Rules of Construction; General Penalty


10.01    Title of code

10.02    Interpretation

10.03    Application to future ordinances

10.04    Captions

10.05    Definitions

10.06    Severability

10.07    Reference to other sections

10.08    Reference to offices

10.09    Errors and omissions

10.10    Official time

10.11    Reasonable time

10.12    Ordinances repealed

10.13    Ordinances unaffected

10.14    Effective date of ordinances

10.15    Repeal or modification of ordinance

10.16    Ordinances which amend or supplement code

10.17    Section histories; statutory references

10.99    General penalty


This 2003 codification of ordinances by and for the City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, shall be designated as the “Rio Rancho Code of Ordinances,” and may be cited herein as “this code.”


Unless otherwise provided herein, or by law or implication required, the same rules of construction, definition and application shall govern the interpretation of this code as those governing the interpretation of state law as set forth in the Uniform Statute and Rule Construction Act, NMSA §§ 12-2A-1 et seq.


All provisions of Title I compatible with future legislation, shall apply to ordinances hereafter adopted amending or supplementing this code unless otherwise specifically provided.


Headings and captions used in this code other than the title, chapter, subchapter and section number are employed for reference purposes only and shall not be deemed a part of the text of any section.


(A) Words and phrases shall be taken in their plain, or ordinary and usual sense. However, technical words and phrases having a peculiar and appropriate meaning in law shall be understood according to their technical import.

(B) For the purpose of this code, the following definitions shall apply unless the context clearly indicates or requires a different meaning.

APPOINTED OFFICIAL. Any person appointed to a board, commission or advisory body, in accordance with §§ 3.02 and 5.07 of the City Charter. APPOINTED OFFICIALS are not subject to the provisions of the city personnel ordinance and shall serve at the pleasure of the governing body and the Mayor. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-4) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

CITY ADMINISTRATOR. The chief administrative officer of the city. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-6) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

CITY or MUNICIPALITY. The City of Rio Rancho, New Mexico, a fully empowered municipal corporation, incorporated on February 23, 1981, under the laws of the state. CITY, MUNICIPALITY or MUNICIPAL shall always refer to the city. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-1) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

CLASSIFIED EMPLOYEE. A person employed by the city who is entitled to grievance in accordance with the personnel policies and work rules and who is not exempt under the Fair Labor Standards Act. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-8) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

CODE or CODE OF ORDINANCES. The city’s Code of Ordinances, as modified by amendment, revision and adoption of new chapters, articles or sections.

COUNTY. Sandoval County, New Mexico.

DEPARTMENT DIRECTOR. An administrative employee appointed by the City Administrator with the approval of a majority of all members of the governing body. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-7) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

ELECTED OFFICIAL. Those city officials elected under the laws of the state, specifically, the Mayor, the Municipal Judge and members of the governing body. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-3) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

GOVERNING BODY. The Mayor and the members of the City Council. The corporate authority of the municipality is vested in this body. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-2) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

MAYOR. The Mayor is the elected officer who is the chief executive officer of the city and shall exercise all administrative executive powers, except to the extent that those powers are vested with the City Administrator.

MONTH. A calendar month.

MUNICIPAL OFFICER. Any appointed employee. A MUNICIPAL OFFICER is limited to a department director. (‘87 Code, § 1-1-5) (Ord. 82-31; Am. Ord. 93-008)

OATH. An affirmation in all cases in which, by law, an affirmation may be substituted for an OATH, and in such cases the words SWEAR and SWORN shall be equivalent to the words AFFIRM and AFFIRMED.

OFFICER, OFFICE, EMPLOYEE, COMMISSION or DEPARTMENT. An officer, office, employee, commission or department of the city unless the context clearly requires otherwise.

PERSON. Extends to and includes person, persons, firm, corporation, copartnership, trustee, lessee or receiver. Whenever used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, the terms PERSON or WHOEVER as applied to any unincorporated entity shall mean the partners or members thereof, and as applied to corporations, the officers or agents thereof.

PRECEDING or FOLLOWING. Next before or next after, respectively.

SIGNATURE or SUBSCRIPTION. Includes a mark when the person cannot write.

STATE. The State of New Mexico.

WRITTEN. Any representation of words, letters or figures, whether by printing or otherwise.

YEAR. A calendar year, unless otherwise expressed.


The provisions of this code of ordinances are severable, and if any provision, subchapter, section, division, clause, sentence or part thereof is held to be illegal, invalid, unconstitutional or inapplicable, to any person, persons, circumstances, situation or otherwise, the illegality, invalidity, unconstitutionality or inapplicability shall not affect or impair any of the remaining sentences, clauses, divisions, sections, subchapter or parts of this code of ordinances, or their applicability to other persons, circumstances or situations.


Whenever in one section reference is made to another section hereof, the reference shall extend and apply to the section referred to as subsequently amended, revised, recodified or renumbered unless the subject matter is changed or materially altered by the amendment or revision.


Reference to a public office or officer shall be deemed to apply to any office, officer or employee of the city exercising the powers, duties or functions contemplated in the provision, irrespective of any transfer of functions or change in the official title of the functionary.


(A) If a manifest error is discovered, consisting of the misspelling of any words; the omission of any word or words necessary to express the intention of the provisions affected; the use of a word or words to which no meaning can be attached; or the use of a word or words when another word or words was clearly intended to express the intent, the spelling shall be corrected and the word or words supplied, omitted or substituted as will conform with the manifest intention, and the provisions shall have the same effect as though the correct words were contained in the text as originally published.

(B) No alteration shall be made or permitted if any question exists regarding the nature or extent of the error.


The official time, as established by applicable state/federal laws, shall be the official time within the city for the transaction of all city business.


(A) In all cases where an ordinance requires an act to be done in a reasonable time or requires reasonable notice to be given, reasonable time or notice shall be deemed to mean the time which is necessary for a prompt performance of the act or the giving of the notice.

(B)    (1) The time within which an act is to be done shall be computed by excluding the first day and including the last.

(2) If the last day be a Saturday, Sunday or city holiday, it shall be excluded.


This code, from and after its effective date, shall contain all of the provisions of a general nature pertaining to the subjects herein enumerated and embraced. All prior ordinances pertaining to the subjects treated by this code shall be deemed repealed from and after the effective date of this code.


All ordinances of a temporary or special nature and all other ordinances pertaining to subjects not embraced in this code shall remain in full force and effect unless herein repealed expressly or by necessary implication.


Except as otherwise provided in the City Charter, every adopted ordinance shall become effective at the expiration of ten days after adoption, or at any later date specified therein.


Ordinances in general, See Charter § 2.11


(A) Whenever any ordinance or part of an ordinance shall be repealed or modified by a subsequent ordinance, the ordinance or part of an ordinance thus repealed or modified shall continue in force until the due publication of the ordinance repealing or modifying it when publication is required to give effect thereto, unless otherwise expressly provided.

(B) No suit, proceedings, right, fine, forfeiture or penalty instituted, created, given, secured or accrued under any ordinance previous to its repeal shall in any way be affected, released or discharged, but may be prosecuted, enjoyed and recovered as fully as if the ordinance had continued in force unless it is otherwise expressly provided.

(C) When any ordinance repealing a former ordinance, clause or provision shall be itself repealed, the repeal shall not be construed to revive the former ordinance, clause or provision, unless it is expressly provided.


(A) If the governing body shall desire to amend any existing chapter, subchapter or section of this code, the chapter, subchapter or section shall be specifically repealed and a new chapter, subchapter or section, containing the desired amendment, substituted in its place.

(B)    (1) Any ordinance which is proposed to add to the existing code a new chapter, subchapter or section shall indicate, with reference to the arrangement of this code, the proper number of the chapter, subchapter or section.

(2) In addition to the indication thereof as may appear in the text of the proposed ordinance, a caption or title shall be shown in concise form above the ordinance.


(A) As histories for the code sections, the specific number of the old code section, original ordinance and the most recent three amending ordinances, if any, are listed following the text of the code section. Example: (‘87 Code, § 4-1-1) (Ord. 93-002; Am. Ord. 98-006; Am. Ord. 99-002; Am. Ord. 99-005)

(B)    (1) If a statutory cite is included in the history, this indicates that the text of the section reads substantially the same as the statute. Example: (NMSA § 3-8-9) (‘87 Code, § 3-1-1) (Ord. 90-005; Am. Ord. 92-012)

(2) If a statutory cite is set forth as a “statutory reference” following the text of the section, this indicates that the reader should refer to that statute for further information. Example:


The Municipal Election Code, NMSA Ch. 3, Art. 8 and 9, as amended and as supplemented from time to time, shall govern the conduct of all aspects of all municipal elections, except when the Municipal Election Code is silent on a matter, then the State Election Code, NMSA Ch. 1, shall govern, as appropriate; however, if any provision of either the Municipal Election Code or the State Election Code is inconsistent with the terms of the City Charter, the Charter shall control, or inconsistent with the terms of this chapter, this chapter shall take precedence over the Municipal Election Code and State Election Code and shall control.

(‘87 Code, § 22-7-1) (Ord. 92-003)

Statutory reference:

For the terms of the Municipal Election Code, see NMSA §§ 3-8-1 et seq. and 3-9-1 et seq.

For the terms of the State Election Code, see NMSA Ch. 1


Any person found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this code shall be fined not more than $500 or imprisoned for a period of not more than 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each day this code is violated shall constitute a separate offense, provided, however, that if a specific penalty is provided therefor in any particular and individual section of this code, then the specific penalty shall prevail.

(‘87 Code, § 10-1-3)


Penalties and Fines; Bonds, see § 34.06

Statutory reference:

Penalty for misdemeanor, see NMSA § 3-17-1