Current through 2024, ch. 3
Section 44-9-5 - Civil action by qui tam plaintiff; state or political subdivision may interveneA. A person may bring a civil action for a violation of Section 44-9-3 NMSA 1978 on behalf of the person and the state or political subdivision. The action shall be brought in the name of the state or political subdivision. The person bringing the action shall be referred to as the qui tam plaintiff. Once filed, the action may be dismissed only with the written consent of the court, taking into account the best interest of the parties involved and the public purposes behind the Fraud Against Taxpayers Act.B. A complaint filed by a qui tam plaintiff shall be filed in camera in district court and shall remain under seal for at least sixty days. No service shall be made on a defendant and no response is required from a defendant until the seal has been lifted and the complaint served pursuant to the rules of civil procedure.C. On the same day as the complaint is filed, the qui tam plaintiff shall serve the attorney general, and the political subdivision, if applicable, with a copy of the complaint and written disclosure of substantially all material evidence and information the qui tam plaintiff possesses. The attorney general on behalf of the state or the political subdivision, or the political subdivision on its own behalf, may intervene and proceed with the action within sixty days after receiving the complaint and the material evidence and information. Upon a showing of good cause and reasonable diligence in the state's or political subdivision's investigation, the state or political subdivision may move the court for an extension of time during which the complaint shall remain under seal.D. Before the expiration of the sixty-day period or any extensions of time granted by the court, the attorney general or political subdivision shall notify the court that the state or the political subdivision:(1) intends to intervene and proceed with the action; in which case, the seal shall be lifted and the action shall be conducted by the attorney general on behalf of the state or the political subdivision, or the political subdivision shall conduct the action on its own behalf; or(2) declines to take over the action; in which case the seal shall be lifted and the qui tam plaintiff may proceed with the action.E. When a person brings an action pursuant to this section, no person other than the attorney general on behalf of the state or a political subdivision, or a political subdivision on its own behalf, may intervene or bring a related action based on the facts underlying the pending action. Laws 2007, ch. 40, § 5; 2015, ch. 128, § 4.Amended by 2015, c. 128,s. 4, eff. 6/19/2015.