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Public Statements

Governor Susana Martinez: Child Support Bench Warrant Sweep Ends Successful Operation

Press Release

By:
Date:
Location: Santa Fe, NM

Governor Susana Martinez says a child support enforcement bench warrant
sweep in August resulted in 48 arrests and collection of nearly $25,000 in payments for
New Mexico children. The New Mexico Human Services Department (HSD) partnered
with the New Mexico State Police and several other law enforcement agencies to conduct a
child support enforcement bench warrant sweep in late August. The sweep resulted in a
total of 48 arrests, adding to the 31 bench warrants acted on during the entire week of
August 19-23, known as "Sweep Week".

"We are very pleased with the results of this statewide Bench Warrant Sweep Week," said
Governor Martinez. "HSD and their law enforcement partners acted on 79 bench warrants
for child support delinquency, and that's a win for families who need the support as the new
school year got underway and kids returned to their classrooms.

The total amount of collections from the Bench Warrant Sweep Week so far totals more
than $24,834 with the potential of $274,000 in bench warrant collections as those arrested
need to pay to get out of jail.

Governor Susana Martinez proclaimed August Child Support Awareness Month.

The HSD Child Support Enforcement Division (CSED) began the month by offering an
amnesty week for delinquent non-custodial parents with bench warrants to come into one of
the CSED offices and pay off their debt and get the bench warrant quashed or cancelled. The amnesty week resulted in a total collection of $15,269.96, which goes directly to child support cases.

"The amnesty week and round-up have proven to be successful tools in collecting child
support and beginning a process to ensure both parents are meeting their obligations to their child," said Andrew Vallejos, CSED Director. "But there are still plenty of parents who are
still delinquent and face arrest if they don't fulfill their obligations."

At the beginning of the sweep, law enforcement was presented with a list of more than 400
active warrants. That means there are still more than 300 active warrants out there.

"Just because the sweep is over doesn't mean their risk of arrest is over," said Department
of Public Safety Secretary Gorden Eden. "At any point state police will act on an active
bench warrant, so we encourage delinquent parents to act before we do."
A list of all non-custodial parents with outstanding bench warrants issued throughout the
state is posted on the HSD website at http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/CSEDBenchWarrants.html. Individuals with questions may
contact CSED toll free at: (800) 288-7207 in-state or (800) 585-7631 out-of-state. A list of
the CSED offices across the state can be found on the HSD website at
http://www.hsd.state.nm.us/csed/fieldoffices.html#top.

The issuance of a bench warrant for child support is the most severe enforcement remedy
available to CSED and it is used only as a last resort when all other efforts to collect child
support have failed.

"I want to give a special thanks to all of the law enforcement personnel statewide who
helped make this effort a success," said HSD Secretary Sidonie Squier.

The Bench Warrant Program, started in 2011, and other enforcement tools have helped the
CSED set yet another record in child support collections during State Fiscal Year 2013 with
a total of $132.1 million.


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