1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Guice
House Bill 117
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 11-9-105, 11-9-107, 11-9-109 AND 11-9-113, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE PRIVATE PROCESS SERVERS TO EXECUTE PROCESS FOR SUITS FILED IN JUSTICE COURT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 11-9-105, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
11-9-105. Anyone desiring to sue in the justice court shall lodge with the clerk of the justice court the evidence of debt, statement of account, or other written statement of the cause of action. The clerk shall record all filings and shall, as far as practicable, assign the cases to each justice court judge in the county on a rotating basis to insure equal distribution of the cases among the judges of the county; however, in all counties in which the courtrooms provided by the county for use of the justice court judges are located in more than one (1) place in the county, the clerk, in addition to assigning cases to the judges on a rotating basis, may also assign a courtroom for each case, such assignment may be made based upon the proximity of the courtroom to the defendant's residence or place of business. The clerk shall issue a summons for the defendant which may be served by a constable, sheriff or his deputy or a private process server, returnable to the next term of the court of the justice court judge to which the case is assigned, which shall be executed five (5) days before the return day; but if the process be executed less than five (5) days before the return day, the service shall be good to require the appearance of the defendant at the term next succeeding the one to which it is returnable. Any summons issued within five (5) days before a term of the court shall be made returnable to the next succeeding term, unless a shorter day be named, in pursuance of the provision for a trial without delay in the case of nonresident or transient defendants. When the case has been recorded and assigned and process issued, the clerk shall, within two (2) working days, forward certified copies of all documents pertaining to the case to the justice court judge to which the case is assigned for further processing.
SECTION 2. Section 11-9-107, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
11-9-107. When any process has not been returned by a constable or process server within ten (10) working days after issuance by the clerk of the justice court, the clerk shall direct the sheriff of his county and his deputies to execute any such process of the justice court; and the sheriff and his deputies shall execute any process so directed to him by any clerk of the justice court.
SECTION 3. Section 11-9-109, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
11-9-109. (1) Except as provided in subsection (2), in cases of emergency, and where a constable or sheriff or deputy sheriff cannot be had in time, the clerk of the justice court may appoint some reputable person to execute any process, the clerk to be liable on his bond for all damage which may result to a party to the cause or other person from his appointment of an insolvent or incompetent person.
(2) A party filing suit in justice court may elect to have a private process server or constable execute process and a private process server shall be compensated by the party filing suit at the same rate that a constable receives for executing process.
SECTION 4. Section 11-9-113, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
11-9-113. The process so delivered to the sheriff, * * * constable or private process server shall be returned by him to the clerk of the justice court, according to its command.
SECTION 5. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.