2002 Regular Session
To: Judiciary A
By: Representative Fleming
AN ACT TO PROVIDE THAT GENETIC INFORMATION IS PERSONAL PROPERTY AND TO REQUIRE INFORMED CONSENT FOR GENETIC TESTING; TO AMEND SECTION 93-9-21, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY THERETO; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Genetic information is hereby defined as personal property and no person shall be required to consent to genetic testing without such person's informed consent.
SECTION 2. Section 93-9-21, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
93-9-21. (1) (a) In all cases brought pursuant to Title IV-D of the Social Security Act, upon sworn documentation by the mother, putative father, or the Department of Human Services alleging paternity, the department may issue an administrative order for paternity testing which requires the mother, putative father and minor child to submit themselves for paternity testing if such mother, putative father or minor child provides informed consent to such testing. The department shall send the putative father a copy of the Administrative Order and a Notice for Genetic Testing which shall include the date, time and place for collection of the putative father's genetic sample. The Department shall also send the putative father a Notice and Complaint to Establish Paternity which shall specify the date and time certain of the court hearing by certified mail, restricted delivery, return receipt requested. Notice shall be deemed complete as of the date of delivery as evidenced by the return receipt. The required notice may also be delivered by personal service upon the putative father in accordance with Rule 4 of the Mississippi Rules of Civil Procedure insofar as service of an administrative order or notice is concerned.
(b) If the putative father does not submit to genetic testing, the court shall, without further notice, on the date and time previously set through the notice for hearing, review the documentation of the refusal to submit to genetic testing and make a determination as to whether the complaint to establish paternity should be granted. The refusal to submit to such testing shall create a rebuttable presumption of an admission to paternity by the putative father.
(c) In any case in which the Department of Human Services orders genetic testing, the department is required to advance costs of such tests subject to recoupment from the alleged father if paternity is established. If either party challenges the original test results, the department shall order additional testing at the expense of the challenging party.
(2) The court, on its own motion or on motion of the plaintiff or the defendant, shall order the mother, the alleged father and the child or children to submit to genetic tests and any other tests which reasonably prove or disprove the probability of paternity, provided that such person provided informed consent to have such testing performed.
If any party refuses to submit to such tests, the court may resolve the question of paternity against such party or enforce its order for genetic testing as the rights of others and the interest of justice require.
(3) Any party calling a witness or witnesses for the purpose of testifying that they had sexual intercourse with the mother at any possible time of conception of the child whose paternity is in question shall provide all other parties with the name and address of the witness at least twenty (20) days before the trial. If a witness is produced at the hearing for the purpose provided in this subsection but the party calling the witness failed to provide the twenty-day notice, the court may adjourn the proceeding for the purpose of taking a genetic test of the witness before hearing the testimony of the witness if the court finds that the party calling the witness acted in good faith.
(4) The court shall ensure that all parties are aware of their right to request genetic tests under this section.
(5) (a) Genetic tests shall be performed by a laboratory selected from the approved list as prepared and maintained by the Department of Human Services.
(b) The Department of Human Services shall publicly issue a request for proposals, and such requests for proposals when issued shall contain terms and conditions relating to price, technology and such other matters as are determined by the department to be appropriate for inclusion or required by law. After responses to the request for proposals have been duly received, the department shall select the lowest and best bid(s) on the basis of price, technology and other relevant factors and from such proposals, but not limited to the terms thereof, negotiate and enter into contract(s) with one or more of the laboratories submitting proposals. The department shall prepare a list of all laboratories with which it has contracted on these terms. The list and any updates thereto shall be distributed to all chancery clerks. To be eligible to appear on the list, a laboratory must meet the following requirements:
(i) The laboratory is qualified to do business within the State of Mississippi;
(ii) The laboratory can provide test results in less than fourteen (14) days; and
(iii) The laboratory must have participated in the competitive procurement process.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2002.