Court hearing Thursday on HSD compliance with orders to remove barriers to food and medical assistance

LAS CRUCES—On Thursday at 10:00 a.m., in U.S. District Court in Las Cruces, Judge Kenneth Gonzales will hear an update on the New Mexico Human Services Department’s compliance with multiple court orders to remove barriers to food and medical assistance for eligible families.

In September 2016, Judge Gonzales held former HSD Secretary Brent Earnest in contempt for failing to remove barriers to assistance for eligible families. The court appointed a Special Master to monitor and make recommendations to the department. In April 2018, the judge set a series of deadlines for HSD compliance with court ordered reforms.

In July of 2019, the court approved a jointly-developed corrective action plan to address systemic barriers to food and medical assistance. Thursday’s status conference will include updates from both parties and the Special Master on the status of HSD’s implementation of the plan.


U.S District Court status conference on HSD compliance with court orders in Deborah Hatten Gonzales v. David Scrase, No. 88-385 KG/CG    


Thursday, November 21, 2019 at 10:00 a.m.


United States Courthouse, 4th Floor, 420 Mimbres Courtroom (North Tower), 100 N. Church Street, Las Cruces, New Mexico 88001


New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty attorneys,Court Appointed Special Master Lawrence M. Parker, HSD Secretary and Attorneys

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty report on it’s case review can be found here:

The jointly developed corrective action plan can be found here:

Senior Education Attorney

The New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty is seeking an experienced attorney to carry out litigation, policy advocacy and outreach to transform the public education system.

We seek a dynamic and creative attorney to work with educational leaders throughout New Mexico on major policy reforms and to bring the state into compliance with the landmark Yazzie/Martinez court decision. In July 2018, families and school districts represented by the Center on Law and Poverty and co-counsel won a historic court ruling that the public education system is insufficient and violates the constitutional rights of students.

The case centers on students who are Native American, English language learner, low-income and special needs students, and the ruling mandates changes to the entire education system — from ensuring quality Pre-K, multicultural and bilingual education, teacher recruitment, adequate curriculum and classroom materials, health and social services, to sufficient funding.

This position will have a central role in ongoing litigation of the Yazzie case, advancing policy advocacy and coalition efforts to transform education, and investigating and litigating new issues related to public education. This attorney will manage and coordinate with legal staff, interns and contractors. Learn more about our education work at:

The Center is a nationally recognized non-profit law firm that engages in systemic advocacy and impact litigation to advance the health, economic and educational wellbeing of New Mexico’s families. We partner with our communities to provide advocacy through the courts, the legislature and administrative agencies, and through outreach, education and media. To learn more about the Center, please visit our website at

Required: minimum seven years as an attorney; strong leadership and strategic thinking skills; passionate about education policy, racial justice and community lawyering; excellent litigator, writer and researcher; ability to manage complex projects; ‘no-stone-unturned’ thoroughness and persistence.  Preferred: Indigenous language or Spanish speaker, experience with lobbying, coalition-building and media.

Apply in confidence by emailing a resume and cover letter to We are an equal opportunity employer. Native American and other people of color and people with disabilities are especially encouraged to apply.

The power of community on #GivingTuesday

We invite you to join the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty on Tuesday, December 3rd as we kick off this year’s giving season with #GivingTuesday—a global day of philanthropy that celebrates generosity and the power of community!

On December 3rd, our outstanding sponsors will be matching your gifts. Don’t miss this chance to double the impact of your donation! More details will be unveiled in the weeks ahead.

Please mark your calendars now to join the #GivingTuesday movement and make your contribution to the New Mexico Center on Law and Poverty on December 3rd.

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