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New Mexico Civil Rights Laws

Most of us might cast our minds back to Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King, Jr. and marches in the 1960s when we think of civil rights. In fact, modern campaigns for fair housing, equal pay, and gay marriage employ many of the same legal principles today.

So what do the Land of Enchantment’s current civil rights laws cover? And how do these state laws interact and differ from federal civil rights protections? This is a brief overview of civil rights laws in New Mexico.

Civil Rights Laws in New Mexico

As a legal concept, “civil rights” refers generally to the collective rights of all citizens to receive fair and equal treatment under the law. This can apply to everything from the ability to vote and equal access to jobs, schools, and housing, to the ability to marry. The majority of our civil rights are enshrined in the federal Civil Rights Act of 1964. In addition, state laws can provide additional protections from discrimination. New Mexico’s civil rights statutes are highlighted below.

Explanation of Terms in Civil Rights Laws Chart

Code Section

New Mexico Statutes 28-1-1, et seq.: Human Rights


Human Rights Commission

Administrative Preemption


Private Action Permitted?


Attorney Fees Recoverable by Plaintiff?


Statute of Limitations

180 days with commission/30 days for de novo appeal

Filing Civil Rights Claims

State civil rights offices are often tasked with protecting the civil rights of the state’s residents. The New Mexico Human Rights Commission can answer questions relating to discrimination based on sex, race, color, national origin, religion, age, etc., in the areas of employment, housing, credit, or public accommodation.

These commissions work to eliminate cases of discrimination by enforcing the state’s civil rights laws, through civil lawsuits or criminal prosecution. There are several options and requirements when it comes to filing a civil rights claim, so if you believe you have been the victim of a civil rights violation, you may want to talk to an attorney about the best option for your case.

Related Resources for New Mexico Civil Rights Laws

Understanding how state and federal civil rights laws work and what kinds of lawsuits are permitted can be confusing. For additional articles and resources on this topic you can visit FindLaw’s section on Civil Rights. If you would like legal assistance with a civil rights matter, you can consult with a New Mexico civil rights attorney in your area.

Browse New Mexico Law by Topics

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