2005 Regular Session
To: Judiciary B
By: Representative Smith (39th)
AN ACT TO CREATE SECTION 45-29-5, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, TO PROVIDE THAT INITIAL REPORTS REGARDING CERTAIN CRIMINAL MATTERS SHALL BE A PUBLIC RECORD; TO AMEND SECTIONS 45-29-1 AND 45-29-3, MISSISSIPPI CODE OF 1972, IN CONFORMITY; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. The following shall be codified as Section 45-29-5, Mississippi Code of 1972:
45-29-5. (1) Notwithstanding the exemptions contained in Section 45-29-1 and 45-29-3, the initial report of the officer or officers investigating a complaint, records of the booking of a person, records of the issuance of a summons or citation, and records of the filing of a bill of information shall be a public record.
(2) The initial report shall set forth:
(a) A narrative description of the alleged offense;
(b) The name and identification of each person charged with or arrested for the alleged offense;
(c) The name and date of the alleged offense;
(d) The location of the alleged offense;
(e) The property involved;
(f) The vehicles involved; and
(g) The names of investigating officers.
SECTION 2. Section 45-29-1, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-29-1. (1) Except as provided in Section 45-29-5, records in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, which are not otherwise protected by law, that (i) are compiled in the process of detecting and investigating any unlawful activity or alleged unlawful activity, the disclosure of which would harm such investigation; (ii) would reveal the identity of informants; (iii) would prematurely release information that would impede the public body's enforcement, investigative or detection efforts in such proceedings; (iv) would disclose investigatory techniques; (v) would deprive a person of a right to a fair trial or an impartial adjudication; (vi) would endanger the life or safety of a public official or law enforcement personnel; or (vii) are matters pertaining to quality control or PEER review activities, shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Act of 1983.
(2) Nothing in this section shall be construed to prevent any and all public bodies from having among themselves a free flow of information for the purpose of achieving a coordinated and effective detection and investigation of unlawful activity. Where the confidentiality of records covered by this section is being determined in a private hearing before a judge as provided for by subsection (2) of Section 25-61-13, the public body may delete or separate from such records the identity of confidential informants or the identity of the person or persons under investigation.
SECTION 3. Section 45-29-3, Mississippi Code of 1972, is amended as follows:
45-29-3. Except as provided in Section 45-29-5, the following records shall be exempt from the provisions of the Mississippi Public Records Law of 1983:
(a) Records which are in the possession of a public body, as defined by paragraph (a) of Section 25-61-3, that performs as one of its principal functions activities pertaining to the enforcement of criminal laws, the apprehension of criminal offenders or the investigation of criminal offenders and/or criminal activities, and which records consist of information compiled for the purpose of a criminal investigation, including reports of informants and investigators, and associated with an identifiable individual; and
(b) Personal information of victims, including victim impact statements and letters of support on behalf of victims that are contained in records on file with the Mississippi Department of Corrections and State Parole Board.
SECTION 4. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2005.