1997 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representatives Banks, Straughter
House Bill 1635
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTIONS 7-5-1 AND 7-5-37, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT THE ATTORNEY GENERAL MAY BRING SUIT ON BEHALF OF THE STATE WITHOUT THE APPROVAL OF THE GOVERNOR; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 7-5-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
7-5-1. The Attorney General provided for by Section 173 of the Mississippi Constitution shall be elected at the same time and in the same manner as the Governor is elected. His term of office shall be four (4) years and his compensation shall be fixed by the Legislature. He shall be the chief legal officer and advisor for the state, both civil and criminal, and is charged with managing all litigation on behalf of the state. No arm or agency of the state government shall bring or defend a suit against another such arm or agency without prior written approval of the Attorney General. He shall have the powers of the Attorney General at common law and is given the sole power to bring or defend a lawsuit on behalf of a state agency, the subject matter of which is of statewide interest, and he shall intervene and argue the constitutionality of any statute when notified of a challenge thereto, pursuant to the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure. His qualifications for office shall be as provided for chancery and circuit judges in Section 154 of the Mississippi Constitution. The Attorney General shall have the power to bring a law suit on behalf of the state without the approval of the Governor or any other elected or appointed official if he determines that such suit is in the best interests of the state and the people of the state.
SECTION 2. Section 7-5-37, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
7-5-37. The Attorney General shall, at the request of the Governor or other state officer, in person or by his assistant, prosecute suit on any official bond, or any contract in which the state is interested, upon a breach thereof, and prosecute or defend for the state all actions, civil or criminal, relating to any matter connected with either of the state offices. He may require the service or assistance of any district attorney in and about such matters or suits. The Attorney General may bring suit on behalf of the state without the approval of the Governor or any other elected or appointed official if he determines that such suit is in the best interests of the state and the people of the state.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after its passage.