative hearing, the commission will determine if discipline is appropriate in the issuance of its decision and order.
Your Role as the submitter of a Request for Investigation
The submittal of a Request for Investigation allows the state to pursue prosecution of the matter either through the court system as a criminal action or the administrative process as a civil or criminal action. The individual submitting the Request for Investigation becomes a witness for the state in the furtherance of CID’s investigation and potential prosecution.
As the person requesting the investigation, you can and may be called as a witness to testify on behalf of the State of New Mexico before a hearing officer and/or magistrate. Your testimony may be crucial to the successful prosecution of the alleged respondent/defendant in this matter.
Once your request has been received by CID the complaint cannot be withdrawn. Unless your request has code bond implications, you will generally not be updated of the case status throughout the investigation or during the legal proceedings unless additional evidence or further testimony is required. You may request through an Inspection of Public Records additional information although CID personnel are available to answer questions.
Due to the administrative or criminal nature of the alleged violations actions taken by CID and/or the Commission are solely between the state and the alleged respondent/defendant. CID does not have the ability to assist in the recovery of financial losses you may have incurred as a result of the actions taken by the alleged respondent/defendant. You are encouraged to pursue alternate means of recovering any losses, such as through your local court of jurisdiction.
CID strives to complete the investigatory and prosecution process within a year.
CID’s jurisdiction and when it is appropriate to complete a Request for Investigation
If it is determined that our agency has jurisdiction, we will review your complaint to determine the appropriate action and assign it to an investigator. You will receive a letter informing you that an Investigation is open and an investigator has been assigned to your case. If your case is accepted by the division you become a witness for the state’s investigation. The investigator may or may not contact you to collect further information You may be required to testify in a hearing (for cases involving a licensed contractor) or magistrate/metropolitan court (for unlicensed contractors).
CID cannot give you legal advice or represent you individually in litigation in court. Consumer laws in New Mexico allow for the private and individual right of action and anyone can file a consumer claim in court. CID initiates legal action on behalf of the Commission only when there is a violation(s) of the CILA, code, and/or regulations. Investigations involving unlicensed contractors are prosecuted under CILA § 60-13-52 in the magistrate/metropolitan court in the jurisdiction where the unlicensed contracting occurred. In all investigations, the individual or business being investigated will be informed of the allegations against them and will have access to all of the evidence provided in the complaint. The individual or business will be provided an opportunity to respond to the allegations.
The type of issues (or allegations) wherein CID has jurisdiction:
- Violation of NM State Building Codes
- Violations as stated in NMSA 1978, § 60-13-23, § 60-13-23.1 and 22.214.171.124 NMAC
- Failure to Permit
- Failure to Inspect
- Working without Journeyman Certification or outside the appropriate journeyman ratios
- Working beyond the scope of a contractor’s license
- Judgments obtained from a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to § 60-13-23
- Ignoring a Red Tag or a stop work order
- Aiding and Abetting Unlicensed Activity
- Unlicensed Activity
CID does not have jurisdiction in regard to contractual or financial disputes unless a judgment is awarded by a court of competent jurisdiction [§ 60-13-23]. Items not regulated by CID are not enforceable.
If you file a complaint against a licensed contractor for a violation of the state adopted building codes, it is recommended that you speak with an Investigation & Enforcement Unit employee prior to hiring another contractor, to determine the process for correction of repairs and to preserve any potential bond claim. If and when an inspection is conducted, Inspectors must be able to visibly inspect violations and photographs will not be accepted for inspection services. If you are experiencing severe leaking of a roof, or a life/safety situation involving heating or air conditioning, please call 505-476-4700 immediately.