2004 Regular Session
To: Judiciary, Division B
By: Senator(s) White
AN ACT TO AMEND SECTION 63-1-53, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO AUTHORIZE SERVICE OF PROCESS BY A CONSTABLE OF A PENDING SUSPENSION OF A PERSON'S DRIVERS' LICENSE UNDER CERTAIN CIRCUMSTANCES; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. Section 63-1-53, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
63-1-53. (1) Upon failure of any person to respond timely and properly to a summons or citation charging such person with any violation of this title, or upon failure of any person to pay timely any fine, fee or assessment levied as a result of any violation of this title, the clerk of the court shall give written notice to such person by United States first class mail at his last known address, or by having a constable serve the notice in the same manner that the constable would serve any civil process issued by a justice court, advising such person that if within ten (10) days after such notice is deposited in the mail the person has not properly responded to the summons or citation or has not paid the entire amount of all fines, fees and assessments levied, then the court will give notice thereof to the Commissioner of Public Safety and the commissioner may suspend the driver's license of such person. The actual cost incurred by the court in the giving of such notice may be added to any other court costs assessed in such case. If within ten (10) days after the notice is given in accordance with this subsection such person has not satisfactorily disposed of the matter pending before the court, then the clerk of the court immediately shall mail a copy of the abstract of the court record, along with a certified copy of the notice given under this subsection, to the Commissioner of Public Safety, and the commissioner may suspend the driver's license of such person as authorized under subsections (2) and (3) of this section.
(2) The commissioner is hereby authorized to suspend the license of an operator without preliminary hearing upon a showing by his records or other sufficient evidence that the licensee:
(a) Has committed an offense for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction except under the provisions of the Mississippi Implied Consent Law;
(b) Has been involved as a driver in any accident resulting in the death or personal injury of another or serious property damage;
(c) Is an habitually reckless or negligent driver of a motor vehicle;
(d) Has been convicted with such frequency of serious offenses against traffic regulations governing the movement of vehicles as to indicate a disrespect for traffic laws and a disregard for the safety of other persons on the highways;
(e) Is incompetent to drive a motor vehicle;
(f) Has permitted an unlawful or fraudulent use of such license;
(g) Has committed an offense in another state which if committed in this state would be grounds for suspension or revocation;
(h) Has failed to pay any fine, fee or other assessment levied as a result of any violation of this title;
(i) Has failed to respond to a summons or citation which charged a violation of this title; or
(j) Has committed a violation for which mandatory revocation of license is required upon conviction, entering a plea of nolo contendere to, or adjudication of delinquency, pursuant to the provisions of subsection (1) of Section 63-1-71.
(3) Notice that a person's license is suspended or will be suspended under subsection (2) of this section shall be given by the commissioner in the manner and at the time provided for under Section 63-1-52, and upon such person's request, he shall be afforded an opportunity for a hearing as early as practical within not to exceed twenty (20) days after receipt of such request in the county wherein the licensee resides unless the department and the licensee agree that such hearing may be held in some other county. Upon such hearing the commissioner, or his duly authorized agent, may administer oaths and may issue subpoenas for the attendance of witnesses and the production of relevant books and papers and may require a reexamination of the licensee. Upon such hearing the commissioner shall either rescind any order of suspension or, good cause appearing therefor, may extend any suspension of such license or revoke such license.
SECTION 2. The Attorney General of the State of Mississippi shall submit this act, immediately upon approval by the Governor, or upon approval by the Legislature subsequent to a veto, to the Attorney General of the United States or to the United States District Court for the District of Columbia in accordance with the provisions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.
SECTION 3. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after the date it is effectuated under Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, as amended and extended.