1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Blackmon
House Bill 780
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 43-19-45 AND 93-11-117, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO REVISE INFORMATION THAT THE CHILD SUPPORT UNIT MAY REQUEST AND RECEIVE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 43-19-45, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
43-19-45. (1) The Child Support Unit shall establish a state parent locator service for the purpose of locating absent and nonsupporting parents and alleged parents, which will utilize all appropriate public and private locator sources. In order to carry out the responsibilities imposed under Sections 43-19-31 through 43-19-53, the Child Support Unit may request and shall receive any and all financial or other information from any individual, financial institution, business or other entity, public or private, needed to establish, modify or enforce a support order or which would enable the location of parents or alleged parents who have a duty to provide support and maintenance for their children. Such requests shall have the same effect as if made by subpoena. Failure to provide promptly such requested information shall subject the noncomplying party to penalties listed in Section 93-11-117 or to such penalties as exist for failure to respond to a subpoena. Such private or public source shall on request supply said Child Support Unit, other state and federal IV-D agencies, its attorneys, investigators, probation officers, county or district attorneys in this state, all information relative to the location, employment, employment related benefits including but not limited to availability of medical insurance, income and property of such parents and alleged parents and with all information on hand relative to the location and prosecution of any person who has, by means of a false statement or misrepresentation or by impersonation or other fraudulent device, obtained aid to dependent children to which he or she was not entitled, notwithstanding any provision of law making such information confidential. The Central Data Processing Authority and any other agency in this state using the facilities of the Central Data Processing Authority are directed to permit the Child Support Unit access to their files, inclusive of those maintained for other state agencies, for the purpose of locating absent and nonsupporting parents and alleged parents, except to the extent that any such access would violate any valid federal statute or regulation issued pursuant thereto. The Child Support Unit, other state and federal IV-D agencies, its attorneys, investigators, probation officers, county or district attorneys, shall use such information only for the purpose of investigating or enforcing the support liability of such absent parents or alleged parents or for the prosecutor of other persons mentioned herein. Neither the Child Support Unit nor said authorities shall use the information, or disclose it, for any other purpose. All records maintained pursuant to the provisions of Sections 43-19-31 through 43-19-53 shall be confidential and shall be available only to the Child Support Unit, other state and federal IV-D agencies, the attorneys, investigators and other staff employed or under contract under Sections 43-19-31 through 43-19-53, district or county attorneys, probation departments, child support units in other states, and courts having jurisdiction in paternity, support or abandonment proceedings. The Child Support Unit may release to the public the name, photo, last known address, arrearage amount and other necessary information of a parent who has a judgment against him for child support and is currently in arrears in the payment of this support. Such release may be included in a "Most Wanted List" or other media in order to solicit assistance.
(2) The Child Support Unit shall have the authority to secure information from the records of the Mississippi Employment Security Commission that may be necessary to locate absent and nonsupporting parents and alleged parents under the provisions of Sections 43-19-31 through 43-19-53. Upon request of the Child Support Unit, all departments, boards, bureaus and agencies of the state shall provide to the Child Support Unit verification of employment or payment and the address and social security number of any person designated as an absent or nonsupporting parent or alleged parent. In addition, upon request of the Child Support Unit, the Mississippi Employment Security Commission, or any private employer or payor of any income to a person designated as an absent or nonsupporting parent or alleged parent, shall provide to the Child Support Unit verification of employment or payment and the address and social security number of the person so designated. All such records and information shall be confidential and shall not be used for any purposes other than those specified by Sections 43-19-31 through 43-19-53. The violation of the provisions of this subsection shall be unlawful and any person convicted of violating the provisions of this subsection shall be guilty of a misdemeanor and shall pay a fine of not more than Two Hundred Dollars ($200.00).
(3) The Child Support Unit shall provide to all federal and state agencies conducting activities under this section access to the state parent locator service and any system used by the Child Support Unit to locate an individual for purposes relating to motor vehicles or law enforcement.
SECTION 2. Section 93-11-117, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-11-117. (1) In cases in which a payor wilfully fails to withhold or pay over income pursuant to a valid order for withholding, the court, upon due notice and hearing, shall enter judgment and direct the issuance of an execution for the total amount that the payor wilfully failed to withhold or pay over.
(2) In cases in which a payor discharges, disciplines, refuses to hire or otherwise penalizes an obligor as prohibited by subsection (9) of Section 93-11-111, or fails to provide requested information as provided in Section 43-19-45, the court, upon due notice and hearing, may fine the payor in an amount not to exceed Fifty Dollars ($50.00).
(3) Any obligee, the department or obligor who wilfully initiates a false proceeding under Sections 93-11-101 through 93-11-119 or who wilfully fails to comply with the requirements of Sections 93-11-101 through 93-11-119 shall be punished as in cases of contempt of court.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 1997.