1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative McCoy
House Bill 522
AN ACT TO AUTHORIZE THE BUREAU OF NARCOTICS TO APPLY TO THE COUNTY OR CIRCUIT COURT TO REQUIRE PERSONS, FIRMS OR CORPORATIONS TO PRODUCE BUSINESS RECORDS AND DOCUMENTS RELEVANT TO THE INVESTIGATION OF FELONY VIOLATIONS OF THE UNIFORM CONTROLLED SUBSTANCES LAW; TO AMEND SECTION 25-61-9, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY TO THE PROVISIONS OF THIS ACT; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) Attorneys for the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics by and through the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics are authorized to seek judicial subpoenas to require any person, firm or corporation in the State of Mississippi to produce business records and other documents relevant to the investigation of any felony violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law of the State of Mississippi. The production of the designated documents shall be at the location of the named person's, firm's or corporation's principal place of business, residence or other place at which the person, firm or corporation agrees to produce the documents.
(2) The bureau is authorized to make an ex parte and in camera application to the county or circuit court of the county in which such person, firm or corporation resides or has his principal place of business, or if the person, firm or corporation is absent or a nonresident of the State of Mississippi, to such court of the county in which the state capital is located. On application of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics to the county or circuit court a subpoena duces tecum shall be issued only upon a showing of probable cause that the documents sought are relevant to the investigation of a felony violation of the Uniform Controlled Substances Law or may reasonably lead to the discovery of such relevant evidence. Nothing contained in this section shall affect the right of a person to assert a claim that the information sought is privileged by law. Such application to the court shall be in writing and accompanied by a sworn affidavit from an agent of the Bureau of Narcotics which sets forth facts which the court shall consider in determining that probable cause exists.
(3) Any person, firm or corporation complying in good faith with a judicial subpoena issued pursuant to this section shall not be liable to any other person, firm or corporation for damages caused in whole or in part by such compliance.
(4) Documents in the possession of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics gathered pursuant to the provisions of this section and subpoenas issued by the court shall be maintained in confidential files with access limited to prosecutorial and other law enforcement investigative personnel on a "need to know" basis and shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983, except that upon the filing of an indictment or information, or upon the filing of an action for forfeiture or recovery of property, funds or fines, such documents shall be subject to such disclosure as may be required pursuant to the applicable statutes or court rules governing the trial of any such judicial proceeding.
(5) No person, including the Director of the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics, an agent or member of his staff, prosecuting attorney, law enforcement officer, witness, court reporter, attorney or other person, shall disclose to an unauthorized person documents, including investigative demands and subpoenas issued and served, gathered by the bureau pursuant to the provisions of this section, except that upon the filing of an indictment or information, or upon the filing of an action for forfeiture or recovery of property, funds or fines, or in other legal proceedings, such documents shall be subject to such disclosure as may be required pursuant to applicable statutes and court rules governing the trial of any such judicial proceeding. In the event of an unauthorized disclosure of any such documents gathered by the Mississippi Bureau of Narcotics pursuant to the provisions of this section, the person making any such unauthorized disclosure shall be guilty of a misdemeanor, and upon conviction thereof shall be punished by a fine of not more than One Thousand Dollars ($1,000.00), or imprisonment of not more than six (6) months, or by both such fine and imprisonment.
SECTION 2. Section 25-61-9, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
25-61-9. (1) Records furnished to public bodies by third parties which contain trade secrets or confidential commercial or financial information shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under this chapter until notice to said third parties has been given, but such records shall be released within a reasonable period of time unless the said third parties shall have obtained a court order protecting such records as confidential.
(2) If any public record which is held to be exempt from disclosure pursuant to this chapter contains material which is not exempt pursuant to this chapter, the public body shall separate the exempt material and make the nonexempt material available for examination and/or copying as provided for in this chapter.
(3) Trade secrets and confidential commercial and financial information of a proprietary nature developed by a college or university under contract with a firm, business, partnership, association, corporation, individual or other like entity shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under this chapter.
(4) Misappropriation of a trade secret shall be governed by the provisions of the Mississippi Uniform Trade Secrets Act, Sections 75-26-1 through 75-26-19.
(5) A waste minimization plan and any updates developed by generators and facility operators under the Mississippi Comprehensive Multimedia Waste Minimization Act of 1990 shall be retained at the facility and shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under this chapter.
(6) Data processing software obtained by an agency under a licensing agreement that prohibits its disclosure and which software is a trade secret, as defined in Section 75-26-3, and data processing software produced by a public body which is sensitive must not be subject to inspection, copying or reproduction under this chapter.
As used in this subsection, "sensitive" means only those portions of data processing software, including the specifications and documentation, used to:
(a) Collect, process, store, and retrieve information which is exempt under this chapter.
(b) Control and direct access authorizations and security measures for automated systems.
(c) Collect, process, store, and retrieve information, disclosure of which would require a significant intrusion into the business of the public body.
(7) Information acquired under the provisions of Section 1 of House Bill No. , 1997 Regular Session, shall not be subject to inspection, examination, copying or reproduction under this chapter.
SECTION 3. Section 1 of this act shall be codified in Chapter 29 of Title 41, Mississippi Code of 1972.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.